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News video games 05 August 2020, 16:09

author: Bart Swiatek

Boxed PlayStation Games in Retreat

The sales of boxed versions of games are becoming less and less important for the PlayStation brand - in the past quarter it generated only 6% of revenues related to digital entertainment. 74% of games were sold through digital distribution and most of the money is earned by expansions and microtransactions.

Physical media is losing its importance.


  1. Only 6% of PlayStation's revenue comes from the sales of boxed games;
  2. 74% of copies are sold through digital distribution (an increase of 21% compared to last year);
  3. The most money is earned on sales of expansions (41%) and digital games (24%);
  4. Number of PS Plus subscribers is growing (6.1 million in the last quarter);
  5. It was the best quarter in the history of PSN.

Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners, shared a slide on Twitter from a presentation summarizing Sony's financial results in the first quarter of financial year 2020 (period from April 1 to June 30). The picture shows that sales of boxed games account for only 6% of revenues related to digital entertainment (USD 350 million).

As much as 74% of all game copiers were sold through digital distribution (last year it was only 53%, so the increase is significant). Daniel Ahmad notes that, looking at the current situation, it's hardly surprising that the Japanese company has decided to create a PlayStation 5 version without an optical drive.

Most of the money is earned through various expansions and microtransactions (as much as 41% - $2.29 billion) and digital versions of games (24% - $1.37 billion). Also, subscription revenues (referred to as PlayStation Plus, as well as PlayStation Now) constitute a greater part of Sony's "cake" (16% - USD 870 million) than the sales of traditional, boxed games.

It's worth noting that at the same time it was the best quarter in the history of PSN (it includes PlayStation Store and subscription services). The number of PlayStation Plus subscribers increased by 6.1 million (to 44.9 million) at the time, due to the coronavirus pandemic - people played more and wanted to be able to play with friends.

  1. PlayStation - official website
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