Target Confirms It Will Stop Selling Some Physical Media In Stores, Like Movies

Photo: Konami / Target / Kotaku / melissamn (Shutterstock)
Photo: Konami / Target / Kotaku / melissamn (Shutterstock)

The future of physical media took another blow as Target confirmed previously reported plans that it would stop offering physical DVDs in store and transition to only carrying a select number of films in brick-and-mortar locations during specific, limited times. However, the retail giant said games would be—for now—unaffected by this change.

Over the last two years, we’ve seen more and more signs that the era of physical media might be ending. In 2023, Alan Wake II became one of the first AAA games to skip a physical release, and it can only be bought digitally. In 2024, Microsoft confirmed that Senua’s Saga: Hellbade II would also skip a physical release. We also learned earlier this year that Best Buy is winding down support for physical media in its stores and online. Checking the retailer’s site today, I can’t find any movies for sale. (Physical video games are still available.) Also in 2024, Disney shut down its long-running DVD/Bluray movie club. So yeah, if you like buying and owning movies and games, you might be nervous. And more bad news is here.

On April 18, IGN reported that a Target spokesperson told the outlet that the retailer is “transitioning the limited assortment of DVDs” currently available in some stores to its website, and now asks that customers shop for physical media online.

DVDs will sometimes be available at Target

However, physical movies and TV shows might return to stores during the holidays, when Target suggests people are more likely to buy a DVD.

“Based on our guests’ shopping patterns and broader industry trends, we’re transitioning the limited assortment of DVDs we carry in our stores to, where guests will continue to find thousands of titles,” the spokesperson told IGN. “Moving forward, we’ll offer select DVDs in stores when they are newly released or during key times throughout the year when they are more popular, like for gift giving during the holidays.”

IGN was told that this new physical media pivot won’t apply to video games, which will continue to be sold in stores.

While that might seem like good news, the reality is that if Target is willing to remove DVDs from its stores, then it might one day decide to cut physical games, too. And if that happens at enough retailers, then publishers might become less interested in spending the money on printing physical discs. That could lead us into a future where most big games only ship digitally. That wouldn’t be so bad if digital storefronts weren’t shutting down and old games weren’t being routinely killed by publishers after it’s been decided they are no longer profitable. We are entering a new era and it’s scary, folks. Hold on to your PS2 and Xbox 360 games tightly.


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