How long until they stop physically releasing games?

BabyTyrant

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To me it feels like they have tried to kill physical media for games multiple times

You had Xbox try to make it so used games couldn't be Borrowed to someone else as they wanted the game to register and be stuck to the 1st owner; bad timing, didn't work out

Then we started getting "Digital" consoles without a disc drive, first with the One SAD edition; and this console Generation launched with the Series S and PS5 "Digital Edition"

Now many will choose the convenience of all Digital, giving up the option to even buy Disc's at all

I like Physical because I usually find better deals on a used Copy, especially 4-6+ months after a game releases

Not to mention if I hate a game or finish it, I have something I can sell; can't do that if you buy Digital

The biggest Pros of Digital being not having to manually change disc's (Laziness) and I suppose there's no Disc to break (not that I've ever done that myself)

But let's say you score a game for $15 on clearance, can't use that with the Digital console; might be paying $60 on a 2 year old game because you gave up your options

I wonder though with a lot of the market increasingly going all Digital, how long before the option gets taken away entirely, 5-6 years? Maybe 10-11 if it takes 2 Generations?
 
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ScarletRoseRapier

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I personally like to have a physical copy of any game I own. The exception is 7 Days to Die which never had a physical release.
 

ItsyBitsyBabySara

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I would say as soon as game stop goes out of business the only digital game age will begin. Of course only way that happens if most only by digital. I like going all digital like with game, books and movies , even with money. For me its that I can't just sell stuff for crap prices and I also am one of those that like to re play stuff.
Another question would be when will streaming game passes make buying games obsolete?
 

BabyTyrant

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I would say as soon as game stop goes out of business the only digital game age will begin. Of course only way that happens if most only by digital. I like going all digital like with game, books and movies , even with money. For me its that I can't just sell stuff for crap prices and I also am one of those that like to re play stuff.
Another question would be when will streaming game passes make buying games obsolete?
I don't think buying games will be obsolete for quite a while with most releases still not landing on GamePass, and the PC version having way less variety than the console version

I think we will probably be on the verge of the next Console Generation before game streaming takes off enough to replace buying games

But for now GamePass is a kind of Half-Step

The way I see it, there would probably be multiple levels to a game streaming service, or they would sell subscriptions to specific publishers games, like say Bethesda, EA, etc

That way the companies have a clear idea how much they are making from the service

But, right now we could only speculate
 

Onesieman

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Recently on Switch, pick up a physical copy of the GTA remake and you still have to download the other 2 games. Diamond & Pearl come out next week and it already has a 3GB update adding a lot of missing content they forgot about during initial development, if you don't have internet, you won't experience the full game with just the cartridge. Physical media is officially dead. If not, it will die out soon & become more valuable.
 

BabyTyrant

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Recently on Switch, pick up a physical copy of the GTA remake and you still have to download the other 2 games. Diamond & Pearl come out next week and it already has a 3GB update adding a lot of missing content they forgot about during initial development, if you don't have internet, you won't experience the full game with just the cartridge. Physical media is officially dead. If not, it will die out soon & become more valuable.
Its not dead just yet, but it is as I see it half way there

These days you don't really own the game in any real sense, you own a license to play the game

Even with a physical disc, most of the Data being on some server they can shut down means you could try to play a game 10 years later and find out they shut down the servers and your Disc no longer works

But, at least in the short term you can borrow that disc out to a Friend, sell it, trade it in

Buy a digital game, and you better enjoy it or just take it as a $60-$70 loss (on the high side obviously as some games release at a cheaper price)
 
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CutePrincess

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most of my switch games is physical.
the only digital ones are remakes that does not have a physical counterpart and was on sale
 

KrankyPants

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I hate the way how nowadays some games you can't physically own.
 

ShippoFox

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Digital is nice, but it can be really bad too. They can delist games so no one can ever get them again. They can edit things out of games too, which wasn't possible in the past.

I buy physical sometimes and digital sometimes (mostly digital for PC). I'm worried physical games will be mostly gone in the next ten years or so. But There are reasons to think and hope I could be wrong.
 
