Origin, EA’s PC gaming platform and Steam competitor, has announced there will be no more games released on disc. From April 4th, the whole Origin catalog will be available as digital download only on PC and Mac.
This isn’t a surprising move: while console physical releases are still popular and common, since the rise of Steam and other PC gaming platforms, physical formats have looked more and more like a relic of the past. This announcement pretty much seals the fate of PC physical games.
Digital downloads are easy to manage for users, and it may be easier to control piracy if games are all tied to online services like Origin. All-digital also means less physical waste, which is better for the environment. Another issue is size – as AAA games get bigger and bigger, DVDs are simply not an efficient way to distribute them anymore. Many powerful laptops and ultrabooks don’t even have DVD drives, so the writing has been on the wall for a while.
Not everyone will be happy. Some people do have limited internet access and data plans, and for them a 35GB download might be a problem. Others are attached to the idea of physical purchases, and like the feel of boxed games.