72% of UK gamers prefer buying physical games

I personally prefer physical versions of games to digital. I’ll be taking advantage of the Mario Kart 8 offer and downloading my free game digitally of course, but it doesn’t mean I’d rather have the game physically. It would appear I’m not alone in that, as a recent story from MVC shows that 72% of UK gamer’s prefer physical to digital…

Digital may be the industry’s biggest market, but consumers still prefer to buy games in a box.

Analysts Kantar WorldPanel revealed that two-thirds (72 per cent) of consumers are buying boxed products only. It follows estimates from Screen Digest, which showed that digital games last year generated more revenue than physical ones.

Just ten per cent of UK gamers have made the switch from physical to exclusively buying digital games. That’s compared to 18 per cent of gamers who are buying both.

Consumers still enjoy physical products due to the high cost of digital games and the ability to trade-in boxed games at stores.

Kantar also revealed that the console gaming population of adults in the UK is six times larger than that of kids. Yet, 76 per cent of children aged seven to 14 play console games – well ahead of the 55 per cent of UK adults playing consoles.


And a little more info, it also appears that 75% of the USA gamer’s are also opting for physical to digital.



What do you prefer? Sound off in the comments or on our super shiny forums

– Murr


3 thoughts on “72% of UK gamers prefer buying physical games

  1. I think until prices of digital games comes in line with store prices, people will continue to buy physical copies.
    Steam is the only exception to this rule.
    I don’t mind either way, but I get why people like to build up a nice games collection.

  2. Interesting post, actually. I’m one of the minority who does prefer digital, however: There are some circumstances where I prefer physical. It has to be a game I’ve been hyped up for or it has to be a console game.

    On my PC, I have many a game all thanks to Steam, GOG, Humble Bundle and people who send me their games. Honestly, digital distribution for me works for the mass of my games, however owning a physical copy should mean it’s a game I’ve been either really looking forward to, or just need to display. The last physical game I bought (Unless we count console games) was Diablo III. Sadly, that game let me down, but there’ll be more in the future. Before that, it was Saints Row the Third.

  3. Interesting statistic! It’d be interesting to see it separated for PC and console games. As an avid fan of both, I find it far easier and more convenient to buy digitally on the PC. I have maybe 50 boxed PC games but over 300 Steam games on my account.

    Conversely though, I very rarely buy digital copies of games on consoles. There is an element of enjoyment in seeing a healthy library of game boxes on the bookshelf but probably the main reason is that for some bizarre reason, AAA titles on consoles seem to usually cost more to download than they do to buy boxed copies of, which is a somewhat baffling phenomenon which doesn’t seem to occur nearly as much with PC games

    I’d also say at present the PC lends itself a lot more to the digital library model that Steam provides than consoles do as it is a more persistent platform that has been around through many generations of consoles and does not have as many backwards compatibility issues. If you own more than one PC, or a laptop etc it’s very convenient having one place to install all your games from and not having to faff around with disks. Also PC hard disks tend to be cheaper and larger than console ones allowing more of ones library to be installed at the same time. This gap is closing though with more recent consoles and the ability to upgrade their internal storage capacity.

    Take into account the fact that even most disk based games on modern consoles still require you to download patches, updates and dlc and a lot require installing on the console and for me at least the only real barrier that prevents me from going fully digital is the daft price discrepancy on digital / physical console games

    The only real is exception to this is Collectors Editions or other games that come with physical goodies or extras in the box. There’s no substitute for quality swag 🙂

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