I don’t know about you, but the last time I strolled into a video game store, I struggled to locate anything remotely original. I struggled, of course, because every box cover that strewed out on the shelves immediately struck a bell. Without even having to graze over the origins, I already knew that Game Pass held ninety percent of the titles on its evolving platform. And that got me thinking: just how long will it be before Microsoft completely dethrone the physical marketplace and send the high street packing? Seems to me that they’re already on the brink of doing so — especially after acquiring Bethesda Softworks.
With such a fantastic line of offers constantly being promoted, players are steering to the digital marketplace as opposed to the high street now more than ever. And that’s sad — especially for the smaller links who’re struggling to make ends meet with Coronavirus exacerbating things. However, it seems as though the high street has been on the decline for years now, and it really is only a matter of time before the hourglass tipples its final grain, leaving Microsoft to pave the way for future gaming.
How long before Microsoft sweeps the high street of all its stores?
After acquiring ZeniMax, Game Pass has gone on to expand its library to even greater heights. Bundle in EA Play and a flow of Xbox exclusives — and you’ve got yourself a sturdy portfolio for all ages. Top that off with the possibility of Ubisoft+ joining the fold, and it’s suddenly an unbeatable service. Of course, going digital does come at the cost of losing the fancy steelbooks, collector’s items and whatnot — but it is a price the majority are willing to pay these days — especially with video games doubling in price.
All in all, it doesn’t bode well for the frontline workers who’re only looking to sell video games for a living. But then, it’s something we’ve all been preparing for for years now. Microsoft is fighting tooth and nail to overthrow Sony from the podium, only by doing so, the physical marketplace slowly dies along with the memories of a much simpler time. And as for 2022 and beyond, well — your guess is as good as mine. Whatever happens, it’s probably best to stay loyal to your local chain. Just in case.
Best of luck to all those struggling during these unprecedented times — especially on the high street. As the digital marketplace continues to draw more users to its base, here’s hoping a special place will always remain out on the frontlines.