Commenting on its Q1 FY21 financial results, EA said that 52% of its console full game unit sales over the past 12 months were digital.
This seems to be on par with other publishers. For Take Two, the ratio of digital sales was 55% in financial year 2020, while Sony reported that 51% of all games sold on PS4 in financial year 2020 were digital.
Even if COVID-19 is responsible for some of the growth in the digital department, 50%+ is shaping up to be the standard at the launch of the next-gen consoles.
While boxed sales are still strong, digital sales have grown from five to ten times since the launch of the current-gen consoles. Daniel Ahmad of Niko Partners notes that “we entered the current console generation (2013) with digital downloads accounting for around 5-10% of unit sales.”