“Don’t expect NBA 2K38 to come on a disc.” said Take-Two Interactive’s President Karl Slatoff at the Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.
There is no doubt on the fact that the trend to purchase video games digitally has grown rapidly. The online distributors do such as Steam do offer heavy discounts and other benefits, making them a preferable choice over physical copies.
According to Statista, in 2009, 20% of game sales were digital and 80% were physical. I 2016, a whopping 74% of game sales were digital and 26% were physical. These numbers are only growing and if you take Slatoff’s word for it, games will be sold 100% digitally in the coming decades.
The shift to a digital market has persuaded the publishers to pursue business models driven by microtransactions. While earlier, due to lack of digital connectivity, the publishers offered a full and complete experience at the purchase itself.
Slatoff also stated that he did not view loot boxes as ‘gambling’, contrary to the popular and viable belief. “You can’t force the consumer to do anything. You try to do your best to create the best experience you possibly can to drive engagement. And driving engagement creates value in entertainment. That’s just how it’s always been and always will be.” he further adds to support his words.