Microsoft might be executing its rumored plan of becoming digital-only as the new round of layoffs allegedly includes their entire physical game department.
While the story of layoffs is still developing, it’s known that many Blizzard executives have left the company, and their survival game, “Odyssey“, has also been cancelled.
However, it’s rumored Microsoft might have also layed off the team responsible for bringing physical media to retail, which might be an important flag indicating the company is in the process of becoming digital-only.
The managing editor of Windows Central has suggested this is the case:
The editor notes that Microsoft might not be completely done with physical games yet, but it is clear what direction the company is trying to take. This is also obvious after their codenamed “Brooklin” and “Ellewood” Xbox Series X and S (respectively) refreshes leaked, both of which are digital-only.
Digital games (games obtained through downloading and/or have no physical disc) are often denounced by consumers because a digital-only title can be lost through the negligence of the developer/company.
On top of this, digital games can also be lost if the account associated with it is banned, which can be a result of the player doing/saying something the developer/company doesn’t agree with (or at a whim for no reason at all).
Digital-only games also make video game preservation significantly harder, if not impossibly so.
The late 2023 leaks for their codenamed “Brooklin” and “Ellewood” Xbox Series X and S (respectively) refreshes, both of which are only listed as digital consoles, had many believing the consoles would be digital-only, though this hasn’t been officially confirmed.
Comments from those online weren’t exactly ecstatic for the news: