EA president says company will go '100 per cent digital'
3rd Jul 2012 | 17:43
Retailers weep as EA boss speaks of 'inevitable' transition
Electronic Arts will become a 100 per cent digital company in the future, according to the gaming giant's president.
Frank Gibeau told Games Industry International that digital has become the most rapidly growing arm of EA's business and that the transition to entirely digital distribution is inevitable.
The company made a whopping $1.2 billion of revenue last year, for downloadable games, premium subscriptions and mobile/social apps.
"It's in the near future... it's coming," Gibeau said in an interview.
"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."
Look away now, retailers
In further remarks, that will make the already-troubled games retail industry weep, Gibeau says the direct relationship with the customer is key to EA as it cuts out the middle man.
"We have a clear line of sight on it and we're excited about it. Retail is a great channel for us. We have great relationships with our partners there. At the same time, the ultimate relationship is the connection that we have with the gamer.
"If the gamer wants to get the game through a digital download and that's the best way for them to get it, that's what we're going to do. It has a lot of enhancements for our business. It allows us to keep more that we make. It allows us to do some really interesting things from a service level standpoint; we can be a lot more personalized with what we're doing."
He added that if customers want to continue to buy their games from retail outlets, then EA will provide games in whatever form gamers demand.
But with speculation that the next generation PlayStation 4 console may be a digital only affair, gamers may soon be without a choice.