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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. Re: EA to "Be a 100% Digital Company, Period" Jul 13, 2012, 14:34 Ant
 
Ugh. I don't like everything digital!  
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69. Re: EA to Jul 5, 2012, 06:34 Jerykk
 
Quinn wrote on Jul 4, 2012, 01:47:
Apart from investing money into a game through its developer, publishers were also important because they had the money to.. well, publish the tons of DVD's. Right? If EA stops doing that and goes all digital, isn't it better for developers to find their investors somewhere else and do the digital distribution themselves and indeed let hardcopies slide?

I'm obviously don't know more than the basic basics of this world o' business, so I'm sorry if I somehow only make sense to myself..

Publishers are investors. They give developers funding to make games and expect monetary returns for their investment. Like any investor, publishers want to minimize risk and maximize profit which is why they generally avoid funding anything that isn't safe bet.
 
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68. Re: EA to "Be a 100% Digital Company, Period" Jul 4, 2012, 01:47 Quinn
 
Apart from investing money into a game through its developer, publishers were also important because they had the money to.. well, publish the tons of DVD's. Right? If EA stops doing that and goes all digital, isn't it better for developers to find their investors somewhere else and do the digital distribution themselves and indeed let hardcopies slide?

I'm obviously don't know more than the basic basics of this world o' business, so I'm sorry if I somehow only make sense to myself..
 
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67. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 13:30 nin
 
MajorD wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 11:17:
This is worth another post. At the 2:35 mark is especially apropos.


Hadn't seen that one. Nice.

 
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66. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 12:00 avianflu
 
PR blather:

Gibeau has to say this to the press because

1. Origin's arrival as EA's exclusive game client

2. dwindling global games sales for several years now.

 
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65. Re: EA to "Be a 100% Digital Company, Period" Jul 3, 2012, 11:17 MajorD
 

This is worth another post. At the 2:35 mark is especially apropos.

 
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64. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 10:16 Prez
 
HorrorScope wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 09:56:
smg77 wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 22:39:
Yeah...I'm never using Origin.

If EA wants my money they better put their stuff back on Steam.

They've spoken, they don't.

Crysis 2 was the big title that got pulled from Steam - it's back on there now. I expect the other titles like Syndicate and Mass Effect 3 will end up on Steam eventually. Steam just has too big a market share to ignore.

EA's big tussle with Steam was contrived bullshit. It was a fabricated issue so they could get publicity for their own digital distribution service. The reasons they gave for pulling select games were crap; Dragon Age at the time had DLC that could only be bought with "Bioware Points" and it stayed on Steam throughout. As usual, EA was full of it.

This comment was edited on Jul 3, 2012, 10:27.
 
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63. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 10:10 wtf_man
 
Bhruic wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 04:42:
But the claim they are only available on Origin isn't one of them.

I can agree with that, however, almost all of their new games makes you sign up for Origin just to play them... whether you have to install the Origin client or not. Same with Ubisoft's new 1 time activation bullshit.

Activate online via a product code and anonymously... I can handle. Force me to register an account with the company? Fuck You - not gonna happen.
 
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62. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 09:56 HorrorScope
 
smg77 wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 22:39:
Yeah...I'm never using Origin.

If EA wants my money they better put their stuff back on Steam.

They've spoken, they don't.
 
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61. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 09:46 kanniballl
 
Verno wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 09:38:
On the other hand, some see Valve as selfish as wanting a bigger slice of the pie by demanding a piece of the DLC.

Valve doesn't want the DLC exclusively, they just want the same opportunity to sell it that other places are getting. Otherwise companies can simply leverage their player base by throwing a shell onto the service and profit solely from the DLC while cutting out the middleman. I don't see a problem with that either, it seems pretty reasonable to me.

It is beyond to silly to sell a title on Steam then preclude it from selling DLC for that game. Forget Valve for a moment, that's bad for the consumer as well.

Agreed, but was playing devil's advocate and just parroting what I've heard people say in the past.

 
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60. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 09:38 Verno
 
On the other hand, some see Valve as selfish as wanting a bigger slice of the pie by demanding a piece of the DLC.

Valve doesn't want the DLC exclusively, they just want the same opportunity to sell it that other places are getting. Otherwise companies can simply leverage their player base by throwing a shell onto the service and profit solely from the DLC while cutting out the middleman. I don't see a problem with that either, it seems pretty reasonable to me.

