Video Games Will Be “100% Digital” by 2022

Uvaman2

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Out of curiosity, what's the last physical PC game you bought that didn't also require an online account (Steam, Origin, etc.) to run?

PC gamers haven't really been given a choice of digital or physical for a long time now.
This... I am not sure but I think there are a number of people, even here, who think they own anything because they play it on the PC.
Yes I know GOG, even purchased some games there, but those are very old, and GOG is a site with the specific motto of no DRM, hence limited.
Even in the 2000s your CDs had to be activated and shit, once those server are gone, so was the chance of installing the game again, this I know personally.
 

ruffbytes

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Latency on multiplayer games is bad enough. Streaming can’t help.

Also, crap internet connections like mine would be left out.

Not sure I would make this same prediction.
 

_l_

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come on now; we know full well that we don't own anything software, we just rent it for a while ... here to day, gone tomorrow, C'est la vie, hasta la vista baby

Steam has approx. 125 million members so I'm thinking they'll be around for a while. I seem to recall that all this digital DL only type progression in the Industry started in response to the multitude of people who were ripping off the software (like they did with Windows, mp3's, etc). People steal time and again and then cry out when someone puts something in place to stop them from being a thief

... fascinating


Regarding having to stream every time I play ... Xfinity limits me to 1TB/month. If I want unlimited data I have to pay them an extra $55/month. This is not looking very good for gaming at least at this moment ...

Probably won't be long before they are charging $100+ per game ... just saying
 
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tetris42

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Games on gog can be downloaded and played without DRM or beeing online or without the use of Galaxy if you want. Obviously there are not a lot of modern AAA game on there but still an option if you wanted.

I dont mind downloading a game if needs be but streaming, i'm not so sure, and I live in a country with some good internet, guess that's one advantage of living in a small country with a high population density., speeds would also need to be increased though for it to make more sense, especially if games are getting bigger.
Yeah, but that's still digital is the point. Your options on PC or digital or physical that still requires digital.

This... I am not sure but I think there are a number of people, even here, who think they own anything because they play it on the PC.
Yes I know GOG, even purchased some games there, but those are very old, and GOG is a site with the specific motto of no DRM, hence limited.
Even in the 2000s your CDs had to be activated and shit, once those server are gone, so was the chance of installing the game again, this I know personally.
Almost all of those games ended up receiving cracks though. So if you still own the disc, you could download that and be playing the game again, even if the server went belly up. Streaming removes all options and your game is gone as soon as they shut down the server.

come on now; we know full well that we don't own anything software, we just rent it for a while ... here to day, gone tomorrow, C'est la vie, hasta la vista baby

Steam has approx. 125 million members so I'm thinking they'll be around for a while. I seem to recall that all this digital DL only type progression in the Industry started in response to the multitude of people who were ripping off the software (like they did with Windows, mp3's, etc). People steal time and again and then cry out when someone puts something in place to stop them from being a thief

... fascinating
You own plenty, in fact this practice runs counter to some consumer laws in various countries, just very little is being enforced.

Regarding the whining about copy protection: There's nothing wrong with a company protecting their investment and preventing illegal copies while they're still supporting the game. The problem is when they shut the game down, leaving legit customers holding their dicks and a bricked game, but keep the money. If a company wanted to have copy protection, but then removed it after a few years once they dropped support and stopped selling the game, that would be a reasonable course of action and arguments against it wouldn't carry much weight. Unfortunately 99% of companies do fuck all when that happens, rendering games unplayable. They're even less responsible than the pirates.
 

Denpepe

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Steam has approx. 125 million members so I'm thinking they'll be around for a while. I seem to recall that all this digital DL only type progression in the Industry started in response to the multitude of people who were ripping off the software (like they did with Windows, mp3's, etc). People steal time and again and then cry out when someone puts something in place to stop them from being a thief

While I'm sure steam will be around for a while longer, with publishers no longer making physical copies of games I'm pretty sure a bunch of them will drop steam and bring out their own store front, we already have battle.net (which btw is getting it's 2nd non blizz game soon), Uplay, Origin, Bethnet launcher, rockstars social club thingie which will give them a bigger slice of the pie.
 

Uvaman2

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Yeah, but that's still digital is the point. Your options on PC or digital or physical that still requires digital.

Almost all of those games ended up receiving cracks though. So if you still own the disc, you could download that and be playing the game again, even if the server went belly up. Streaming removes all options and your game is gone as soon as they shut down the server.

