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Capcom says 80 percent of its game sales are digital

Dragon
Dragon (Image credit: Capcom)

What you need to know

  • Capcom is a major game publisher and developer.
  • In a shareholder meeting, Capcom stated that 80% of its game sales are digital.
  • The company is working to get a 90% digital split.

Capcom develops and publishes multiple iconic game franchises, including Monster Hunter and Resident Evil. As digital storefronts have become more prominent, the split of games sold digitally versus physically has shifted — jarringly. In a shareholders meeting that was first noticed by GamesIndustry.biz, Capcom stated that 80% of its game sales are digital.

Capcom also explained that it will be "promoting our digital strategy with an objective of 90% [digital share]" for the time being. 2018's Monster Hunter World is Capcom's bestselling game of all time, with over 15.7 million copies sold. Meanwhile, the Resident Evil 3 remake that released earlier in 2020 has sold over 2 million copies.

Capcom's next big game is Resident Evil Village, which is set to release on Xbox Series X, PC and PS5 at some point in 2021. This survival-horror title is the eighth mainline entry in the franchise and features a first-person perspective, a snowy village and werewolves. Meanwhile, a Resident Evil 4 remake is rumored to be coming at some point in 2022.

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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

11 Comments
  • ugh.... Hope Capcom doesn't use this as an excuse to go all digital.
  • I know digital only is inevitable in the coming years, but by some miracle I hope physical media sticks around for a very long time. I am probably in the minority, but for some of my games I buy on disc and digital to have the benefits of both formats. I think the push for the digital format is for multiple reasons. 1.) When you buy a game on disc it still has to download a massive amount of gigabytes that won't fit on the disk and/or for patches. 2.) I think discs are reaching their maximum capacity for read reliability, and I don't think I've ever seen a Blu-ray game with multiple discs. 3.) The size of games is growing faster than memory chips can keep up and still be cost effective to put games on.
  • and... the simple fact that publishers can charge full MSRP and not have to pay for pressing discs, printing package labels and shipping to vendors. But, like the original Xbox Live, and the original Wii eshop have proven, once it's gone, there's no real way to obtain product you paid for. When will we loose access to things like the PS3, Vita 3DS and other online stores? Besides piracy, how will we be able to obtain product we purchased? I know every once in a while, I'll pop in a classic, original, game into an older system (playing a few Genesis and Saturn games at the moment) and in a digital only future, console gamers may lose that.
  • Based on the fact that they still make dvds and cds I think we will be fine for a while.
  • The only way to go now is to download these games onto external storage and never ever delete them, and hope your storage drives never fail. I have a 12TB external that I download every single one of my XB1 and backcompat 360 games on. I never delete downloaded games, and I keep them all constantly updated with latest patches. If/when the servers eventually go offline, I'll be ready.
  • The biggest point you didn't include - to bypass the used games market. This is the most important to publishers. Digital games have no second-hand market. Therefore, every single sale accrues directly to the publisher. Every single person that plays a digital game has paid directly to the publisher, very different from physical media where the used games market make up a good portion of the business, and the publishers have no piece of those transactions.
  • Not only that the used market helps regulate the price. The price of a new physical game will drop a lot faster over time because of the used games market.
    MS and now Sony are pushing for 100% digital because they want the monopoly. They want to be able to control the price of the market.
  • Wow, thats a huge number.
  • I think publishers love this trend. The main issue with physical is the used market, especially for gamers that only play a game once and that's it forever - they are not interested in collecting games. These gamers flood the used market with games as early as one week or two after the games are released to recoup some cost, while more patient gamers wait to buy used games at a fraction of the original MSRP. Although I don't sell my games, I hardly ever buy physical games brand new, except it's on sale, and never at initial MSRP (like ever). Most of my physical games I get used at like a third of the original price or even less sometimes. Publishers would rather sell directly to every single individual that play their games. The current XB1/PS4/Switch generation is my last physical one, I'm moving for good to digital, most games are anyways completely fragmented now, you only get an unfinished shell of the game on disc - DLCs and all the patch updates make the physical disc a decorative ornament for your shelves. Except you wait for a few years for the 'Definitive Edition' which may never come.
  • Trading or selling games at Gamestop was a nightmare, dollar wise. I ended up just giving them away to some kids or donating them to a local charity.
  • Well we are in 2020 aren't we?