The number of physical console game releases continues to decline even as the number of digital console games explodes.
Anyone watching the game industry knows that the console market is quickly shifting away from games sold on physical media and toward the digital download dominance that PC gamers have known for years .But a new exclusive analysis of NPD Game Pulse data conducted by Ars Technica shows the extent of the decline in physical console game production, even as the number of digital console titles continues to explode.
In terms of distinct game titles released in the United States, the raw number of new games available on physical media (i.e., discs or cartridges) dropped from 321 in 2018 to just 226 in 2021, a nearly 30 percent decline (games released on multiple consoles are counted as a single title in this measure).
The number of digital games released each year, on the other hand, remained relatively flat from 2018 through 2020.Then, in 2021, that number exploded to nearly 2,200 digital titles, a 64 percent increase from 2020.
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