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DiscreetDL

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Well the standard CD that most games come on now don't have enough storage for most triple A games, they're basically an access code so you can download the game and not have to put in a credit card number. An example is Fallout 76 it's physical copies were just a cardboard disc with a code for people who didn't trust the online store fronts or wanted to pay cash so if the industry wants to get back to the old way of you buy a game off a shelf you just bring it home and pop it in then they'll have to either invent a new disc that can hold terabytes of data or use cartridges
 

Kittyinpink

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To me it feels like they have tried to kill physical media for games multiple times

You had Xbox try to make it so used games couldn't be Borrowed to someone else as they wanted the game to register and be stuck to the 1st owner; bad timing, didn't work out

Then we started getting "Digital" consoles without a disc drive, first with the One SAD edition; and this console Generation launched with the Series S and PS5 "Digital Edition"

Now many will choose the convenience of all Digital, giving up the option to even buy Disc's at all

I like Physical because I usually find better deals on a used Copy, especially 4-6+ months after a game releases

Not to mention if I hate a game or finish it, I have something I can sell; can't do that if you buy Digital

The biggest Pros of Digital being not having to manually change disc's (Laziness) and I suppose there's no Disc to break (not that I've ever done that myself)

But let's say you score a game for $15 on clearance, can't use that with the Digital console; might be paying $60 on a 2 year old game because you gave up your options

I wonder though with a lot of the market increasingly going all Digital, how long before the option gets taken away entirely, 5-6 years? Maybe 10-11 if it takes 2 Generations?
Yes. Unfortunately it's obvious where we are going with games now.. I am no longer a gamer (my enjoyment has declined, I prefer prapticing art and piano , just kinda grew bored with it all) but I know what you mean and I'm watching the changes are happening fast!! Soon it's only going to be digital. It's a obvious thing. I grew up with VHS video. They (thankfully!) No longer exist . Our world changes . I will miss physical games , but that's what's going to happen.
 

AJFan2020

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Given how relatively easy it is these days to develop a PC, MAC, or Mobile App I am surprised that anyone still releases physical games (including board games) in the early 2020s. It is much easier (and often cheaper) to put some computer code (in python, Java, Swift, or even some type of compiled executable) on a server somewhere than it is to make a game, get someone to mass produce it, store it in a warehouse somewhere, and finally distribute it to either a brick and mortar store (or directly to the consumer) and hope that nobody loses, steals, or damages it along the way.

This usually works better because the vast majority of consumers already have a PC, MAC, Chromebook, Tablet, or Smart Phone (along with some type of internet connection). The company still needs to advertise or market the game, but odds are that this will always be necessary.
 
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NinjaPizza

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It would be nice if more companies would release their digital games without overly intrusive DRM. This would allow end users to create their own "physical" copies and later share or redistribute the game to their friends. Or just play them! It would also help preserve the art of games and all the hard work developers put into them, just to have them disappear. :(
 

AJFan2020

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It would be nice if more companies would release their digital games without overly intrusive DRM. This would allow end users to create their own "physical" copies and later share or redistribute the game to their friends. Or just play them! It would also help preserve the art of games and all the hard work developers put into them, just to have them disappear. :(
This is theoretically a good idea, but DRM exists for a reason. Otherwise, what is to prevent someone from developing a game and then having their very first customer copy the game and give it to literally everyone else in the world without financially compensating the creators of the game.

Incidentally, my father and other people who are skeptical about open source software present this argument in order to explain why open source software can absolutely never work (due to piracy). I (on the other hand) suspect that Linux worked as an Open Source project because back in the early 1990s when it was developed high speed internet was virtually nonexistent, most computers on the market didn’t include a compiler, and few people knew how to use one. It also helped that Linux had a trademark on it and (at least) hundreds of developers behind it before corporations such as the manufacturers of Red Hat, and Suse Linux began selling it on store shelves.

For smaller hobby or educational projects these considerations are less likely to be much of an issue, though.
 

ShippoFox

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This is theoretically a good idea, but DRM exists for a reason. Otherwise, what is to prevent someone from developing a game and then having their very first customer copy the game and give it to literally everyone else in the world without financially compensating the creators of the game.
DRM is evil. It's intrusive and people end up pirating things anyway. Tons of money goes into development/licensing for it too. The only thing it maybe does is get a bit of extra sales before the DRM is cracked. Many people are actually more encouraged to pirate something with DRM. DRM is more bad than good.

Also, there are often benefits to having a legit copy, rather than a pirated one.

Incidentally, my father and other people who are skeptical about open source software present this argument in order to explain why open source software can absolutely never work (due to piracy). I (on the other hand) suspect that Linux worked as an Open Source project because back in the early 1990s when it was developed high speed internet was virtually nonexistent, most computers on the market didn’t include a compiler, and few people knew how to use one. It also helped that Linux had a trademark on it and (at least) hundreds of developers behind it before corporations such as the manufacturers of Red Hat, and Suse Linux began selling it on store shelves.

For smaller hobby or educational projects these considerations are less likely to be much of an issue, though.
I'm not sure what you mean. There are some paid distros, but there are plenty of free distros. There's not much reason to pirate it. And I don't think corporations usually engage in mass piracy. Why would any of this make open source software fail? 😅
 

NinjaPizza

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I think, regarding DRM, the key word is "intrusive." I realize Steam shouldn't really get a "free ride" for being the first launcher/game service store... but it's also the best one and I hate logging into a separate launcher for each new game I want to try. Now if you try and play Divinity 2 through Steam, it asks you to log into a Larian Studios launcher! The hell is the point of that?