You own plenty, in fact this practice runs counter to some consumer laws in various countries, just very little is being enforced.

Regarding the whining about copy protection: There's nothing wrong with a company protecting their investment and preventing illegal copies while they're still supporting the game. The problem is when they shut the game down, leaving legit customers holding their dicks and a bricked game, but keep the money. If a company wanted to have copy protection, but then removed it after a few years once they dropped support and stopped selling the game, that would be a reasonable course of action and arguments against it wouldn't carry much weight. Unfortunately 99% of companies do fuck all when that happens, rendering games unplayable. They're even less responsible than the pirates.
Yeah i did try looking for cracks but got tired of surfing virus laden websites, so in the garbage they went.
 

BloodyIron

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100% digital? Show me the last game that was analogue...

This dipshit doesn't even know what the fucking word means.
 

rudy

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Not 100% maybe 90% 4 years is way to short, heck at that time there are still going to be millions of people with an xbox 360 or ps3. Kind of amazing to see a analyst whom should be knowledgable making such sweeping claims. Their is a segment of the market that always moves really really slow. Still plenty of people on windows XP.
 

jedijeb13

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100% digital is fine with me. I've been 100% digital on PC since about 2007 and I switched over to 100% digital on my PS4 and Switch for this generation.

Nothing better than just downloading a game in 10 minutes and playing it whenever you want with a simple click of a button.

But I refuse to stream games with the current internet infrastructure.

The best connection here is 1.5Mb/sec, what game could I download in 10 minutes? Pong :)

Until they make the ISPs get off their butts and actually upgrade the infrastructure that we paid for( through our taxes that went to government grants decades ago for that purpose) the game companies will lose money trying to do this. What would happen if the large game and streaming video companies sued the ISP for limiting their ability to do business? That would be an interesting court battle for sure :)

I don't remember any analog video games.

I had a game when I was a kid, it has a race car that you moved side to side on the screen with a steering wheel, all mechanical, and the road was a film that moved from top to bottom in a loop with cars on it, that you had to dodge by moving side to side, if you hit one it would buzz, light up red and pause the road for a few seconds. The timer stopped after about three minutes and your score was on a mechanical "odometer" at the bottom. This was pre PC or anything digital even like Pong. I would call that an analog video game :)
 

Flogger23m

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Not yet, many people in other parts of the world still have crappy internet. But yes, streaming will become a big think.

On this very forum I ready people talking about how great of a deal Origin Access (or EA Access) is and I shake my head.

While I'm sure steam will be around for a while longer, with publishers no longer making physical copies of games I'm pretty sure a bunch of them will drop steam and bring out their own store front, we already have battle.net (which btw is getting it's 2nd non blizz game soon), Uplay, Origin, Bethnet launcher, rockstars social club thingie which will give them a bigger slice of the pie.

Exactly. Valve is loosing ground and they are headed towards irrelevance. They need to do something else aside from nickel and dime players and place increasing restrictions on Steam.

You can play some of the most popular games out there and not even need a Steam account:
R6S
Battlefield
Fortnite
GTAV

I like Valve even if they are increasingly mediocre because I'd rather have them run the show. But they are loosing ground. If this keeps up, the next 2-4 years I expect more big publishers to jump ship. I can see Ubi dropping Steam entirely, same for Rockstar.
 
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Spidey329

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"Our expectation is that major publishers will increasingly test and commercially develop streaming game offerings over the next 3-5 years, […]Streaming games from the cloud, without need for dedicated hardware or massive downloads, would materially grow the total addressable market for high end console-style titles."
I don't see this happening that soon. Latency is still an issue streaming from a PC to a box on your own network.

Doing cloud rendering is going to make the latency even worse. Most games need low latency for input or they're not playable.
 

IcePickFreak

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It's been a long time since I've bought a boxed game, I think Elder Scrolls Oblivion was the last one.

Anyway, the OP shouldn't have cut off the full quote as it's pure corporate poetry. "It is a certainty that videogames will be approximately 100% digital in the coming years" :cautious:
 

Dekoth-E-

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I've heard this for years..guess what...I can still buy games physically. More nonsense predictions from people pandering.
 

Derangel

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Yeah, no. It will be, at least, a decade before all games go download only and physical purchases are pretty much gone. Much longer than that before streaming gets remotely big enough to bother with, if it ever does. Like most people that try to "analyze" the game industry they lack any real knowledge of networking and exactly why the all-digital future is nothing more than pipe-dream right now.
 

