Saturday February 11, 2017

Why Are Physical Software Sales Still a Thing?

Little kid me would tell you that boxed software is totally awesome because of cover art and manuals, but that time has long passed. While digital sales are more commonplace than ever, there is still a segment of people who are refusing to let physical purchases go. I can totally understand this for video games, but is there any good reason left for boxed programs, aside from the chuckle of opening a big box just to see a little serial strip float out?

News Image

The most accurate software-in-a-box sales numbers come from Electronic Arts' preliminary report for the quarter that ended on September 30, 2016. The "Packaged Goods" segment, which includes games for consoles, handheld devices, and PCs, had a net revenue of $332 million. That's 37 percent of the company's total net revenue. I've talked to several gamers who prefer physical packaging. Some told me they do this because at a later time they might want to sell the games, while others are interested in collecting them. There are also customers with slow internet connections and data caps, for whom a physical box works best. However, most games these days still require very large updates, even on the day they launch.