Game publishers need to copy the movie industry

TL;DR - Games should be sold digitally first, and then physical copies sold later.

We know that the game industry is hurting by used games. I read in which he named how the movie industry gets most of its money because of the exclusivity of the theaters, and then releasing the physical copy of the movie later on after the sales of the theaters diminish. The people who didn't want to pay to go see the movie but still want a copy (or people who want to watch it again) will buy the retail copy.

What we're moving to...

The video game industry is going to move to digital as the majority delivery service. It's only a matter of time. What won't go away anytime soon is the physical copies of games. Just like how vinyls, cds, and blu-rays are still being sold, the same is going to happen to games. Now, having same day digital downloads is a step into making digital a reason for a user to get a digital copy (other than console features). This will handle some of the realities of used games as (for now) digital games can't be traded in. The problem is that it doesn't solve it for majority of first day users. Most users will go and get the physical copy, beat the game, trade it in, and the problem continues.


What I propose is that game publishers will need to copy the movie industry in that they need a "theatre" and that theatre is digital. You make the new release of a game digital only and then over time, you release a physical copy. This guarantees a game publisher that in a certain amount of time, that all the sales of their game are pure profit (just like theaters). Games make most of their profit within the first 2 months of sale. Another thing about the movie industry is that consumers don't know when the physical copy is going to be released. It all depends on when the movie stops doing well in theaters. Publishers can use that information to say after a period of time that the physical copy is being released.

Some positives, some negatives...

Now I know, as consumers, some will not like that as they like going to the store on release day (or night) to buy their game. This will alienate those users. Yes, that is the major downfall of this proposal. The other is that those users will not know when the physical copy will be released because the digital copy is selling well. The people who want the game (and are able with their online) will download the game.

This will ease the people into digital downloads but still have the ability to get a physical copy (after a certain period of time) and still able to trade in games. This will appeal to game publishers because of their new release not being able to be traded and bought used, but still sell to those who want physical and not being a total a-hole about it. It's a trade off. Now Gamestop will still be able to trade and sell used physical copies of games (and bundle them with DLC for more profit) but they will lose out on profit margins (depending on how publishers price the physical copy…) for saying "Hey, this game that just came out, you can buy it used for $5 cheaper).

This also helps the industry move towards digital in a way that doesn't necessarily seem horrible to everyone. What do you think? I know I probably forgot to say some things. Sorry for the long read but I wanted to clarify things.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.