Electronic Arts: All-Digital Future is "Inevitable"

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Electronic Arts: All-Digital Future is "Inevitable"


EA Labels President Frank Gibeau says Electronic Arts will be a completely digital company sooner than you think.

There's no question anymore that the future is digital; all that remains to be determined at this point is when that future is going to arrive. There are obstacles, most obviously the lack of infrastructure needed to bring digital delivery to everyone, but in EA's estimation the era when the bulk of its revenues come digitally is closer at hand than a lot of people think. "It's in the near future. It's coming. We have a clear line of sight on it and we're excited about it," Gibeau told GamesIndustry.

EA has "great relationships" with its retail partners, he said, but added that "the ultimate relationship is the connection that we have with the gamer." And if gamers want to get their stuff digitally - which certainly seems to be the case - then that's how EA is going to offer them.

"We'll continue to deliver games in whatever media formats make sense and as one ebbs and one starts to flow, we'll go in that direction," he said. "For us, the fastest growing segment of our business is clearly digital and clearly digital services and ultimately Electronic Arts, at some point in the future... we're going to be a 100 percent digital company, period. It's going to be there some day. It's inevitable."

He also claimed that NPD sales figures, which have painted a rather dismal picture of the industry in recent months, are "totally irrelevant" these days because they focus solely on retail numbers. "We don't even really look at [NPD sales figures] internally anymore. We're more focused on our services and how we're connected with consumers," he said. "[The industry is] growing. It's booming. It's big. Things are good. If cloud and streaming come on line at scale, we'll be in the position to do it and we're excited about it."

Source: GamesIndustry [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-07-02-ea-is-going-to-be-a-100-percent-digital-company-period-says-gibeau]


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Adultism

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Jan 5, 2011
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Just what we need, EA trying to force Origin down our throats. This is why I buy all their games used.
 

kortin

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Why is it that every time EA says something, I end up laughing hysterically?

I mean, come on. That has been said SO MANY TIMES, they're just repeating what other people say.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Well, hes not wrong about an all digital future but it wouldn't be good for consumers or even that good for publishers if we ended up in a cloud/streaming only future.
 

Zipa

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Dec 19, 2010
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EA apparently employed Captain Obvious as their research guy.
 

Sis

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That's only going to happen when it stops being human nature to have collections worthy of boasting.
 

Gearhead mk2

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Guys, guys, why are you complaining? If EA does this, they'll put all their time and money into Origin... And then, because no-one uses Origin, they'll fall flat and die! We need to do this. It's our best chance to get rid of EA for good.
 

-|-

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kortin said:
Why is it that every time EA says something, I end up laughing hysterically?

I mean, come on. That has been said SO MANY TIMES, they're just repeating what other people say.
Zipa said:
EA apparently employed Captain Obvious as their research guy.
That's unfair. If you read the original source article it says he was explicitly asked about when their revenue was going to be all digital. It's a good enough answer even if, to many people, it's an obvious one.

I guess escapists don't want to let context get in the way of some easy hating.
 

Albino Boo

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Gearhead mk2 said:
Guys, guys, why are you complaining? If EA does this, they'll put all their time and money into Origin... And then, because no-one uses Origin, they'll fall flat and die! We need to do this. It's our best chance to get rid of EA for good.

Yeah only having 5 million+ daily users and garbing 5% of download market in 6 months means they will vanish in the blink of an eye.
 

Gearhead mk2

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albino boo said:
Gearhead mk2 said:
Guys, guys, why are you complaining? If EA does this, they'll put all their time and money into Origin... And then, because no-one uses Origin, they'll fall flat and die! We need to do this. It's our best chance to get rid of EA for good.

Yeah only having 5 million+ daily users and garbing 5% of download market in 6 months means they will vanish in the blink of an eye.
Ok, let me rephrase that. No-one with half a brain cell uses Origin... so actually, yeah, that'd probably just mean an ungodly increase in profits as the vast majority of consumers flock to it. I am not doing well today...
 

White-Death

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Why is everone rushing ahead with all this digital shite? The technology is still far to weak to simply support the demand, Steam servers crashed more than once just becuase of demand for ONE GAME.Just imagine the stress on computers and servers if there is massive demands for 5 or more games at a time.

Just tell companies to stop jumping around with all this new tech like a child with the first batch of cookies, sit them down, and develop the tech until it can finally stabilise.
 

grigjd3

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As much as I love to hate on EA (and I do so love to hate on EA), the guy is just being honest. This isn't PR-speak. It's a simple reality. I guess EA wants to position itself as an alternative to Steam, but in the digital distribution arms race, Steam is miles ahead in addition to having garnered all the goodwill from intermediate and early adopters of digital delivery.
 

Tanis

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Aug 30, 2010
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I keep saying next gen looks like it will be my last and articles like this reenforce that view.

I will NEVER go 'digital only'.
Once you go digital only you lose any rights you had as a consumer and if the company goes down, our game becomes worthless.

No thanks.
 

Bantis

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Jan 27, 2009
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Unless the game is some monster download I'd say about 80% of my games are now digital purchases. I thought I'd miss my "box shelf" but truth is I like the organization of having my downloaded games stored away on a usb drive waiting to be installed when I want them. So while I have a problem with some of the details of the drm schemes some of these publishers want to use, going all digital is fine with me.

However, it does make me wonder. Since there is no longer the big cut going to the retailer and since there is no box, no manual and no disc shouldn't the price of the games go down? Yes, some of those retail costs will be offset by having and supporting the digital sales infrastructure but even then shouldn't it be possible to make money with a cheaper price? I know the prices won't go down. If I was publisher I doubt I'd lower a now relatively standard (and expected) price point by much but shouldn't it then stop going up? At least for a while? AAA development is expensive, I know that and accept that. I like the bells and whistles as much as the next gamer but wasn't the retailers cut of the sale pretty substantial as well? With that [email protected]@