Tesco, the UK supermarket chain, will no longer stock physical video games in its 2,800 stores, Gamesindustry.biz has learned. This appears to be in large part thanks to the current buying habits of customers, who, according to Tesco, are now leaning “towards digital entertainment.” The news comes a few months after GameStop revealed that it would be closing all of its 35 stores in Ireland after major losses.
“You saw what happened with the pandemic, with digital racing ahead more than anything we had forecasted… Customers rushed to online, and although some came back, it’s not been all,” said Nick Arran, boss of UK retail chain GAME, who claimed last month that it would be the last-standing source for physical games. “You can see from market data that online is 75% of the market. Before the pandemic, it was 45%.”
The games market across the UK has rapidly accelerated towards digital. Across the four big games of June — Diablo 4, Final Fantasy 16, Street Fighter 6 and F1 23 — less than 18% of these games were sold via physical stores.