Philippe Tremblay, director of subscriptions at Ubisoft, publicly expressed the necessity for gamers to transition from owning physical copies of games to embracing subscription models, adding his voice to the debate around subscription models versus owning games.

In an interview with GI.biz discussing the launch of Ubisoft‘s new Ubisoft+ Premium and Ubisoft+ Classics subscriptions, Tremblay highlighted the need for a shift in consumer mindset, drawing parallels to the evolution from owning physical DVDs to the convenience of streaming services.

“Gamers are used to, a little bit like DVDs, having and owning their games. That’s the consumer shift that needs to happen,” Tremblay explained. He emphasised that the comfort of not owning the game physically doesn’t mean losing progress, as subscription models allow players to retain their game data, making it easily accessible whenever they choose to play.

Despite the push towards digital subscriptions, Tremblay’s comments faced backlash from gamers who prefer owning physical copies. This debate also brings attention to concerns about video game preservation, as more titles rely on digital distribution, risking potential loss when servers are shut down.

Meanwhile, UK High Street chain Game has announced its decision to phase out its pre-owned video game business, Eurogamer first reported.

Digital sales, including subscription services like Sony’s PlayStation Plus and Microsoft‘s Game Pass, have gained prominence, with Game opting to focus on other aspects of entertainment.

While pre-owned games will still be available in standalone stores until stocks last, this move signifies a departure from the traditional model of purchasing second-hand titles.

The decision to discontinue pre-owned sales by Game has stirred discussions, especially in comparison to its rival Cex, which has built a successful business model around pre-owned electronics.

As the gaming industry undergoes significant transformations, from Ubisoft’s push for subscription models to Game’s shift away from pre-owned games, the debate between physical and digital ownership continues, shaping the future landscape of how gamers access and own their favourite titles.

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By GlobalData