Gamers Buying Digital Add-ons, Full Games…Not so Much

Digital Distribution study

A recent study on digital distribution by Today’s Gamers produced some interesting numbers on gamers’ purchasing habits. While around 40 percent of American gamers buy levels or add-ons, only 22 percent buy full games. Here are some other tidibits found by Gamasutra:

58 percent of the U.S. population plays games on consoles, and 41 percent plays PC games; 43 percent of those console players download either levels or complete games.

But for Xbox and PlayStation 3 alone, the figures jump to 73 percent and 68 percent, respectively. The download figure for Wii users is 46 percent.

While I expected the number of people that buy full games via digital distribution to be lower, I didn’t think it would half the number of people that buy levels. A lot of you have mentioned that you still prefer having a box and physical copy, while a few of you have stated that you don’t like that you can’t resell a digital copy. I wonder what’s stopping most people.

Either way, if similar studies produce these kinds of results, it might make publishers think twice about digital distribution. Even publishers that equate it to probable death.


Author: RPadTV

9 thoughts on “Gamers Buying Digital Add-ons, Full Games…Not so Much”

  1. @Ray

    I wonder out of the 22% how many of those are PC gamers who use Steam?

    a tidbit: that number is so much higher if you include torrents lol.

  2. @Ray

    I would like to see a study where it is just PC gamers. Go do it, and charge to see the results.

  3. I still just don't want to purchase full games through download because of the high price tag. Games on Demand offers Call of Duty 2 for $29.99 on my Xbox 360, but I got a hard special edition copy from gamestop for $12.99. Then once I decide to finish that game on Veteran so I can get all the gamerscore, I can trade my hard copy back to gamestop or another video game store for something else that I want.

    Maybe if I could have bought a digital copy for $10 I would have done that instead, but $29.99 for a game that I'm going to play through once and maybe only play the multiplayer a few times when I can afford Live.

    Once games are reasonably priced and affordable to digitally download I will be on board 100%, until then I will stick to XBLA, upgrading, and purchasing levels only online.

  4. But digi games will never get competitively priced if there is no competition. As long as Microsoft is the only one controlling prices on Live and Sony is the only one controlling the prices on PSN, nothing is going to change. They have no reason to change.

  5. @Ray

    It depends. Do a focus group at a bar or something. After a few beers, you'll get the truth from those damn PC gamers. A hard job, but somebody has to do it.

  6. @Sandrock323 yeah I agree, I really don't even have any ideas about how to possibly make things better or create more competition with digital distribution, I just know that I will not be 100% on board with it unless prices can drop in the future.

    @Smartguy and @Rpad after college I am hoping to work for a media related research firm (any suggestions, references, or referrals are appreciated!! lol), so I will see what I can do then!!

  7. I'll tell you what's preventing me from downloading more stuff from XBL; SPACE! I've got the good (bad) 'ol 20GB hard drive that came with my console. I'm all out of space on my hard drive and I'll be damned if I'm going to give Microsoft another $150 for 120GB of space! That's $1.25 per gig!!! Just to put that into perspective; I bought a 750GB external hard drive from Western Digital for less than $100 retail. For those non-math people, that comes out to about 13 cents per GB. Slight disparity, isn't it Microsoft?! Either (drastically) drop the price of your official HDD, or let me use my own HD for data storage, you heartless bastards!!

    /end rant


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