Wesley yin-Poole over at IGN reported that a Ubisoft Executive says gamers need to get used to not owning their games. With streaming on the rise, and more consoles not even having disc drives, he’s not entirely wrong. This is a classic case of don’t shoot the messenger. I get it, he’s a big, top-level executive who is only after corporate profits, etc. However, if you look at PC, it’s already there. They’ve been going strong with digital only releases for over a decade now. I can’t remember the last time I inserted any kind of disc to play games on my PC. Most discs serve as nothing more than DRM on consoles anyway. You put the disc in, it reads that it’s not bootlegged, then it proceeds to download the game from the online servers.
I honestly haven’t bought a game on disc in a long time. I’m worried about having my games taken away, but since it already takes so much storage space, I really don’t think it’s worth the extra hassle of taking the discs in and out. There is a renaissance of vinyl records coming back, but it’s under the perceived notion that they somehow sound better (they don’t). The games don’t load faster or perform better with a disc, so I don’t see the benefit other than “owning” it, and being able to sell your game later. A 4K Blu-ray disc looks better than streaming (depending on your internet speeds). A disc based game looks and plays the same.
Hopefully, as more consumers adopt the digital marketplace, we will see more consumer friendly practices, like being able to return a game for any reason within a 2-hour window similar to what Steam offers. We could also see cross-buy services, similar to the way PlayStation did with the Vita. GOG already offers DRM-free games on their platform.
Another thing that would be great to see is the elimination of pre-order bonuses as streaming takes over. Most streaming platforms include these deluxe editions and pre-order bonuses in their games when you’re playing it through a streaming service.
In the end, we are going to see the end of disc-based games. Digital will take over by the next console generation. Whether it’s better is up for you to decide.
I was born and raised in a town so small there were more cows than people. I joined the USAF as soon as I could, and I currently reside in San Antonio. I am a singer/songwriter on the side, but I've been a gamer since birth. I grew up with PlayStation and Nintendo, though, I don't discriminate between consoles and PC. I have a PC with a 3080, Steam Deck, and a PS5.