Most kids want game currencies and subscriptions instead of physical titles for Christmas

midian182

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In brief: Remember when you were a kid and yearned for the latest boxed game for Christmas? While almost three-quarters of children in the US today want a video game-related product this holiday season, only 22% want physical games. In a sign of the times, subscriptions were the most popular gift idea, while in-game currency was more in demand than physical titles.

An Entertainment Software Association report backs up similar surveys indicating that physical game sales are dying. While 72% of 10- to 17-year-olds in the US want something video game-related this Christmas (86% boys, 59% girls), the thing they most desire is a game subscription: Thirty-nine percent asked for the likes of Xbox/PC Game Pass and PlayStation Plus subs. This category likely includes premium subscriptions for certain games, too, such as Roblox and Fortnite.

The next two most popular gifts were consoles (39%), which are a lot easier to get hold of these days, and game accessories (32%).

The next item on the list is in-game currency (29%). It might feel strange to see this sitting above physical games, but the massive popularity of Roblox and Fortnite among younger gamers explains why so many are after Robux and V-Bucks, the respective virtual currencies.

In addition to the 501 kids, the survey questioned over 500 adults. Of the 57% of parents considering buying video game-related presents for their children, the average amount they said they're planning on spending is $485, a price likely inflated by those purchasing consoles. Furthermore, one in three adults said they plan to buy video games for themselves or others, a figure higher than other gift ideas such as money and gift cards (70%) or tech such as smartphones and smartwatches (62%). The least popular item was books at 26%.

The survey only has a small sample size, but physical games have been dying out in favor of digital alternatives for years. We all know it happened a long time ago on the PC, and consoles are starting to go this way with the release of Digital Editions of the machines that lack disc drives.

It's not just the game industry that's becoming fully digital; shopping in general is going the same way. In-store purchases this Black Friday were up just 1% year-over-year, while online sales increased 8.5% compared to last year.

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Developers are loving the idea of digital distribution. The removal of physical means they have very little overhead to deal with in terms of many things: DVD/BD buying, copying data to discs, designing/creating/manufacturing packing material for said discs, artwork, publishing/copyright and so on. This is a developers wet dream! Less money spent on the backend means more money in their pockets!

For the consumer though, it's awful. You're giving up control for a little more convenience. You're now tied to some sort of digital distribution so you can download and run/play the software.

The second thing that developers love about going digital only is the gain of power and control they get over the consumers. If a developer doesn't want you guys playing their 5 year old version of an online game anymore they turn of their servers. On the flip side, they release something new they can dig their hooks into you (more dependence on them for hosting said servers, loot boxes, DLCs and so on) so you can't go anywhere else to use the product and you can only use it when they tell you that you can.

People seem to enjoy having control taken away from them because most seem to fully support this paradigm shift. I don't like it. I don't like having to be dependent on a digital distribution platform for viewing movies I paid for or for playing games I paid for. I'm sure I'm just in the very small minority here, but I'm surprised more people aren't pushing back against this....I guess they like not being in control.

I've been working on purchasing DVD/BD of movies and TV shows that are out there that I like and I'm also working picking up whatever physical PC games are out there - yeah, they're not current games, but there are a lot of older games that still run on today's hardware as long as you have a disc drive to read the discs. I'm sitting on 1000+ DVD/BD movies and over 4 dozen TV series on disc that are all copied to my server and backed up multiple times.
 
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Subs make perfect sense. If you are a kid, gamepass/ PS plus giving away free games every month is a fantastic deal. I remember asking for xbox gold as a teen because it was the most beneficial gift considering how much halo I was playing.

Marketplace currency also makes sense, no different then a gamestop gift card 10 years ago.

Developers are loving the idea of digital distribution. The removal of physical means they have very little overhead to deal with in terms of many things: DVD/BD buying, copying data to discs, designing/creating/manufacturing packing material for said discs, artwork, publishing/copyright and so on. This is a developers wet dream! Less money spent on the backend means more money in their pockets!

For the consumer though, it's awful. You're giving up control for a little more convenience. You're now tied to some sort of digital distribution so you can download and run/play the software.

The second thing that developers love about going digital only is the gain of power and control they get over the consumers. If a developer doesn't want you guys playing their 5 year old version of an online game anymore they turn of their servers. On the flip side, they release something new they can dig their hooks into you (more dependence on them for hosting said servers, loot boxes, DLCs and so on) so you can't go anywhere else to use the product and you can only use it when they tell you that you can.

