Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t stop there. It’s now being reported that certain retailers across Europe are choosing not to list Xbox games anymore, considering the system a “digital console.” Gamesindustry.biz head Christopher Dring claims in a recent YouTube video that a “major publisher” revealed to him that “several retailers” have stopped stocking Xbox games.
While he couldn’t confirm the claim, it was told to him by a substantial senior European publisher, so its legitimacy is not doubted much. It’s believed that retailers may not be impacted by this decision, as Xbox is increasingly seen as digital dominant, similar to PC and mobile. It’s become clear that Xbox doesn’t put as much effort into its hardware as PlayStation and Nintendo do, instead focusing on integrating people into the Xbox ecosystem with Game Pass, regardless of platform.
Xbox’s most popular title of 2023, Hi-Fi Rush, was a digital exclusive, as is its next big upcoming title, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. Alan Wake 2 and Baldur’s Gate 3, two titles that swept The Game Awards last year, are also currently digital-only titles. It’s apparent that big publishers and developers aren’t too bothered about the risks of not having a physical presence on the high street, and it seems as though Xbox is doing its best to push us all into an all-digital future as soon as possible.