Sony is to stop supplying digital download codes for full games to retailers starting April 1st.
This news came via a leaked memo from retailer GameStop. The memo details how the changes will affect GameStop, although it's very specific in its assertion that "this affects all retailers, not just GameStop." After April 1st, digital download codes for full games will only be available through the PlayStation Store.
As far as GameStop is concerned, they'll be encouraging all customers with pre-orders down on digital PS4 codes to switch to physical pre-orders. GameStop stores that have placed reservations on upcoming digital download codes will "receive further instructions." Exceptions will be made in the cases of Days Gone and Mortal Kombat 11, which will be available as full download codes from GameStop stores for one week after their respective release dates. Reservations on the digital versions of these games will be honored "provided the guest has finalized their purchase within 1 week of these respective."
It's not clear how other retailers will respond to Sony's decision yet, but it's not unreasonable to expect them to behave in a similar way to GameStop. Sony will still be selling generic PSN voucher codes at dollar increments in stores, so you'll still be able to top up your PSN wallet by buying one of these cards. In addition (no pun intended), you'll still be able to get DLC codes and add-ons for PlayStation games physically. Of course, only Sony is affected here; any digital pre-orders of Microsoft, Nintendo, or PC content will be unaffected. We're not yet sure whether this change is happening outside of the US, so we'll bring you more news on that as and when we get it.
How do you feel about Sony ceasing sales of full game digital downloads in brick and mortar stores? Let us know in the comments below!