Electronic Arts Exec Says Boxed Games Are Here To Stay

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
0
0
Electronic Arts Exec Says Boxed Games Are Here To Stay


The chief financial officer of Electronic Arts says digital will dominate but the market for video games in boxes will always be around too.

Electronic Arts has for some time now been a big booster of a digital future for video games. EA Labels President Frank Gibeau went so far as to say a couple of years ago [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/118226-Electronic-Arts-All-Digital-Future-is-Inevitable] that it would someday be "a 100 percent digital company, period." It was a bold statement but not beyond the realm of belief, but today EA is softening that stance a little bit.

Speaking at the 2014 Wedbush Transformational Technologies Management Access Conference, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen affirmed the publisher's commitment to digital, driven by both mobile and microtransaction-based free-to-play releases. In fact, he said that "paid downloads" represent a very small part of EA's business these days, and he expects them to eventually disappear entirely.

"At the end of the day, the consumer expects to get the game experience on a mobile device for free, and they know they can grow that experience over time by monetizing or continuing to play for free," he said. "And you're going to see a little bit of both of those, but I do think the upfront fee for downloading is probably slowly disappearing."

What he doesn't expect to go away, ironically, are games in boxes. "I think the physical business from a publishing standpoint obviously will always be around," he said. "Right now people still buy physical records, even though most of us probably don't. At the end of the day, we'll probably always have a physical business and retailers will always be around as a way for discovery and interaction for consumers. But I do think the consumers will find themselves more and more buying digitally, and the process of buying is less about the actual game and more about the experience over time."

Jorgensen's stance is reflected in today's announcement of the Dragon Age: Inquisition Inquisitor's Edition [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/134470-Dragon-Age-Inquisition-Collectors-Edition-Announced-at-170], a monstrous, $170 limited edition box aimed squarely at fans who want more than just the game. That's the future of physical media as I see it (and, I suspect, as Jorgensen does): smaller, more expensive and catering to a niche clientele who believes that statues of Max Payne and Geralt qualify as tasteful decor. The supremacy of discs and boxes is over, but as long as there are people prepared to pay big bucks for specialized collector's editions, they'll never go away entirely.

Source: GamesIndustry [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-05-13-paids-apps-days-are-numbered-packaged-goods-will-endure-ea-cfo]


Permalink
 

Chester Rabbit

New member
Dec 7, 2011
1,004
0
0
Wow, everyone's changing their tune today huh?
First Microsoft now Eaaa...wait a minute the last time these two seemed to be playing nice with us the Xbone was pulled on us. I'm nervous...
 

Zontar

Mad Max 2019
Feb 18, 2013
4,931
0
0
Chester Rabbit said:
Wow, everyone's changing their tune today huh?
First Microsoft now Eaaa...wait a minute the last these two seemed to be playing nice with us the Xbone was pulled on us. I'm nervous...
EA and Microsoft are playing nice, that's 2 signs of the apocalypse right there. I fear what will happen within the next month's time.
 

Church185

New member
Apr 15, 2009
609
0
0
Chester Rabbit said:
Wow, everyone's changing their tune today huh?
First Microsoft now Eaaa...wait a minute the last these two seemed to be playing nice with us the Xbone was pulled on us. I'm nervous...
Something horrible must be coming at E3. They are just trying to soften the blow...

On a more serious note, I'm happy to hear that the industry titans aren't pushing for 100% digital anymore. I'm currently on day 2 of downloading 12GB worth of FFXIV. There is no telling how long it would have taken me to download Titanfall and BF4 (50GB each) had I not been able to find disc copies. Stupid American ISPs... *grumble grumble*
 

MCerberus

New member
Jun 26, 2013
1,168
0
0
"The game experience"
Wait, EA mobile software has a game attached to it? Since when?


Cow Clicker wasn't Citizen Kane, EA, it's closer to "The Day the Casual Market Stood Still"
 

dalek sec

Leader of the Cult of Skaro
Jul 20, 2008
10,237
0
0
Church185 said:
Chester Rabbit said:
Wow, everyone's changing their tune today huh?
First Microsoft now Eaaa...wait a minute the last these two seemed to be playing nice with us the Xbone was pulled on us. I'm nervous...
Something horrible must be coming at E3. They are just trying to soften the blow...

On a more serious note, I'm happy to hear that the industry titans aren't pushing for 100% digital anymore. I'm currently on day 2 of downloading 12GB worth of FFXIV. There is no telling how long it would have taken me to download Titanfall and BF4 (50GB each) had I not been able to find disc copies. Stupid American ISPs... *grumble grumble*
Sorry to hear it's taking so long to download your game.

OT: Church185's sad tale is namely the main reason why I try and stick to boxed games as much as I can. Namely, due to crappy ISP's and the fear that god forbid my hard drive dies I'd lose everything on it as to right now when I'd just lose the saved game data and trophies I've gotten. That and.. I just like looking at all the boxes I have stack in neat little rows on my shelf. :D
 

Hairless Mammoth

New member
Jan 23, 2013
1,595
0
0
Even if the internet isn't screwed over by the current FCC corruption, there are still people in rural areas around the world and also people always on the move like militaries and traveling contract workers who want games but can't download new ones or connect even for a minute for Draconian "I don't trust that you're going to pirate this game as soon as we disconnect" always online DRM.

