Games: Brick vs. Tap

Further to the post in July in which I asked if Gamestop will survive, I was surprised to see a few pieces of news this week that are providing a glimpse into how full size content games will sold and accessed digitally in the future:

  • Madden NFL 16 - A game that sold over 6 million copies (Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Xbox) last year has been made available to play one week before official release date via Xbox One and EA. The catch? Signing up for EA Access for $4.99 per month and downloading the game via Xbox. If you then purchase the game digitally from EA, you are given 10% off. 
  • Gamefly Samsung TV Game Streaming - Gamefly has announced that Samsung Smart TVs are now capable of streaming a variety of games. At launch, the library of games seems quite limited.

Based on the success of initiatives like the ones above, I expect publishers to run similar campaigns and provide access to their catalog of games. The sooner the games are made available and the easier to access, the more likely a consumer will shift purchases from physical media to digital media. And as the purchases shift from brick to tap, the Gamestops and Best Buys of the world will see their share of the market negatively impacted. We saw this play out in music, movies and books. Video games are no different.