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EA: Digital Will Rule, But We'll Never Abandon Physical Media

It seems inevitable at this point.

Electronic Arts says that eventually, the majority of their revenue will come from digital products rather than traditional boxed products. This is what company COO Peter Moore told Reuters in a recent interview. And as expected, he says the switch is "not far away."

"There will come a point, whether it is two or three years from now, when we say, 'We are doing more in digital media now than we are in physical media,' and it's clearly … not far away."

Moore cited EA's record $1.2 billion they earned in the digital sector over the previous fiscal year and obviously, that number is expected to rise in the future. The publisher has 41 social mobile and free-to-play games in the hopper, with even more looking to be developed for the near future. However, this doesn't mean EA will cut out boxed products altogether. Added Moore:

"We will never abandon physical media. As long as the consumer wants to buy something on a disc, we will be there to offer it."

Well now, wait a minute...doesn't that statement sort of imply that if too few consumers care about physical media, EA won't offer it? No company as big as EA will continue to produce something only a tiny handful of consumers want, right? That just doesn't seem logical.

Tags: ea, electronic arts, gaming, digital games, physical media, gaming industry

8/13/2012 10:10:04 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (20 posts)

VODKA_wizard
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 10:43:28 AM
Reply

Maybe 50+ years down the line.
Not now broadband companies need to get their act Together.
And start delivering faster speeds.
Before anything can happen???


Last edited by VODKA_wizard on 8/13/2012 10:44:52 AM

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 10:48:53 AM
Reply

Exactly, soon Consoles will be all digital, so it wont be up to the developers will it.

I feel a bit cheated with the PSP-Vita upgrade people who bought PSP games digital can play them on the Vita. While If you bought the physical UMD's your stuffed.

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Neo_Aeon666
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 9:44:01 PM

Well you can re-sell your games while digital can't. You have to have an advantage to compensate that y'know :P

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xenris
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 11:10:07 AM
Reply

If they want us to buy purely digital games they have to give us a price drop. Seriously, no middle me, no disc cases, no manual, no shipping costs.

If they are going to give us this stuff directly games should go from 59.99 to 39.99 or 44.99.

This would show that they care about the customer and the gamers plus they would be getting what, 100% more than they get if they sell through gamestop or something? I don't know the actually numbers but I know they get around 20% of the price they sell it for or something, maybe 30%.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 12:32:40 PM

f*cking right!

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frylock25
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 1:48:41 PM

i have to agree with this. a $5 difference is nothing. with the price of those stupid cards $5 is all we get in price difference? what an insult

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Temjin001
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 2:12:51 PM

It's the "convenience tax" they hide behind that keeps the prices where they're at. Amazing how Red Box movies are less than digital rentals. Laziness still doesn't pay, I guess.

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dmiitrie
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 2:45:47 PM

I understand where you're coming from, but I look at things a little differently. If the experience of playing a certain game is worth me driving to a store and paying $60, then the same experience of playing the same game is worth me paying the same price to download.

You can talk about how much money the devs and pubs save with digital all you want. And to be fair, those points are not invalid. But all of that stuff is less important to me than the question, "how much an I willing to pay to play this game." And once I answer that question, then thats the price I'm willing to pay regardless of format.

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xenris
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 4:10:35 PM

Good point dmiitrie. The thing for me is there are very very few games that warrant a 60 dollar price tag. Most games just don't feel packed with content like they used too, with too much of the stuff that you used to be able to unlock through playing the game, is now sold as DLC most likely locked on the disc.

I just think gaming is getting really expensive, especially with the unethical DLC practices a couple companies decided to roll with.

But I agree in that if something feels worth 60$ I will pay the 60$. An example of this would be Virtua Fighter 5 FS, a 15 dollar fighter that has so much value I purchased the complete version with all the costume pieces for 30 dollars but honestly I would have paid 60 bucks for this game and not felt bad at all :)



Last edited by xenris on 8/13/2012 4:13:34 PM

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Neo_Aeon666
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 9:48:45 PM

Mmm yeah I feel the same about that *what I'd pay to play this game* But at the same time you can't just ignore the fact that you used to get the same type of game with the same amount of content for the same price, but with a high quality manual in color, with a nice box you can collect and all sorts of goodies.

