Oct 9, 2013
Boxed games have always been important within game marketing, but have been on a steady decline since December 2008 with the rise of digital distribution.
However, thanks to a certain Grand Theft Auto V, the sales of physical game copies has increased for the first time in four years. Which is quite a staggering statistic. 5.17 million physical games were sold in September within the UK, which shows a 45% increase from September 2012.
GTA V was recently announced to have made over £1 billion, and has generated £90 million in the UK alone. It is said to be responsible for 52% of boxed games sold in the last month, with fans eagerly awaiting. With the close release of FIFA 14, retailers have taken in around £180 million. The release of these two gigantic franchises within a space of weeks has had a huge impact on retail sale, and are always guaranteed best sellers.
As far as physical sales go, predictions seem to indicate they will be given a boost by the next-generation of consoles. Game releases are usually sparse during the summer months, but now we are beginning to hit the holiday season, sales are sure to pick up.
GTA V has already managed to sell more copies than the total of GTA IV in the UK. It is already the 12th biggest selling game within the market, and revenue wise, is fifth behind Call of Duty titles. No doubt this is still open to change, as it has only been released for little over a few weeks.
There are two lessons to be shown here. It shows that consumers are willing to fork out over £40 for a quality game such as GTA V, as it aspired to be truly innovative and game changing. It also shows that yearly franchises such as FIFA are also likely to drive game sales. After the news of retail sales increase in August, this subsequent boost is a welcome addition for those within the industry.
Digital distribution is still becoming more dominant, but when it comes to newly released, highly anticipated AAA titles, the physical copy cannot be beaten. The public are still not adverse to spending money on something they truly want. And with the problems that GTA faced with the digital copies, it seems boxed games still have a bright future.