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Destiny 2 has sold more digital copies than physical discs

According to a new statement by Activision, Destiny 2 sold more digital copies than physical copies. Given the fact that Destiny 2 is the best-selling game this year in the United States according to The NPD Group, this is an interesting piece of information that points to a larger shift in the industry.

In a report from VentureBeat regarding Activision's quarterly financial results, the publisher revealed that "digital mix was over 50 percent of console full-game sell‐through, a new record for the company."

In 2017 industry analysts and other publishers put digital sales at around 30 percent for a game but Destiny 2 seems to be an exception. The title is dependent on an internet connection so that might be one of the factors as to why gamers prefer to buy digitally. No matter how you look at it, coupled with the fact that digital sales for publishers are growing every year, this information supports the hypothesis that the gaming industry is moving towards a digital future. If this trend continues, it won't be long before the majority of console game sales will be digital.

The rise of features like game sharing may also contribute to individuals opting for a digital copy. For example, a household with two Xbox One consoles may buy a title digitally so that they can play the game together at the same time instead of relying on a disc which limits it to just one device.

If you haven't played Destiny 2, be sure to check it out. It's a great game and a lot of fun if you have the right team. Make sure to read our review if you like multiplayer shooters.

Keep an eye on WindowsCentral.com/Gaming for all the latest in Xbox and Windows 10 gaming, accessories, news, and reviews!

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

30 Comments
  • Not surprising really, buying digital is easier. And all those extra's, deals etc that come with buying a digital games makes people go for it quicker. And humans become more lazier too :P jk
  • The author states the norm for digital sales is 30%, so not exactly sure how 1 data point signals a trend...or backs up the hypothesis that game sales are "moving" towards digital sales..."moving" needs to data points to determine a direction...
  • No, he’s says the 30% figure is growing year on year. RFA
  • Not sure where you're getting year over year from... "Usually industry analysts and other publishers put their digital sales at around 30 percent for a game." No where in there does the author imply or state that digital game sales are increasing 30% per year...
  • "No matter how you look at it, coupled with the fact that digital sales for publishers are growing every year,"
  • who buys discs anymore?!
  • Me?
  • I do when I can. I like to own the things I own. It's mostly pointless on PC these days unfortunately. But I buy discs for my PS4 and cartridges for my Switch.
  • I buy digital everything now, but for Switch owners who like physical copies to own it it's not always so simple unfortunately - Not with the rising number of 3rd party games that require an extra download
  • Smart people who don't want to pay over the odds, digital still costs more 99% of the time so I would rather have a disc for £15 less. Plus digital things get removed from the stores still and I may want to play the game at some point after completing and uninstalling, imagine I come back in a few years and can't download or the Xbox and store is even closed!!
  • When the servers for Destiny get taken down the physical copy will be just as useless as the digital one. I'm pretty sure MS digital policy enables you to redownload any digital purchase from your history.
  • But the majority of games don't need servers, in games like desteny it meakes sence to buy digital, but in the majority of other games it doesn't.
  • People who aren't confident in their internet speed, stability or bandwidth allowance to download what is fast approaching 100GB+ game sizes. Even for an always-online game like Destiny it saves a lot of hassle not needing to download it all.  
  • really like the idea of physical boxes with digital codes inside.
  • I'd love that!
  • Originally you were going to get a physical box, with a physical disc and a digital license - But people complained too much and now we have a more old school divide between the two
  • That's just a tremendous waste of plastic.
  • I haven't bought a physical disc since the Fallout 4 collectors edition, and that was to get the Pipboy.
  • Nobody should be surprised by this.
  • The majority of my XBO games are digital purchases.
  • There's no point in buying a disc. The game requires an online server to play. The server shuts down, the game is useless. Buying discs makes more sense for offline games. I would never buy The Witcher 3 digitally, for example, because it makes no sense. Destiny 2 selling more Digital than Physical copies really doesn't mean anything.
  • Hate to say it, but Destiny 2 does NOT have the staying power of the original game. I don't know if it is the poorer gun mechanics or just how the game is setup - but i got bored with it very quickly after playing the original Destiny up to launch of Destiny 2.
  • Oh, and games still come on disc?
  • Oh gee I wonder why? Could it be that the retail boxes contained digital codes only and you still had to download the game? Ergo there was no incentive to buy retail. That was the case in Australia anyway. Having said that, I DID buy retail because it was the cheapest I could find anywhere in the world (around US$45).
  • I buy Single Player games retail, and multiplayer games digitally, generally because I don't have time to go back to SP games so I sell them when I'm done, MP I can always quickly jump on every now and then and have a bash.
  • That's not a bad idea/system to use. I buy all mine digitally because I don't want to take up space and just like the convenience. I don't tend to keep my consoles for years or when the next gen comes out
  • I buy digital as my kids can't break or scratch them
  • I remember EA also gave out similar number (50%).
    Gears of War 4 on vgchartz is around 3.11m, but there was a rumor indicating the previous event had 6.4m attendees. More than 50%.. Price money for each e-sport events are pretty high too. Not just XPA and cross-play between Xboxes, BC is also easier with digitals.
    I don't want to keep things (lazy to sale 2nd hands either), don't really want to keep many old consoles, don't like switches. I'm full digital.
  • Do PC players even have a choice? Silly statistics.
  • I only buy digital.