Game companies are making increased investments on digital download strategies, but a report from leading market research firm NPD Group finds that gamers still prefer brick-and-mortar retail.
According to NPD analyst Anita Frazier, who presented at this week’s DICE Summit in Las Vegas, some 75 percent of game players say they prefer a boxed product, and 58 percent had never downloaded a game.
But out of those who have downloaded a game, 77 percent said it was just as good as a retail box.
Also, 65 percent of surveyed game players said they would be more likely to purchase a digital product if it were 10 percent less than retail.
Directly selling games to gamers could cut retailers out of the business equation. But leading specialty games retailer GameStop has said it doesn’t expect full-blown digital distribution for another 10 to 15 years. Meanwhile, proponents of digital distribution within the games industry say it’s happen much more rapidly than that.
Physical retailers aren’t completely ignoring the online distribution trend. For example, in 2006, GameStop introduced the "Download Now" section on its website, which allows gamers to download catalog and new PC titles.
Mary Jane Irwin contributed to this report.