Update: A Sony spokesperson has provided USG with a statement confirming the change in policy.
"We can confirm that as of April 1, 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment 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," said the spokesperson.
It an odd shift of policy, Sony Interactive Entertainment will apparently no longer allow retailers worldwide to see PlayStation Network game codes. Currently, you can buy digital PSN game codes on other retailers, and then redeem them on the PlayStation Store. Twitter user Wario64 was the first to note the change. He posted a memo from GameStop with the listed change.
Here is the full text outlining these changes (Sony full game digital codes at retail) pic.twitter.com/wY39bWyhaj— Wario64 (@Wario64) March 22, 2019
Starting April 1, it looks like all retailers worldwide will no longer sell game codes that can be redeemed on the PlayStation Store. GameStop is apparently going to work to remove all full digital game SKUs from its point-of-sale system "over the coming weeks." The major issue is GameStop customers who have pre-ordered digital PS4 games that come out after April 1, 2019. It seems two titles are exempt: Days Gone and Mortal Kombat 11.
"Guests with reservations on full game digital versions of PS4 games that release after April 1st, 2019 should be encouraged to switch their reservation to a physical version of the game. As an exception full game digital versions of Days Gone and Mortal Kombat 11 on PS4 will be available for sale in GameStop stores for one week after their respective official street dates, and reservations on digital versions of these two titles will be filled," says the memo.
Mortal Kombat 11 is coming on April 23, while Days Gone is planned for an April 26 release. There are only a few games that are coming to PS4 prior to those dates, but after April 1: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain, and World War Z. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy and Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain won't have physical releases in the West, so there won't be another option for GameStop customers who pre-ordered digital versions of those games.
Customers at GameStop purchased digital codes through that retailer because they could spend trade-in credit directly. Now they'll have to use that credit to buy PlayStation Store cards, in increments of $10, $20, $50, $75, or $100. GameStop customers that have a problem with the change are supposed to be directed to Sony directly at 800-345-7669.
USG has reached out to Sony for comment and will update the story when it's received.