Sony will no longer allow retailers to sell download codes
The tech giant is taking back control of its video games
There has been a push recently for video games to be stored by gamers digitally instead of physically. Sony is in favor of the digital option, but apparently wants to control how digital downloads are managed. A rumor started circulating recently that the company would no longer allow retailers to sell digital codes that would allow players to download the company’s titles. They will, however, be allowed to offer codes for virtual currencies and add-on content and the new policies go into effect April 1.
The news first broke from Wario64, an industry insider. He had reportedly gotten his hands on a memo that was circulating among GameStop employees that mentioned the upcoming changes by Sony. The Verge contacted Sony’s PlayStation division and received confirmation of the rumor, with a spokesperson explaining that the changes were being implemented in order to align the company’s key businesses across the globe.
The spokesperson asserted, “We can confirm that as of April 1, 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment [SIE] will no longer offer full games through SIE’s Global Digital at Retail program. This decision was made in order to continue to align key businesses globally. To support full games and premium editions, SIE will introduce increased denominations at select retailers. DLC, add-ons, virtual currency, and season passes will still be available.”
Digital downloads will still be offered on the PlayStation Store, so the option isn’t being eliminated completely. However, it will certainly take a cut of the already unstable brick-and-mortar video game retailer market and could be yet another nail in the coffin for GameStop and, possibly, others.