Boxed games might someday be like records and super audio cd/ DVD/ audio blurays. Collectors like the feel and nostalgia of an item like a vinyl record or CD and audiophiles hate the lossy formats available in online music stores. There already game collectors and guys who hate the quality[footnote]Complaints include difficulty transfering content to another device (if at all) and content being tied to one device with the risk of all of it being lost if the device dies(Oh Hai, Nintendo).[/footnote] and some of download services offered by game companies.
 

SonOfVoorhees

New member
Aug 3, 2011
3,509
0
0
Once both consoles take the leap and go full digital only, then EA will follow. Only problem with digitally downloading games on consoles that it costs the same or more than buying disc.
 

Tuesday Night Fever

New member
Jun 7, 2011
1,829
0
0
This news doesn't matter at all for regular edition copies, since everything is still going to require Origin to run anyway. Kinda defeats one of the primary reasons for buying physical copies.

Same goes for games that require Steam, or uPlay, or whatever.
 

Sanunes

Senior Member
Mar 18, 2011
626
0
21
Tuesday Night Fever said:
This news doesn't matter at all for regular edition copies, since everything is still going to require Origin to run anyway. Kinda defeats one of the primary reasons for buying physical copies.

Same goes for games that require Steam, or uPlay, or whatever.
It allows people not to have to download 50 gigabytes of a game and someone like me who has been screwed over by their government to allow for ridiculously low bandwidth caps for many years it won't mean they have to sacrifice paying more money for extra bandwidth or changing their internet usage for a month.
 

Strawb

New member
May 21, 2009
59
0
0
Church185 said:
Chester Rabbit said:
Wow, everyone's changing their tune today huh?
First Microsoft now Eaaa...wait a minute the last these two seemed to be playing nice with us the Xbone was pulled on us. I'm nervous...
On a more serious note, I'm happy to hear that the industry titans aren't pushing for 100% digital anymore. I'm currently on day 2 of downloading 12GB worth of FFXIV. There is no telling how long it would have taken me to download Titanfall and BF4 (50GB each) had I not been able to find disc copies. Stupid American ISPs... *grumble grumble*
Even if they pushed for 100% digital sales, it'd be at least 50 years before it actually occurred. ISP's, especially US ones, need to seriously up their bandwidth to make completely digital possible. Right now, Google is the only ISP looking to the future.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

Bound to escape
Legacy
Apr 3, 2020
4,953
6
13
Hang on a minute...why is this guy talking like the only peeps buying physical copies are the "nichè" collectors edition crowd? Me and most people i know depend on physical copies, we certainly dont give a shit about over-priced figurines. What universe is this guy living in? Also shouldnt we be encouraging NON agrophobic behaviour?

Damn it EA. This news title had me prepped for some positive stuff. Guess i shouldve known better
 

Flunk

New member
Feb 17, 2008
915
0
0
Total bull, where are all the boxed PC games now? Boxed console games are headed out right behind them.

Who's listening to EA anyway, they run their business like an evil corporation as personified in an 80's Disney flick where children have to somehow fight against an evil corporation to save their parent's jobs.
 

Raziel

New member
Jul 20, 2013
243
0
0
Church185 said:
Chester Rabbit said:
Wow, everyone's changing their tune today huh?
First Microsoft now Eaaa...wait a minute the last these two seemed to be playing nice with us the Xbone was pulled on us. I'm nervous...
Something horrible must be coming at E3. They are just trying to soften the blow...

On a more serious note, I'm happy to hear that the industry titans aren't pushing for 100% digital anymore. I'm currently on day 2 of downloading 12GB worth of FFXIV. There is no telling how long it would have taken me to download Titanfall and BF4 (50GB each) had I not been able to find disc copies. Stupid American ISPs... *grumble grumble*
Yeah and its not just the time it takes to download in the US. As bad as it is now the cable companies are trying to impose data caps just like the cell phones. With the way the FCC is talking I expect the cables companies will get away with it too. I think the odds are good that discs might actually make some comeback. unless google fiber comes to my town I doubt I'll ever even try to download a full size ps4/xbo game.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

(Insert witty quote here)
Sep 10, 2008
3,782
0
0
Valderis said:
God damn it EA, it really doesn't take much to make people like Digital goods over Physical ones. You just have to get rid of your shitty DRM practices, and I mean completely get rid of it, after that get rid of those insane prices and crazy free-to-pay schemes and that's all it takes to make a better product. Or at least a better way to sell a product, the product itself still needs to be made by competent developers, whom you would do well to leave alone and not force your idiocy upon. But we all know you're never gonna do any of that, you're too chickenshit for something that bold and forward thinking. You don't want to see a glorious future because you are firmly stuck in the past.

I hope you fucking die EA. I hope to one day read the news of angry mobs burning down your offices to the ground and cannibalizing all who work there, it will be a day of celebration.
I doubt it's just EA out of the blue changing it's tune (though it wouldn't surprise me). With all the kerffufle about the net neutrality laws, Netflix taking it up the ass by one of the mega-ISP's and the gradual realization that Americas generally shitty internet isn't getting any better its not surprising that companies are beginning to abandon an Always Online future.

As bad as Gamestop is at taking a cut of the profit, the likes of Comcast and co would be much worse.