Sony has confirmed that it will effectively prevent retailers such as GameStop from selling digital download codes for PlayStation 4 games from April 1, 2019. The news was released late last week through a leaked note obtained by . Wario64 means that players who do not want to enter credit card information on Sony's PSN platform will no longer be able to buy digital versions of physical physical store games. Sony confirmed that not only is GameStop being eliminated from the business of download codes, but all retailers.
"We can confirm that as of April 1, 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment will no longer offer complete games through SIE's Global Digital at Retail program," explains a PlayStation spokesperson The Verge . "This decision was made to continue to align key businesses worldwide. To support full games and premium editions, SIE will present an increase in denominations in select retailers. The DLC, the add-ons, the virtual currency and the season passes will still be available. "
In other words, if you want to continue buying digital versions of PS4 games offline, you can technically do it through the virtual currency. that Sony will offer more PSN credit options through some retailers, to help players who want to buy luxury digital editions, etc., and to cover the total cost of a game plus taxes at the time of payment. to make the final purchase in PSN, instead of doing it in a store like GameStop and receive a code that will enter when you're at home and online.
There are still some uncertainties here It is not clear how big these new denominations will be, since Amazon and other stores already sell PSN gift cards worth up to $ 100. (In this case, Sony could be referring to the digital wallet limit, which in this moment is $ 200). It is also unclear what this means for the online components of companies like Best Buy and GameStop, for example, if those websites can still do so. sell complete game codes online instead of in the store. Also, we do not know if the changes in the policy will affect Amazon or other retailers that only sell online and sell digital versions of PS4 games. We have contacted Sony for additional comments and will update this article when we communicate.
As Sony explains, you can still buy codes in the store to download content and other digital add-ons, such as seasonal passes for games that offer them. According to the filtered GameStop note, there will also be a period of one week after the release of the upcoming titles Days Gone and Mortal Kombat 11 where you can buy physical material download the code in GameStop. It is not clear if it will be the same for other retailers. For future new titles and even for existing previous orders, Sony is suggesting that customers change the advance order to a physical copy if they do not want to buy it directly on PSN. It seems that GameStop will be responsible for helping customers of the digital versions of the games manage their transition processes.
The announcement is bad news for GameStop, which earlier this month announced a new CEO after failing to find a buyer for the business. Since then, and after a sad earnings report in January, the company's stock has declined significantly, as its business is based on current and cozy relationships with game publishers and console makers such as Sony.
The importance of retailing bricks and mortar for the gaming industry has largely been based on the marketing advantages that stores such as GameStop can offer, and because game publishers see complacent customers giving them like to sell new games and buy used games as important enough to continue allowing companies like GameStop to consume their sales and eliminate all purchases of physical games. That is beginning to change. Now, when Sony is moving to eliminate GameStop and others from the digital business, retailers are likely to feel even more pressured by customers who increasingly move around buying games online and away from physical disks.