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UK supermarket giant will no longer be selling physical copies of games

Tesco logo with a clear, blue sky behind it.

So soon after GameStop pulled out of Ireland

A lot of people are more likely to opt for digital copies of games rather than physical ones these days. In fact, 70% of games sold in 2022 were digital downloads, and there’s little reason to suggest this trend won’t continue. As such, retailers may see less and less reason to stock actual physical stock, and that’s what’s currently happening in the United Kingdom.

According to a report from GamesIndustry.biz, Tesco – one of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains – will stop selling physical copies of games across all 2,800 of its outlets. It seems as though the retail giant is making the change due to the move “towards digital entertainment.”

Tesco: a series of physical Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox video games.
Image via VGC.

The company has said it will continue to sell digital store points, however, but physical copies will not be sold once current stocks have depleted.

Digital is king, it seems

This development comes not long after GameStop had to cease operating in Ireland, closing all 35 stores in the country, eight of which were in the capital city of Dublin. GameStop made the announcement on Instagram back in May. It seems physical copies are just becoming less and less prevalent in this modern gaming era. Another report says that 87% in the UK of sales of Diablo 4, Street Fighter 6, Final Fantasy XVI, and F1 23 were through digital downloads.

That doesn’t necessarily mean physical games won’t still be around for some time. The current-gen release of The Witcher 3 launched physical copies at the start of 2023, and a bit further down the line, the hit indie game Stray also released a physical edition.

However, the fact that these were news stories shows just how rare it’s becoming. Even though there may be some of you out there who want to retain physical media, digital gaming is now proving itself to be the dominant choice.

Andrew Heaton

Andrew has been a gamer since the 17th century Restoration period. He now writes for a number of online publications, contributing news and other articles. He does not own a powdered wig.

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