Massive downloads turning off gamers

Key findings:

  • Over half of gamers put off purchases by significant downloads or patches
  • PlayStation users more likely to buy from its online store than Xbox gamers
  • 38% say they have used a digital store in the past 12 months...
  • But lack of a physical copy and risk of losing access tops concerns with digital purchases
  • Gamers say physical copies from online retailers provide best value 

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UK broadband comparison website Broadband Genie has today released research revealing game downloads and patches discourage many (55%) gamers from a purchase due to long download times, with 22% saying anything over 10GB is too much. Worryingly, many recent triple-A games have been as large as 46GB to download [1], whilst expansions and patches can be anything from a few MB to more than 15GB [2][3]

The average broadband speed in countries such as the UK, US and Germany is around 13Mb, while many other countries around the world fall far below that [4]. On a 13Mb connection a 40GB game will take around 7 hours to download assuming the connection runs at full speed the entire time, but in reality the actual download time could be much longer due to other activity on the connection and network congestion.

Rob Hilborn, head of strategy at Broadband Genie, says: “Games have exploded in size in the past few years, yet broadband speeds across the world are struggling to keep pace. With exclusive digital deals and more games coming with day-one patches and regular updates, gamers have to suck up the long wait times or be excluded altogether.

“This is only going to get worse for those on slow connections as games continue to bloat and become increasingly reliant on fast broadband. Some gamers will be excluded from access to good deals, expansions and online multiplayer. But unfortunately there’s no easy fix for consumers as the onus is on governments and providers to speed up the rollout of fast broadband.”

The survey also revealed PlayStation gamers are more likely to take advantage of its digital store (54%) than Xbox users (41%). However the majority (72%) still think physical copies provide the best value, but digital has the advantage of offering faster access to games and a wider range of titles.

Rob continues: “The digital stores on the current generation of console are much more user friendly than their predecessors, so it’s no surprise to see users taking advantage of them. Only the other day we heard Fallout 4 sold more digitally than through retail on day one, which is amazing.

“Unfortunately, unlike Steam on the PC, the Playstation Network and Xbox Store have fewer big sale events and charge full price on new releases for the convenience of being able to download them, which means in most cases you’re still better off buying a boxed copy if you want the best value.”


For further information please contact
Rob Hilborn on 01223 501 344 or [email protected]
Matt Powell on [email protected]
Notes to editors
1,949 gamers were surveyed. The research was conducted online between the 19th – 23rd February 2016 on the Broadband Genie website. 
The full results are available here:


[1] Size of game downloads for popular games on the Playstation Network Store:
Fifa 15                 14.6GB
Witcher 3:             28.9GB
Just Cause 3:             35.8GB
Star Wars Battlefront:         19.2GB
Batman: Arkham Knight:     46.1GB
Call of Duty Black Ops III:     40.6GB
Assassin's’ Creed Syndicate:     40.0GB

[2] Expansions:
Destiny: The Taken King:     18GB 
Minecraft Holiday Pack (PS4)    215MB

[3] Game patches:
Witcher 3 1.10 patch:         15GB 
Black Ops 3 1.05 patch:     9GB 

[4] Akami 2015 rankings report -

About us
Broadband Genie is an independent switching site providing consumers and businesses with practical help, advice and price comparison for home broadband, mobile broadband, phones, TV services and mobile accessories.

Broadband Genie was launched in March 2004 as the first dedicated consumer comparison site for broadband. It is now one of the largest in the UK, attracting more than 200,000 visitors each month.