Video game sales are going increasingly digital, but according to financial analysts there's a chance that 100 percent of video game sales could go digital by the year 2022. That's only four years until we might have to say good bye to physical discs.
"It is a certainty that video games will be approximately 100 percent digital in the coming years," wrote Piper Jaffray analysts in a report on Monday. "While exact timing is hard to pinpoint, we think 2022 is a realistic expectation."
Analyst predictions are a dime a dozen however. Piper Jaffray's report mostly highlights how an all-digital revenue future for video games could increase the margins of companies like Activision Blizzard and EA, which the report says could see a boost in operating margins by 10 percent within five years if things go as planned. Take-Two Interactive, which owns Rockstar and 2K Games, is singled out as a company well-poised for all-digital, presumably based on the success of GTA Online.
At the same time, rumors that next-gen gaming could rely heavily on streaming games and Microsoft's announcement that it is looking into streaming technology on any devices could suggest that streaming is something to seriously consider in the near-future. Even Ubisoft's CEO believes that after the next-gen hardware, streaming is the next big play for video game developers.
Again, these reports are written on the expectations of analysts who are looking for ways their investments can yield greater returns, but that doesn't mean that there is no truth to these reports either. Based on the announcements of various video game companies, streaming is clearly on the minds of industry leaders. And with it the Sony dream of 2013 might die after all.