Sure if you forget about the past all is fine but... That is just letting them off the hook for removing so much too easily and still charge the same price. No?

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 8/13/2012 9:49:28 PM

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dmiitrie
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 @ 2:10:18 AM

@aeon - I actually can ignore that as I no longer find big manuals or cases or any of the other collectable crap to be desireable. I fully acknowledge that there are many who do still enjoy those things, but in the vast majority of cases, these people would not be inclined to buy a digital game at any price.

So I don't mind letting devs off the hook for that because the only things I'm losing are things I don't want.

@ xenris - I agree with you; there are very few games that I'll pay $60 for. And there are times when a digital game will be priced at a point that I'm unwilling to pay and if Ive found a physical (new) copy for significantly less, and I'll get the physical despite not caring for that format. But once again, unless you really enjoy all the extra stuff (and are therefore not predisposed to buy digital anyway), then the two formats are practically identical.

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Lemon_Saint
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 11:15:30 AM
Reply

I just read that Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS will cost MORE for a digital download over retail in the UK, (£29.99 retail vs £39.99 digital). What sense does that make?

With the recent California ruling that digital goods should be treated as any other tradable good, (get it, buy and sell digital games), it will be interesting to see what comes of all of this in the coming years.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 12:36:46 PM
Reply

I'll always want my favorite games for the collection but I'm already being more okay with digital than I was even a year ago. Though I can tell you I'd never pay full price for a download.

Sony needs a better way to show our previous downloads on PSN. People are going to be deleting games to make space and then redownloading them later to play them again.

Next gen this will open up a profit margin for hardware devs selling easily swappable hard drives. That could anger some, but we do want our companies to thrive don't we?

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frylock25
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 2:53:16 PM

for the previous downloads you can always just look up the game in the same place you bought it and it has a download button there as well. i do agree that i want some kind of organization to the download list besides the order i bought them.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 3:01:12 PM

That's all I mean, at least have an alphabetical list. It's actually faster to just run a search for the game than it is to go to your download list.

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Neo_Aeon666
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 9:56:18 PM

Yeah it truly is a pain. Totally chaotic.

I have like 400 downloads LOL man I HATE it when I want to look for something or just simply look at what I had previously downloaded.

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frylock25
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 @ 11:56:24 AM

i have over a 1000. that really sucks

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berserk
Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 7:20:27 PM
Reply

Physical Media Will still Rule, But We'll Never Abandon Digital .

Fixed at least unless they do like xenris said and lower game price by 10 or more .

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___________
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 @ 4:20:49 AM
Reply

for EA it probably wont be because for their PC market its all done through origin, and a good majority of their studios are F2P or social games.
so digital being the only medium for them!
but for more traditional based companies its a different story.
eventually yea, eventually everything will be digital.
but certainly not "soon"!

i personally HATE digital for 4 different reasons.
1 if the internet, or servers, or whatever goes haywire you cant play!
2 you have nothing to trade in, or sell, or lend or borrow from or to friends.
3 if you switch systems you have to re download the game.
and last but not least by far the biggest problem!
download speeds, download usage, storage and cost.
i downloaded GTAIV a few days ago to run through the icenhancer and a few other mods.
the game took freaking 20 hours to download!
i could drive interstate AND BACK in that time!
when you can offer me to download my games in the time it takes me to go to the shop and buy it than will talk!
not to mention wasting your monthly quota you could be using on other things.
not to mention the costs of storage devices and the games themselves.
go to retail and buy a game for 80 or so bucks, or download said game for 80 or so bucks, waste 10 times more time, waste 20GBs of your download usage, and then find out oops my HDD is too small i have to go spend another 100+ bucks on a larger HDD!
no thanks!
when you can totally eliminate those issues and promise they will never ever pop up, and games are significantly cheaper to download than will talk!
till then sayonara!

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Rogueagent01
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 @ 5:57:50 AM
Reply

One of the issues that would have to be addressed before a digital only format could work is the download limit that is currently in place. As of now you can only download something 5 times and then you have to buy it again, and if it was to go essentially digital only that would have to disappear. As others have already stated HDDs aren't big enough(currently) and will have to be swapped out on occasion, let alone when the hardware itself breaks down, so the number would have to either be increased significantly or be done away with altogether in my opinion.

And even then I still want my physical media, so only certain games will interest me when it comes to digital.

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