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Do Big Day One Patches for New Video Game Launches Incentivize People To Buy Digital Downloads Over Physical Copies?


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I got into an interesting discussion recently when I was viewing some recent video game sales data. I observed that the percentage of digital sales is creeping up year after year. And that pretty soon physical sales could be extremely rare.

That got me to thinking about day one patches and how, as a consumer it is frustrating to go to a store buy a new game and after you insert the disc you are then informed that you must wait x amount of time to download and install a patch before you can play.

In a way, this actually incentivizes me to just download the entire game online. Someone disagreed, arguing that most games ship with a stable build. I agree with that statement but that's besides the point I was making about the consumer buying experience.

There are games that go gold, and in the short time that it takes to go from the factory, to distribution in stores around the world, the devs continue to work on bug fixes/patches that are often times released at or around launch. Not for all games but a number of them do.

On top of that, for people that buy the game 2-3 months after release they will almost certainly be required to download a patch before playing as well.

I feel like it takes away from the consumer experience, when a consumer can't simply insert the disc and start playing right away.

Due to the nature of delivery with digital most consumers avoid these problems. So in this way, over the long haul, I feel like  it incentivizes people to buy digital over going to the store.

In the next 10 years, we may very well be in a place where the only people that buy physical copies are those that want collectors editions or are just collecting physical copies to add to their own personal library as a sort of showcase or memorabilia.

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  • Jim changed the title to Do Big Day One Patches for New Video Game Launches Incentivize People To Buy Digital Downloads Over Physical Copies?

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