Those in the UK vastly prefer digital to physical.
Photo showing a variety of physical game boxes for various Nintendo Switch titles on display in a store.

According to a new report by the BBC, physical game sales seem to be on the verge of being completely wiped out. Last year, the digital entertainment and retail association (ERA) says that 89.5% of all games sold in the UK were digital purchases. That leaves the remaining 10.5% as physical disc-based sales. In addition, about 30% of all total sales were for mobile apps.

The BBC continues on to say that the gaming industry hit sales of £4.7 billion (about $5.7 billion USD) in the UK in 2022. They say that this is higher than other industries such as film, television, and music.

The catch with these figures is that they are based on some best guess estimates. Digital storefront leaders, such as Steam on PC or PlayStation with the PlayStation Store, don't public exact sales figures. Instead, ERA uses estimates provided by a market research company called Omdia. These estimates are the so-called "the industry benchmark."

"In the old days, when there was pretty much only physical console games and PC discs, it was far easier to track the market," she said.

"These days, it's a lot more fragmented and sometimes the new digital players simply won't share their sales data directly - that's where estimates come in.

"The proof of the pudding is how the numbers are received and respected."​
The quote doesn't really explain much as to how they arrived at their conclusions beyond a "just trust us" vibe. It's more than likely that they are able to look at other storefronts that do share data and then extrapolate that to storefronts that don't share the data. You adjust the numbers a bit based on other known factors and bam, you have your 90/10 split between digital and physical sales.

When's the last time any of you have purchased a physical copy of a game? Do you prefer physical over digital purchases if given the choice?