Sony Will No Longer Provide Download Codes for Full PS4 Games to Retailers


Sony has confirmed they plan to strike a fairly nasty blow against video game retailers, cutting off the flow of full-game digital download codes. While most people who walk into a GameStop or Best Buy are probably going to walk out with a physical, boxed game, you also have the option to buy digital download cards for many titles. Apparently, this will end on April 1.

This news was first leaked by gaming deal wizard Wario64, who posted an internal GameStop memo addressing Sony’s new policy (this will affect all retailers, not just GameStop).

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Sony later issued a statement to Eurogamer, confirming the change…

“We can confirm that as of April 1, 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment will no longer offer full games through SIE's Global Digital at Retail program. This decision was made in order to continue to align key businesses globally. To support full games and premium editions, SIE will introduce increased denominations at select retailers. DLC, add-ons, virtual currency, and season passes will still be available."

Sony will still allow retailers to sell PSN credit gift cards, as well as DLC, add-ons, virtual currency, and season passes, but full digital games will have to be purchased through the PlayStation Store. At this point, it isn’t entirely clear if online retailers like Amazon, or the online storefronts of brick-and-mortar retailers like GameStop and Best Buy, will still be able to sell codes, but it seems likely they’re also cut off.

Platform-holders pushing digital sales and services like Xbox Game Pass is nothing new, but Sony’s latest attempt to cut retailers out of the loop is particularly brazen. This move is likely to hit GameStop especially hard, as the company is already reeling in the face of falling sales and a failed buyout.

What are your thoughts on Sony’s move? Is the company being too brash, or does the option to buy digital games at GameStop and the like not really matter to you?