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Report debunks "disc is dead" claims

Physical media way out in front.

80 to 90 per cent of videogames bought in 2009 were on physical media, a new study has revealed.

We're sure you've already worked it out yourselves, but just in case, this means between 10 and 20 per cent of 2009 game sales were digital.

That's still a decent chunk of the pie, but perhaps not as decent as those who extol the virtues of digital distribution would have us believe.

According to the Entertainment Merchants Association, combined DVD and Blu-ray disc sales totalled $17.9 billion in 2009, nine times the revenue generated by digital distribution.

EMA CEO and president Bo Andersen had this to say: "While there has been a great deal of focus recently on the slippage of revenues in the DVD market, the untold story is that consumers' embrace of home entertainment remains very strong and packaged media is the preferred delivery instrument.

"Digital distribution is clearly an important segment of the home entertainment market and will continue to grow in market share in the coming year.

"While it is tempting for industry outsiders to say, 'Disc is dead,' as the saying goes, reports of its demise are grossly exaggerated."

Not when it comes to PC game sales, though.

Last month NPD said US PC game digital downloads were reaching parity with in-store purchases.

In 2009, 21.3 million PC games were downloaded in the US, versus 23.5 million purchased at retail.

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Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.