Physical game publishers Limited Run have called reports that PlayStation is closed to close many of its older console digital stores “the inevitable digital future” and urged its customers to back products in the box.
Limited Run is a US-based game distributor specializing in publishing digital games in physical media, with the games sold on the site in limited quantities.
In response to Monday’s report that Sony will close PS3, PSP and Vita stores this summer, Limited Run wrote: “This is the inevitable digital future. At some point, all digital store fronts will cease to exist, replaced by newer technology or store fronts. Digital purchases are not forever. #ForeverPhysical ”
As a commentator pointed out, it is worth noting that physical purchases are not forever either, since record media are being broken down, and in modern times many games require digital downloads to work.
On Monday, TheGamer claimed that Sony will close the PS3 and PSP marketplaces on July 2, followed by the PS Vita store on August 27. After the closures, players will no longer be able to purchase digital games or DLC for the three platforms. so.
Following Limited Run’s comment on the news, owner Josh Fairhurst was forced to defend the company’s model to limit the number of products it markets.
We do not maintain any rights to any games we release, so our partners are always free to put further pressure on other publishers (as happened with several games we published). We do not lock rights in a vault, “he said.
“Our post was not about what is best for preservation, it was about consumers’ ability to play shopping. Since 2018, our games have been available as a printout to require pre-order, so there is no deliberate shortage. If we sold a million copies by pre-order, we would run a million. ”
He added: “The raw truth is that traditional retail lost money to developers and publishers, and that made them favor digitally. Our model exists to make it physically valuable to our partners, so they will actually consider it instead of sticking to digital. ”
Adoption of digital gaming has had a significant boost in recent years, partly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a GamesIndustry.biz analysis of GSD market data, two thirds of the games sold in the UK last year were purchased digitally. 42.7 million games were purchased across physical and digital in 2020, of which 24.5 million were downloaded – an increase of 74% compared to 2019.
“The market went digital before 2020,” notes GI’s Christopher Dring. However, the COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated the transition to downloading, with many High Street stores closed for extended periods during the year.
“Nevertheless, the market for physical games is still hugely lucrative, and actually grew last year. 18.2 million games were sold in boxes in 2020 in the UK, which is an increase of 2% compared to 2019.
“If we include all physical items – including consoles and accessories – the UK physical games market is worth over £ 2.1 billion, up 28% from 2019.”