Digital Games Are More Popular Than Physical Games According To New Revenue Infographic

A new revenue infographic shows that digital games have surpassed physical games in popularity, and we've got the info and statistics here!
Mortal Kombat 1 Two Ninja Women Fighting
Image: NetherRealm Studios

The reign of physical media is long gone, apparently, at least in the realm of video games. A recent infographic from GamesIndustry.biz paints a clear picture: the digital download and purchase of games has surged past its physical counterpart, reflecting the changing habits of consumers.

The statistics from the infographic speak for themselves. In 2023, the global games market reached a staggering $184.4 billion, a healthy bump from the previous year’s $175.8 billion. In the infographic, 99% of PC games were purchased digitally (as they are now), but consoles stand out. Between digital and physical, 83% of purchases were digital. That means $174.5 billion was gained from digital game purchases, while only $9.5 billion was from physical sales.

Game Industry Statistic Infographic Digital Physical
Image: GamesIndustry

It’s clear that the convenience and accessibility of digital platforms are winning hearts (and wallets). What’s interesting is that mobile gaming has become a much bigger contender as well. Of the $184 billion, the mobile market emerged as the undisputed champion, raking in a cool $90.4 billion – nearly half of the total pie. While consoles still earn $53.2 billion, PC gaming churns out $38.4 billion.

This isn’t just a blip on the radar; it’s a tectonic shift. The ease of downloading games instantly, accessing updates seamlessly, and carrying entire libraries in your pocket is proving irresistible to gamers worldwide. While physical media may always hold a nostalgic charm for some, the digital wave is undeniably cresting, and its impact on the future of gaming is undeniable.

I’ve greatly advocated digital purchases because they should be cheaper. There’s no need to share profits with brick-and-mortar stores or pay for distribution (making discs, shipping, and all that). However, we’re seeing a price rise when the cost to get them on store shelves has decreased. Yet I digress often and should be happy for the shift.

There are reasons why digital is bad like games disappearing from online stores or getting that awful always-online requirement. However, those issues can be fought against, and they’re better than discs that get scratched and no longer work.

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar

Jorge A. Aguilar, also known as Aggy, is the current Assigning Editor.

He started his career as an esports, influencer, and streaming writer for Sportskeeda. He then moved to GFinity Esports to cover streaming, games, guides, and news before moving to the Social team where he ended his time as the Lead of Social Content.

He also worked a writer and editor for both Pro Game Guides and Dot Esports, and as a writer for PC Invasion, Attack of the Fanboy, and Android Police. Aggy is the former Managing Editor and Operations Overseer of N4G Unlocked and a former Gaming editor for WePC.

Throughout his time in the industry, he's trained over 100 writers, written thousands of articles on multiple sites, written more reviews than he cares to count, and edited tens of thousands of articles. He has also written some games published by Tales, some books, and a comic sold to Telus International.

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