68% of Xbox subs bought at retail

The High Street can play a major part in selling digital games, and Microsoft has the proof.

Two thirds of Xbox Live Gold members paid for their subscriptions via traditional retailers, the platform holder told MCV.

It highlights the extent to which retail has played a major role in growing Xbox Live, and Microsoft is working on a number of new initiatives to help stores get a slice of its digital revenue.

The firm added it has no plans to release full game downloads at the same time as their boxed counterparts, out of respect for retail. It is in contrast to Sony, which revealed earlier this year that PlayStation Vita games will be released digitally and in a box at the same time.

There are no plans in terms of that kind of day and date parity,” said Xbox Live marketing manager for EMEA Robin Burrowes. "We are very respectful of the retail environment, in that we have a window between the release of a retail game and the digital one. There’s no immediate plans to change that.

We are continuing to talk to retail in different ways. We are looking to introduce new digital innovations to drive more business. We’ve been testing electronic software distribution in a couple of places. We will be testing point-of-sale activation, which is similar to buying cards in store and being able to redeem that code at the point of purchase. We are introducing new digital tokens and are working very closely with retailers. 68 per cent of Europe’s Xbox Live subscription acquisitions come from retail.”

The firm is also more active in bundling DLC and XBLA games with retail releases – such as Fruit Ninja Kinect being included with upcoming Kinect game The Gunstringer.

Added Burrowes: For certain Kinect games out this Christmas there will be codes included. Sometimes we will be doing: buy a subscription card and get some points which can redeemed against movies or games. We are continuing to innovate that.”

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