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EA to "Be a 100% Digital Company, Period"

EA Labels president Frank Gibeau tells GamesIndustry International that NPD's retail sales figures are "an irrelevant measure on the industry" that they "don't even really look at it internally anymore" in light of how much of their business is already digital (much to the NPD's surprise). And while he sees them continuing to deliver games through retail as long as "it makes sense," he sees them moving to 100% digital distribution sooner rather than later:

"It's in the near future. It's coming. 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," Gibeau enthused.

"We're going to be a 100% digital company, period. It's going to be there some day. It's inevitable" Frank Gibeau

EA isn't about to abandon retail and its valuable retail partners tomorrow, though.

"But if customers want to buy a game at retail, they can do that too. 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," Gibeau continued. "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 - much like your question about streaming and cloud - we're going to be a 100% digital company, period. It's going to be there some day. It's inevitable."

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70 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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50. Re: EA to "Be a 100% Digital Company, Period" Jul 3, 2012, 08:24 Mr. Tact
 
More on point, if EA went 100% digital delivery tomorrow it wouldn't matter much to me -- I checked and as I thought it has been many years since I bought an EA game. The only thing I even considered recently was Mass Effect -- but apparently I was busy enough with other stuff that I never got to it.  
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49. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 08:18 Mr. Tact
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:14:
Stop using google then, or any search engine for that matter. You'd be amazed at just how many websites alone mine you for data.
This is equivalent to all those people who try to say you "pay" for the YouTube videos because of the ads. I haven't seen an ad on YouTube or anywhere else for that matter in years. Stop being a noob if you don't want to be tracked.
 
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48. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 07:34 OldTimber
 
Can I have what you smoked? Hell isp's will start charging more once this is fully implemented. And just wait until one publisher does a deal with one of the cable/telco companies to be a tier-1 distributor, think they bitch now with people using netflix/hulu/etc as it cuts into their vod services? oh ain't seen nothing yet.
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 21:12:
Now the real question is, are they going to be offering rebates to people who live in countries with low bandwidth caps? Nothing like blowing $60 on a game, and another $30 for data charges.

 
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47. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 06:55 Dev
 
jacobvandy wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 21:45:
Publishers do just fine announcing their own figures, so why do we even need another bunch of analysts spouting estimates, trends, projections, etc? Everything they do is guesstimate from incomplete data and convince the industry that they're important enough to be allowed to leech off of them like a remora...
Publishers actually use NPD for retail sales. The reason is because that publishers have the shipped figures but not sold figured for retail (at least for a while). They may rarely ever announce the sold figures since they are less than shipped, but they definitely use them.
 
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46. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 05:48 Iurand
 
PropheT wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 00:30:
And if that works out well, Activision follows suit, and we have another exclusive platform to deal with.

Not really.
It's been proven, that people can survive without Call off Duty for extended periods of time.

 
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45. Re: Skyrim Versus ThreatFire Jul 3, 2012, 05:47 yonder
 
KilrathiAce wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:16:
Does this mean they will go back to making good games and not killing developers such as bioware?

And Bullfrog, Westwood, Origin, Maxis (depending on your definition of killed), and Pandemic.
 
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44. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 05:44 Kristian Joensen
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:03:
So it's ok for Valve to cut out retailers, but not ok for EA to do it because their "evviillll" /Dr Evil voice You people crack me the fuck up.

There is nothing hypocritical about it since Steam is far superior to Origin.
 
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43. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 05:15 Golwar
 
Well, as EA wants to get away from the traditional $60 games and instead find new pricing models, it surely ain't a surprise that this future is 100% digital.

I actuallly don't mind if I have a game physical or digital, as long as the price is good, as long as there is strong price competiton and not to forget: As long as I can enjoy the games that they produce. I'm not so sure about the last point though.
 
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42. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 04:53 Jackplug
 
I only do digital on steam, even then I dont like it, I rather have the game in my hand to install than havin to download it everytime. Broadband speeds are not nearly fast enough enough to allow for this.  
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41. Re: EA to "Be a 100% Digital Company, Period" Jul 3, 2012, 04:44 xornand
 
EA could be a "100% free company.", I still give 0% fucks.  
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40. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 04:42 Bhruic
 
PropheT wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 00:30:
I think you're kind of missing the point. Valve is a developer, with their small library of games only appearing on their DD platform.

EA is a large publisher, with a much larger library of games, so only having their games available via their platform makes having multiple platforms and the issues that come with that more prevalent.

Two problems here. First off, Valve doesn't only have their games only appear on Steam, you can purchase them in retail, or via at least some of the other DD services. Second, EA doesn't "only" make their games available on Origin, you can buy most of their games on almost every DD except Steam. It's not a case of EA locking their games to their own platform (with a notable exception), it's a case of EA not selling on Steam.