ManofGod

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All videogames are digital, because the computers they play on are digital. :ROFLMAO:o_O:eek::rolleyes:
 

SamuraiInBlack

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Fuck streaming games. Fuck the cloud.

They can't even write proper netcode anymore. What the hell makes them think they can get games to stream properly?

I buy a game, I buy the fucking game. I play it until I decide I am done with it, not when THEY decide that THEY are done running a server for it.
 

seanreisk

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100% digital? Show me the last game that was analogue....

Actually, Dragon's Lair had a an analog component. It was read from a laser disc, but converted to [insert video standard I can no longer remember]. Early standups also used a varying analog signal that played along with the laser disc, and each frequency would set the proper 'continue' switch on the control board, creating a yes/no from the user's input that was then fed into the game chip. It also took a different monitor from a lot of the video games of the time.

But I digress. I also posted that games have been digital for decades, but it's still Saturday, so I'm still feeling pedantic.
 

rsaotome

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I sure hope not, it's still fun to grab a physical copy, even if it's ONLY the installer & a steam code, but a nice steelbook helps too.

And no to cloud/stream gaming, just NO.
 

velusip

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I regret buying some downloaded games. e.g. The ones that were fun for a weekend and now I want to sell, but can't.
 

MV75

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I might have missed mention of it, but bye bye EB. Better start looking for other jobs, or just expand their range of those pop vinyl shitty things.
 

misterbobby

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I have been all digital for quite a while. I have not bought a physical game for pc in over 5 or 6 years and then just threw them away after getting the key. Hell I do not even have a DVD player in my pc for years now.

Even on my PS4, I got tired of hearing the damn disc spin up plus getting up to change discs every time I wanted play a different game so I went all digital there too now. I do wish I could get my money back for Bloodborne though. :cautious:

And fuck streaming though as that is still a laggy joke. I did have a free trail of the PS4 streaming service and it was beyond horrendous.
 

SvenBent

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I swear all my video games are already digital.
I don't have a single analog one.

Can we stop using digital as some kind of wildcard word?
 

NKD

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I think streaming gaming model will fail hard. Its basically changing the fundamentals of it away. I mean its been tried already and I don't remember any company taking off. On the other hand I can understand the subscription model where you can download and play any game. I think gamers will probably stop playing if you are just streaming games. We wanna download that shit, max it out, and use it. I am not sure if Nvidia will give up gaming cards that easy either. Subscription based services I can understand where developers have a set stream of funds coming in. But to go streaming? Meh!

Plus all my games are digital. I don't remember buying a disk. Can't even remember it when was the last time. Hell I don't even buy it for consoles. If there are exclusives I play.
 

Uvaman2

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I think streaming gaming model will fail hard. Its basically changing the fundamentals of it away. I mean its been tried already and I don't remember any company taking off. On the other hand I can understand the subscription model where you can download and play any game. I think gamers will probably stop playing if you are just streaming games. We wanna download that shit, max it out, and use it. I am not sure if Nvidia will give up gaming cards that easy either. Subscription based services I can understand where developers have a set stream of funds coming in. But to go streaming? Meh!

Plus all my games are digital. I don't remember buying a disk. Can't even remember it when was the last time. Hell I don't even buy it for consoles. If there are exclusives I play.
Personally if streaming works the same as download and run, don't think it would make a difference.. that is a big if i guess.
In the end DRM successfully managed to destroy the advantages of owning physical media anyway... Wouldn't make a difference to me if it is download and run or stream if it works the same ( i think 2022 is way to optimistic, the connections aren't there) you can be screwed out of your purchase anytime either way thanks to drm.
 

BSmith

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Hell no to streaming from the cloud. You can take my PC from my cold dead hands.

It is not practical and never will be. The "cloud" adds far too much latency to anything requiring real-time inputs.

Future games will be subscriptions instead of one-time purchases anyway, as you're also renting the hardware to play the game on.

Hehe, I though subscription based games were considered old school?
 

