Sony Stoped selling PS4 Download Code to Retail

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Sony has confirmed that it will indeed prevent retailers like GameStop from selling digital download codes for PlayStation 4 games starting April 1st, 2019. The news, first circulated late last week via a leaked memo obtained by popular game deals watcher Wario64, means that players who do not want to input credit card information into Sony’s PSN platform will no longer be able to buy digital versions of games from physical brick-and-mortar stores. Sony confirmed that it isn’t just GameStop being cut out of the download code business, but all retailers.

Sony confirms the GameStop memo (starting April 1st, full game download codes will not be available for purchase through all retailers. Amazon, GameStop, Best Buy, GMG, etc.) said by Wario

There are still some uncertainties here. It’s not clear how large those new denominations will be, as Amazon and other stores already sell PSN gift cards worth as much as $100. (In this case, Sony could be referencing the digital wallet limit, which right now is $200.) It’s also not clear what this means for the online components of companies like Best Buy and GameStop, for instance if those websites will still be allowed to sell full game codes online instead of in-store. Additionally, we don’t know if Amazon or other online-only retailers that sell digital versions of PS4 games will be affected by the policy change. We’ve reached out to Sony for additional comment and will update this article when we hear back.

The relevance of brick-and-mortar retail for the game industry has largely rested on the marketing perks stores like GameStop can offer, while a fair chunk of purchasing is still done by parents looking for advice and recommendations from in-store associates. Game publishers also see appeasing customers that like to sell back new games and buy used ones as important enough to continue letting companies like GameStop eat into their sales, by raking in used game revenue and taking a cut of physical game sales. That’s starting to change. Now, with Sony moving to cut GameStop and others out of the digital business, it’s likely retailers will feel even more pressure as customers move more purchasing online and away from physical discs.

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