It is beyond to silly to sell a title on Steam then preclude it from selling DLC for that game. Forget Valve for a moment, that's bad for the consumer as well.
 
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59. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 09:25 kanniballl
 
necrosis wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 09:17:
smg77 wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:36:
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.

Valve didn't kick EA off of Steam. EA left Steam because they wanted to cut Valve out of DLC profits for their games sold on Steam.
Nooo. EA was booted from Steam because Valve changed their TOS and EA's new games were not abiding by the change.


Similar descriptions of the same thing: tomato / tomahto scenario: minus who's choice it was to actually leave.

One one hand: if you're going to use a digital distro system to host and deliver your files and really do about 90% of the heavy lifting for delivering the game AND the DLC. So cutting them out is lame and selfish.

On the other hand, some see Valve as selfish as wanting a bigger slice of the pie by demanding a piece of the DLC.


Between those two view points, I side with Valve more (and I am NOT a huge Valve fan anymore).

It just makes sense... else EA/whoever could charge $5 for the game and then $55 for the DLC and Valve is doing all of the work for you for some % of $5. Or have the game downloaded as a "demo" (with 100% of the files) and a link in the game to buy the full thing for $60 (and Valve gets essentially nothing).


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58. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 09:24 nin
 
necrosis wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 09:17:
smg77 wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:36:
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.

Valve didn't kick EA off of Steam. EA left Steam because they wanted to cut Valve out of DLC profits for their games sold on Steam.
Nooo. EA was booted from Steam because Valve changed their TOS and EA's new games were not abiding by the change.

Except they weren't booted. Older titles with DLC are still there. All they have to do is sell their DLC through steam, and problem solved.

As a customer, that benefits me. I can get the entire game from one place, and I don't have to be reliant on someone elses auth servers to play what I bought.

 
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57. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 09:20 necrosis
 
Golwar wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 05:15:
Well, as EA wants to get away from the traditional $60 games
Traditional on consoles, bullshit on PC.
 
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56. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 09:17 necrosis
 
smg77 wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:36:
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.

Valve didn't kick EA off of Steam. EA left Steam because they wanted to cut Valve out of DLC profits for their games sold on Steam.
Nooo. EA was booted from Steam because Valve changed their TOS and EA's new games were not abiding by the change.
 
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55. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 09:13 necrosis
 
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.
No. You are just going to have to get off your ass and maybe do something about those low caps.
 
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54. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 09:03 nin
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 08:47:
nin wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 08:45:
smg77 wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:36:
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.

Valve didn't kick EA off of Steam. EA left Steam because they wanted to cut Valve out of DLC profits for their games sold on Steam.


Now now, don't let his lie get in the way of a good story...poor poor EA, victim victim victim.


I didn't call EA a victim, but they're no different than any other publisher, including everyone's precious Valve.


Enjoy your inferior product. Get Beamer in here - he'll love big business right along with you.

 
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53. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 09:01 Verno
 
I didn't call EA a victim, but they're no different than any other publisher, including everyone's precious Valve.

Who says Valve is precious to anyone? They're just a company who understands value and treats their customers reasonably. It's a sad state of affairs when you're considered a brand whore because you appreciate being treated well and recognize a company who does so.

I'd be happy to sing EAs praises if they did anything worthy of it in recent memory. In fact people spent a lot of time lauding them for the development of original IP like Mirrors Edge and Dead Space.
 
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52. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 08:47 RollinThundr
 
nin wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 08:45:
smg77 wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:36:
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.

Valve didn't kick EA off of Steam. EA left Steam because they wanted to cut Valve out of DLC profits for their games sold on Steam.


Now now, don't let his lie get in the way of a good story...poor poor EA, victim victim victim.


I didn't call EA a victim, but they're no different than any other publisher, including everyone's precious Valve.
 
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51. Re: EA to Jul 3, 2012, 08:45 nin
 
smg77 wrote on Jul 2, 2012, 23:36:
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.

Valve didn't kick EA off of Steam. EA left Steam because they wanted to cut Valve out of DLC profits for their games sold on Steam.


Now now, don't let his lie get in the way of a good story...poor poor EA, victim victim victim.


 
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