DrezKill

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I don't mind going all digital on PC (especially if GOG) or on handheld/portable consoles, but with home consoles I still very much prefer physical copies of games. I've also depended heavily on borrowing games from friends over the past few decades, and that shit has been a lot tougher to do with more and more homeys buying digital-only over the years. Although actually, I guess things haven't changed too much, cuz now instead of just borrowing the games, I borrow the consoles. With movies and TV shows I prefer DVD/blu-ray rips, though I don't mind using discs. I'm not a fan of streaming video at all, unless you mean "streaming" it from local storage. I also really miss games coming with manuals. Can't say I'm looking forward to a digital-only future, but then again my ass is old and I still spend a lot of time running games that are stored on cartridges, and I still use CRTs for all 5th-gen-and-earlier consoles (can't stand the look of such systems on modern TVs unless an image processor like the xRGB Mini Framemeister or the Open Source Scan Converter are used, or like how I use VGA output from my Dreamcast to the HDTV). I never use cloud storage for anything, except for save data for games, but only if the services are free (like on Steam and GOG, and Xbox Live Silver on XB1 and Win10 PC), cuz that shit is pretty convenient. I wouldn't mind if we ditched discs entirely for other physical media. Discs are too dang slow and fragile. If we can buy OSes like Windows 10 on flash drives, why can't we buy games like that? I think it would be pretty tight if more software came on flash drives. You know what, it would be cool if movies came like that too.
 

Nafensoriel

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Streaming won't happen in our lifetimes. Not for 100% of the video game market. The problems with latency and general connectivity would exclude many people. No one is going to intentionally close customers out of a loop unless they enjoy bankruptcy.
Digital distribution is already a thing and has been a thing since the early 90s. Digitial distribution will replace physical media in the next few decades for America and Europe. I highly doubt it will replace it in China or India due to the aforementioned connectivity issues.

I love hearing the views of idiots who believe the world revolves around 300 million customers though.
 

tetris42

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For everyone saying streaming will fail:

Not necessarily. All that needs to happen is for a AAA title that everyone wants and has movement slow enough to react via streaming for it to open the floodgates. I naively used to think FPSs would never really catch on consoles; the aiming was just too terrible on gamepad compared to a mouse. Well, it IS still terrible compared to a mouse, but then Halo came along, slowed down the pace of the game, provided aim assist, then became a best seller and changed the industry despite having objectively inferior aiming.

I also didn't think DLC would catch on, since they were so minimal compared to expansions, look how that turned out. Now games can literally sell the ending as DLC.

Latency will NOT deter the masses if it's tolerable, and a launch-worthy game is designed around it, like Halo did for gamepad aiming. If it's successful, then other companies will jump on the bandwagon, then games enter a dark ages. I would love to be wrong about this, but I've seen the gaming experience degrade so much for some titles, that I wouldn't write anything off if companies smell money.

The ONLY chance it won't take off is if the ISP infrastructure is just too shitty and remains that way to make even the "good enough" experience possible. That IS a real possibility and I sure hope it staves on streaming gaming.
 

atom

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Games are already digital unless someone can show me an analog gaming system. Yup, I'm being that guy.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Firstly, Fuck no to streaming.

Secondly, how is a srtremaing game any more or less digital than a locally rendered game? Are these people people e and total idiots? Did the intern write this article?
 

NKD

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Firstly, Fuck no to streaming.

Secondly, how is a srtremaing game any more or less digital than a locally rendered game? Are these people people e and total idiots? Did the intern write this article?

Yea I don't understand that either. Why the fuck companies will take the risk and set up farms to run these streaming games. I am not sure, instead of making a game and selling it digitally and let people worry about their hardware when the gaming industry is already doing so well with all time high in market cap.
 

M76

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So we are playing analog games now? Geez thanks I didn't know that.
 

M76

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only good thing about this is it would be FAR easier to remove cheaters/hackers from a game
There are no cheaters and hackers in single player games. This is a concern for them as online games are already doing a ton of things server side, and they're dead anyway once the company pulls the plug on the server.
 

M76

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You own plenty, in fact this practice runs counter to some consumer laws in various countries, just very little is being enforced..
This. They would like you to beleive that you don't own the game, but in many countries if you purchase something you own it. And they can say whatever in the EULA if it contradicts local customer rights then it is forfeit.
 

M76

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Streaming games from the cloud, without need for dedicated hardware or massive downloads,.”
Is this guy for real?
How many hours do you need to play, so that the streaming bandwith exceeds the single download size? Let's say you play in 4K, that is a reasonable expectation beyond 2020 and at 30fps, let's not get greedy here. That's 1GB of data / second. Let's say they have a damned efficient compression algorithm. So it compresses it 100:1. It is still 10MB/s. Let's round that up to 40GB / hour! So in 2-3 hours you waste more bandwith than the size of any game available now! And I don't know about you, but I tend to spend 20-80 hours with a game, with some having over 500 hours to their name.
 

Shadowed

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The only streaming I like is where the host machine is in my house streaming to my laptop/tablet.
 
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