Walmart accused of throwing out excess Starfield copies
There has been a lot of conversation recently about the decline of physical media in favour of digital offerings.
As services like Xbox Game Pass, digital-only consoles, and e-stores become more popular, it is only a matter of time before physical media dies out all together.
This may already be the case at Walmart, which is allegedly phasing out their copies of Xbox games, reportedly starting by throwing out copies of Starfield.
Walmart is reportedly removing Starfield from shelves
Walmart has been accused of getting rid of copies of Starfield as it seems like they are removing physical games from their stores.
Twitter user Andrew Marmo shared a screenshot of a Walmart employee memo he was sent on discord which suggests that Starfield will be leaving shelves as soon as Monday morning.
The screenshot states: “On Monday, Jan. 22, the Xbox Series X “Starfield” video game will be marked down to 3 cents to prepare for disposal at store level. Thank you for helping process this item off our shelves.”
The notice continues to state that a point of sale block will be put into place on Monday 22 January to prevent the game from being sold on the shop floor.
Unfortunately, this means that anyone who is hoping to pick up the game for the mentioned three cent price is probably unable to. If you go first thing in the morning you may get lucky, but it seems as though you shouldn't hold your breath.
A Twitter commenter who stated that they previously worked at Walmart clarified that the 3 cents markdown is meant to notify the customer experience team to go and take those copies out to the back of the store to send them back to the supplier.
Physical media is on the decline and Xbox seems to be the first on the chopping block
There has been a lot of conversation recently about physical media dying out and Xbox seems to be the first console to be truly impacted by this.
The recent announcement that Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 will not be getting a physical release, the rumoured all-digital Xbox Brooklin which is predicted to release later this year, and now a months-old release being removed from stores does not bode well for a future that sees Xbox games coming to discs.
It is no wonder that Xbox is one of the first consoles to be hit by these changes given the prevalence of Game Pass and how it encourages players not to own their games.
It isn’t only Xbox that seems to be taking this stance however.
Ubisoft Director, Philippe Tremblay, recently said gamers need to get “comfortable with not owning your game” and stores such as Game are stopping trade-in services.
As someone who loves to own games in their physical form when possible, this is a disappointing future to behold.
The importance of physical media in ensuring that games do not become lost to time cannot be understated. We are currently seeing games like The Day Before being wiped from existence, and there is nothing stopping this from happening to other titles in the future.
Hopefully, with enough backlash from the gaming community, we will see a return to physical releases in some capacity, even if it is only limited-print runs.