When the DRM makes games easier to purchase, easier to play with friends, easier to track achievements, easier to voice chat, easier to back up saves to the cloud... then it's just good service. But remember that time you needed a Bethesda account to play classic Doom? I don't care that it's two clicks and an email address, its an extra step I shouldn't have to take! I paid for your game!
 

AJFan2020

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DRM is evil. It's intrusive and people end up pirating things anyway. Tons of money goes into development/licensing for it too. The only thing it maybe does is get a bit of extra sales before the DRM is cracked. Many people are actually more encouraged to pirate something with DRM. DRM is more bad than good.

Also, there are often benefits to having a legit copy, rather than a pirated one.


I'm not sure what you mean. There are some paid distros, but there are plenty of free distros. There's not much reason to pirate it. And I don't think corporations usually engage in mass piracy. Why would any of this make open source software fail? 😅
Some DRM is evil. For example, a number of years ago some Sony music CDs had a DRM program on them that automatically installed a Rootkit on people’s system. Basically everyone who inserted one of those CDs got hacked. People needed to do a clean install of Windows to remove it and often lost their data in the process (and that was when removal of the Rootkit even worked).

As for free vs. paid distros you are pretty much right today. However, in the early days of Linux (before Debian. Red Hat, and Suse, for example) distros of any kind did not exist yet. And so if the Linux community were much smaller someone could have simply downloaded the software, changed some copyright notices and/or splash screens and tried to claim that they wrote it themselves. And how many people would have known otherwise?

In addition, with the exception of Linux, Git, and Libre Office how many open source programs do people (on average) use today?

Open Source has both advantages and disadvantages.

One big advantage of open source is that security holes often tend to be patched quickly. This usually avoids issues such as the one of security holes that effect multiple OS releases and may or may not be patched in a timely fashion, if ever. Right now, for example, there’s a zero-day exploit that is covered in the media that effects virtually all Windows versions now in use. This makes me glad that I use a non-Windows system as my primary machine, and run Windows in a VM on top of another OS, and only run Windows when I actually need to. Another advantage of open source is that (if you know some programming) you can (at least in theory) add a missing feature (or feature set) to a program that you have (or even fix bugs that you see) yourself, instead of waiting for the manufacturer to fix it (which they may or may not do in a reasonable time frame, if ever).

The main disadvantage of open source operating systems, though, is that some applications will never run on them, and alternative applications only sometimes exist. At best, programs like WINE only provide a partial fix for this. By some estimates, WINE only runs about ten or twenty percent of all Windows programs, and if you attempt to run any Windows 10 or Windows 11 only apps on it you are (at least usually) pretty much out of luck. One of the main reason for this, (which goes back to your comments on DRM) is that the DRM software contained in many proprietary software installers and activation programs does not function in WINE. It is not unusual to successfully install a program in WINE, only to have activation fail. At that point, the user often has little choice except to buy Windows (and yes, for both practical and legal reasons Windows needs to be bought) and install it in a VM. This is (at least in part) because app installers often have the ability to verify that a Windows installation is genuine and activated before installing the app.

Sometimes DRM is necessary, as much as people (myself included) do not like it. For example, without DRM it unlikely that streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime would be able to exist. Between these three streaming services people can often find the movie or TV show they are looking for (or at least something similar) for a small fraction of what cable TV costs. With these three services and a TV with rabbit ears I only pay about one fifth, or one sixth of what I would pay for a cable subscription.
 

Onesieman

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I think, regarding DRM, the key word is "intrusive." I realize Steam shouldn't really get a "free ride" for being the first launcher/game service store... but it's also the best one and I hate logging into a separate launcher for each new game I want to try. Now if you try and play Divinity 2 through Steam, it asks you to log into a Larian Studios launcher! The hell is the point of that?

When the DRM makes games easier to purchase, easier to play with friends, easier to track achievements, easier to voice chat, easier to back up saves to the cloud... then it's just good service. But remember that time you needed a Bethesda account to play classic Doom? I don't care that it's two clicks and an email address, its an extra step I shouldn't have to take! I paid for your game!
To bypass the Bethesda log in, I just have GZDOOM for classic doom. A single Bethesda log in can let players download Final Doom for free, and can also grab NERVE.wad & SIGIL.
Then you take the WAD files from another folder and copy them into the same folder as your Doom sourceport.
 
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NinjaPizza

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Oh yeah. I actually have all the classic doom games from gog.com. Last time I ran through those, into a source port they went and I enjoyed them.
 
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