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SA PC Gaming: A Look at Physical vs. Digital Prices

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Earlier this week, we talked about the price hike for digital PC games on both Origin and Steam. Below you'll find the prices for the boxed versions of those games that are currently listed by retailers.

Digital has always been more expensive than the disc counterparts; but why the latest price hike for digital? For years we've talked about how digital purchases are overtaking physical purchases, and in November last year Steam releases received the VAT treatment.

Remember the 2014 PriceWaterhousCooper annual Outlook report? They predicted that in 2018 Internet access would account for up to 52.5% of overall user spending in South Africa. Here's a summary of their forecast: (read the full article here.)

  • 27 % of console revenue will be digital in 2018
  • Digital revenue will overtake physical purchases in 2014
  • By the end of the forecast period, 63% of video game purchases will be digital
  • Video games will lead the way for digital spending in South Africa

Digital vs. Physical Prices

Let's take the best-priced PC digital and compare it to best-priced PC physical version to try and see how the margin has jumped. Please keep in mind, prices reflected as at the time of writing.

In November last year, I did a price comparison for all the big November game releases. So, to put the above details in perspective, let's see if digital prices has jumped as much as we believe. November 2015 shows a R147 price difference between Black Ops 3 PC digital vs discs. A year later, the same Call of Duty comparison shows a R150 difference. Are we making a big fuss over nothing? Physical game prices, of course, also increased from 2014 to 2015. Last year BLOPS 3 sold for R699 on Loot, and in November 2016 it will cost you R849 - again a R150 difference. Lastly, let's compare the fluctuation in exchange rates. 

All things considered, it looks like we received a fair price increase, however, the recent R400 jump for Battlefield 1 on Origin falls squarely under "unfair."

Now that you hopefully feel a bit better about the supposedly higher prices, here's a look at what PC gamers can expect to pay for the top 5 upcoming games - disc versions. TL;DR: You'll need R3885 to play all five upcoming games - standard edition, and you'll need R5135 for the special editions. (All prices reflected as at the time of writing. Top three retailer prices listed.)

Upcoming PC games - Standard Editions Physical

  1. FIFA 17: Loot R859 / Takealot R865 / Raru R869 / 29 September 2016
  2. Mafia III: Raru R619 / Loot R619 / BT Games R625 / 07 October 2016
  3. Battlefield 1: Loot R859 / Raru R889 / BT Games R899 / 21 October 2016
  4. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare: Loot R849 / Raru R862 / 04 November 2016
  5. Dishonored 2: Raru R699 / Loot R699 / 11 November 2016

Upcoming PC games - Special Editions Physical

  1. Mafia 3 Collector's: Loot R1449 / Raru R1549 / Takealot R1699 / 07 October 2016
  2. Mafia 3 Deluxe: Raru R889 / Loot R899 / 07 October 2016
  3. Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition: Loot R1199 / Raru R1207 / 04 November 2016
  4. Dishonored 2 Collector's: Loot R1179 / Raru R1199 / 11 November 2016
  5. Watch Dogs 2 Collector's: Loot R1499 / Raru R1499 / 15 November 2016

Keep an eye on GameZone for a look at the South African console gaming prices.


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