Digital downloads aren’t promised and that’s why keeping physical copies of your favourite games is advisable.
I found an article close to my heart by Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo entitled You Should Hoard Physical Copies of the Video Games You Love.
He explained how anyone who owned a copy of Tetris on iOS would lose it for good after EA announced it on the official app page. The reason? EA’s licence on mobile devices ran out as they don’t own the game but they can still develop Tetris titles on other platforms.
Licences run out all the time. But when it comes to digital-only games, that’s when it gets tricky. That means they have to come down and, unless someone is good enough to transfer it onto a hard copy, it’s gone for good. And that’s why cartridges and discs are so good.
Did you know: According to Statista, digital copies accounted for 83% of all computer and video games sales in 2018. (Digital sales included subscriptions, digital full games, digital add-on content, mobile apps and social network gaming.)
I get that physical copies of games aren’t always convenient. They take up room so you have to store them. They come in boxes and most people throw them away. But there’s a downside to the bits and bytes of computer games when that’s all there are. If you can pay for a product and still not really “own” it, what’s the point? Fans of the Tetris iOS took to Reddit to express their displeasure at the announcement. It’s not even like you’re loaning the game.
So I agree with Andrew. If you love your games, keep hard copies. Keep the boxes, the inserts, the manuals, and even the shrink wrap if you’re about that life. Make space for them and display them if you can. I still have all the stuff for my Pokémon games from the last 10 years.