People seem to enjoy having control taken away from them because most seem to fully support this paradigm shift. I don't like it. I don't like having to be dependent on a digital distribution platform for viewing movies I paid for or for playing games I paid for. I'm sure I'm just in the very small minority here, but I'm surprised more people aren't pushing back against this....I guess they like not being in control.

I've been working on purchasing DVD/BD of movies and TV shows that are out there that I like and I'm also working picking up whatever physical PC games are out there - yeah, they're not current games, but there are a lot of older games that still run on today's hardware as long as you have a disc drive to read the discs. I'm sitting on 1000+ DVD/BD movies and over 4 dozen TV series on disc that are all copied to my server and backed up multiple times.
While I agree on the lack of control, I think you minimize the convenience factor. I, for one, dont miss having bookshelves and racks full of games, or more importantly, having to MOVE them. Game disks getting scratched or otherwise failing was a constant problem. Buying USED games, sure it was cheaper, but you were playing Russian roulette every time.

My Steam library alone would take an entire bookshelf to hold in physical form. I look at my small collection of DVDs from childhood, and think of the number of lost instruction books with CD keys or scratched disks that only fail 3/4ths of the way through the game, of having to visit multiple stores on the twice monthly trip into town hoping to find the title you want, and all the other bluster of physical media, and I remember why digital won out in the first place.

Besides, the nature of modern games makes physical media a moot point. Why bother buying a copy of a game when you need a 20GB mandatory patch to play it anyway? If the internet goes down or the servers are pulled, that disk is nothing but a fancy drink coaster now. Always online DRM has been a thing regardless of medium. Being on disk doesnt give us back custom server hosting, or a DRM free experience. The on disk versions of Overwatch or Battlefield or COD have just as many microtransactions, DLC, lootboxes, ece as their digital counterparts.

Control can also be wrestled from you. Remember SecuROM? How about SafeDisc? On windows 10, you are ROYALLY F***** because neither are supported, those disks are now useless.

GoG proves the real issue isnt the medium, its the attitude of developer sand publishers. Nothing is stopping the modern game industry from giving us great experiences. Baulders gate 3 can be had, DRM free, right now. The issue has been, and always will be, greed.
 
You stuck around longer than I did. I dipped after the original Xbox + softmod to PC only.
I didnt have high speed internet until 2009, so it was disk or nothing. Didnt have any money until 2012. Lived in a small town, no real economic opportunity, so until I graduated and got a real job I made do.

I was still using my dell dimension 4600 with a first gen celeron D until 2011. Upgraded to NORTHWOOD WOOO! I distinctly remember once we got internet having to watch videos at 360p because my CPU couldnt handle decoding 480p or higher, and neither could my 2600xt.
 
I didnt have high speed internet until 2009, so it was disk or nothing. Didnt have any money until 2012. Lived in a small town, no real economic opportunity, so until I graduated and got a real job I made do.

I was still using my dell dimension 4600 with a first gen celeron D until 2011. Upgraded to NORTHWOOD WOOO! I distinctly remember once we got internet having to watch videos at 360p because my CPU couldnt handle decoding 480p or higher, and neither could my 2600xt.
I remember the times. I use to play in my neighbor place on x386. Megalomania great game. Then commodore 64, Amiga 500 Settlers man split screen. Then 600. Even on TV some simple games. I never had Atari thought. Anyway use it as long it works. Good stuff man.
 
An entire generation addicted to online casinos, masquerading as videogames.
I predict more strict regulations for games like fifa fc. And sooner it happens the better it is. Making billions of single virtual player cards is both sad and concerning. Millions of young people simple can't control themselves and even sadder do not have anyone to help them understand these scammers.
Casinos make less than these "game pack companies."
 
I predict more strict regulations for games like fifa fc. And sooner it happens the better it is. Making billions of single virtual player cards is both sad and concerning. Millions of young people simple can't control themselves and even sadder do not have anyone to help them understand these scammers.
Casinos make less than these "game pack companies."
You cant regulate bad parenting. Somebody is buying those virtual cards, and it isnt kids or teens making $60k a year funding this.

Most microtransaction spending comes from the 25-40 age demographic. It's all adults buying this.
 
"Most kids" are here to carry forward all signs of profound society degradation, inherent from their parents and the environment. So, there's that.

And in terms of morality, education and social skills, we are moving fast backward now. The future looks very grim, in my view.
 
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