Now I understand people who want to keep all their games on one platform, and have already settled on Steam. I can understand people being distrustful of EA, because let's face it, EA has done some pretty shitty things in the past. There are decent reasons to not want to buy EA games. But the claim they are only available on Origin isn't one of them.
 
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39. Re: EA to "Be a 100% Digital Company, Period" Jul 3, 2012, 03:19 Paketep
 
EA, a 100% douchebag company.  
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38. Re: EA to "Be a 100% Digital Company, Period" Jul 3, 2012, 01:58 theyarecomingforyou
 
There's no way that EA doesn't check the NPD data regularly. Absolutely none. This is just another EA exec mouthing off.

It's great that they're going digital but if they're predicting 100% of their business to be digital you'd think they'd be putting a LOT more effort into Origin.
 
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37. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 01:36 Prez
 
Sounds like he's talking out of both sides of his mouth. In one breath he emphatically proclaims EA will be 100% digital, then in the next he says "But if customers want to buy a game at retail, they can do that too."  
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36. Re: EA to "Be a 100% Digital Company, Period" Jul 3, 2012, 01:34 swedishfriend
 
This is at least 5 years away probably more like 10 years. Many still only have access to dial-up never mind broadband fast enough to download the 20-50GB file sizes that will be standard in the next few years... He just said it would happen eventually which people have been saying for at least 10 years. It was just as true then as it is now.  
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35. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 01:19 wtf_man
 
^Drag0n^ wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 00:20:
wtf_man wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:52:
I also have zero social networking accounts, nor do I visit social networking sites.

ALMOST zero; I mean, you have an account here

^D^

Well, I don't consider the handful of forums / communities that I participate in, to be "Social Networking"... at least not anything on the scale of Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Linked-In, Digg, Google+, etc. etc. where the primary business model is to mine your data.

Anyway, the point is... one can't totally eliminate data mining on the Internet, but one can significantly reduce their own target surface... which is what I proactively choose to do.

And in the spirit of maintaining a small target surface, I do not wish to create an account on every fucking publisher's portal... which is another reason to stick with steam... they are "Publisher Neutral" (as far as a distribution site goes).
 
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34. Re: EA to "Be a 100% Digital Company, Period" Jul 3, 2012, 01:08 Donkey_Punch
 
Why would anyone buy an EA game? They shut down their servers within a year of the game's release. Screw them.  
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33. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 00:47 Hermilla
 
Origin isn't that bad. It isn't that good either but it's definitely not the worst third-party client required to play games. GMG's Capsule is far worse. I'll take Steam over Origin any day but I'm not going to boycott games that use Origin.

I agree, Origin seems to be lighter than Steam too. But unfortunately it does not support certain types of proxies, does not work in some parts of the world and has higher game prices than Steam in some EU/Asian regions. And they don't seem to be interested in addressing these issues.
 
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32. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 00:33 Sepharo
 
Cutter wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 00:24:
And what about the many who don't have broadband or data caps - the latter of which more and more telcos and cable companies are trying to force on people. EA is jumping the gun here in a big way.

He only said that it's inevitable...

I don't equate "in the near future" with "sooner rather than later" but both are pretty damn vague. It will eventually happen, he's not wrong.
 
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31. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 00:30 PropheT
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:12:
Maybe all the "put their games back on steam" comments. They made me chuckle.

The way I look at it, I'm a gamer, I don't care if EA puts out a game I want to play, or Valve, or Ubisoft or any other publisher. Sure I still think folks like Kotick are dicks but if Activision puts out a title I'd enjoy playing oh well.

Basically the content is whats important, not the publisher name on the box, or in the case of digital distribution on the title screen.

I think you're kind of missing the point. Valve is a developer, with their small library of games only appearing on their DD platform.

EA is a large publisher, with a much larger library of games, so only having their games available via their platform makes having multiple platforms and the issues that come with that more prevalent.

And if that works out well, Activision follows suit, and we have another exclusive platform to deal with.

When it comes down to it, people want to buy games where they want to buy them, not where they have to. How would you feel if you had to buy retail and Gamestop was the only place that carried EA's games, Walmart had Activision's, and so on? It'd suck, and be pretty stupid, but that's what's shaping up in the DD arena right now.

Add to that the problems that come with a poor platform, like if you could only get something over GFWL for example, and it's easier to understand why people might be upset. I have no problem with Origin, or if people want to buy things there, but I don't personally want to buy my stuff there and not having the option to buy it elsewhere is a horse shit deal for customers.
 
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