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EA: Bandwidth Still An Obstacle For Digital Game Delivery

Eventually, the majority of all video games sold will be delivered digitally.

But it won't be happening tomorrow. Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen says the full digital revolution is still a ways off; speaking during the Credit Suisse 2013 Technology Conference (as cited by GameSpot), the executive was asked when approximately one-third of all EA games would be sold via full-game download.

"I don't know when the 30 percent target hits. That's probably still a ways off. We're much lower than that today on full-game downloads."

Although all PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games are available digitally right off the bat, Jorgensen says bandwidth speeds aren't where they need to be for the majority of consumers. Furthermore, as file sizes continue to increase, the delay in delivery gets even longer.

"I think a lot of the constraint there will continue to be bandwidth into people's homes. At the same time, the size of games has gotten bigger and more complex and so it's eaten up some of the benefits of [increased] bandwidth."

That all being said, he added that digital is the "right direction" because it will benefit the company's economics. Simply, digital games have a much higher margin when compared with physical products, and for obvious reasons. And there's no doubt that most consumers will embrace digital if they haven't already. It's basically inevitable.

Tags: digital games, downloadable games, digital sales, electronic arts

12/3/2013 9:25:33 PM John Shepard

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Legacy Comment System (17 posts)

Tuesday, December 03, 2013 @ 11:12:50 PM

For the first time I'm glad American internet sucks balls.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013 @ 11:33:33 PM

As it stands now, I can pull down 50GB+ games in under an hour! Want to know how? I hop into my car and drive to a brick-and-mortar. Total time elapsed: usually 45 minutes. Seriously though, when do they expect the broadband infrastructure in ANY country to improve to the point where customers could download a full next-gen game in a reasonable time frame?

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013 @ 4:06:12 AM

When Google Fiber is nationwide.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013 @ 10:55:54 AM

Many countries have insanely better internet than the US and Canada. My buddy teaching in S. Korea has 70+ mb/s download AND upload speed for the equivalent of $20 a month.... It's not even close to the best you can get there, apparently. He says he has one of the cheaper options.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013 @ 11:25:28 PM

Well I don't mind for some games that range up to a few gigs in size, but beyond that, I much prefer my larger games on disc thanks. :)

I am glad that the option is there though environmentally speaking, and simply for the ones that want it, for space and/or convenience reasons. :)

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013 @ 11:46:01 PM

i for one am not on the digital band wagon i'm quite happy with my discs still and will be for a long time yet and yes download speeds and the amount of gb's being able to be downloaded is still not there by any means of the imagination.

happy gaming =)

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013 @ 11:58:15 PM

I will never embrace a fully digital ecosystem for this hobby. I will simply give it up if I can't buy a disc.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013 @ 1:18:39 AM

I am really happy downloading PS+ games, and small psn games, but that is it for me so far.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013 @ 3:27:37 AM

speeds arent really a problem, well, for those who arent too tight a$$ed to shell out for fast enough, and also quantity enough, servers.
cough, im looking at you $ony!
the problems more in download and upload limits.
i can download a full PC game in under a hour!
but that said, there goes a quarter of my monthly download usage.
then you need to update steam, thats another 200MB, then you have to update the game thats another 2GB, then you have to update your drivers thats another 200MB, yea it disappears pretty quickly!
when ISPs say go for your life you can download and upload as much as you can, and still give us the speeds we have now, then digital will be fantastic!
but the day ISPs do that, is the day hell freezes over.
plus, i kinda refuse to download games when there same priced or more expensive.
what happened to the good old days where cutting costs was passed on to the consumer?
whole point of DD is lowering manufacturing costs, so shouldent that mean the price of games lowers too?
im sorry but as long as retail and downloadable games are the same price ill always be buying retail.
1 you support the local economy, and 2 i kinda despise paying for a ferrari and given an ancient natzi mobile!
if im paying the same price, i expect the same content.

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Thursday, December 05, 2013 @ 3:48:16 AM

In many parts of the world, (even the developed world) speed is still an issue. Even when the download speeds are good there's often the problem of bandwidth caps that you've encountered.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013 @ 8:19:04 AM

Captain Obvious.

I'm all for not going digital yet :)

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013 @ 9:47:46 AM

I think for many people, speed isn't the issue (especially now when many games allow you to download a fraction of the game before you start playing), transfer limits/caps are the real issue.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013 @ 10:26:07 AM

Apperently EA a big sports game publisher has never heard of a thing called PlayGo on the Playstation 4 which lets you play as you download.
"Bluray was mastered by Sony way before you made games that size EA"

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Norrin Radd
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 @ 12:44:09 PM

More people will go digital when there is a financial incentive to do so. Why is a game that is cheaper to produce and deliver digitally costing me the same as a physical copy I can trade, sell or collect? I think this is a big issue for a lot of people.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013 @ 3:24:57 PM

Because they can get away with it. It's the same reason US telecoms charge so much and offer so little. When only a couple companies control everything, we lose.

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Thursday, December 05, 2013 @ 5:16:22 PM

Usually a PS+ game takes 2 hrs to download. Compare to the welcome back games which took 8 hrs because so many people were using it at once. Even with play as you download, this is unexceptible. What good is the next big franchise game entry if it takes 3 days to download because 75% of players are downloading at once?

The last game I d/l took 2 hrs, and another hour to install. Installation times need to be quicker too.

Granted, this is the PS3 I'm talking about. Install times could be faster on 4.

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Friday, December 06, 2013 @ 5:47:19 PM

You know what? I purchased the PS3 AC4 disc for black Friday for $40. Figured I'd just pay the $10 "upgrade" and get PS4 AC4 for $50 total, and save $10 off the $60 disc price...

4 DAYS later...

Yeah... I just happened to have my cable modem fail on me. Who'da thunk it! 10 Mbps upload, 192 Kbps download... OUCH. To top it all off, In the past week, my town also had a short network outage. Point is, internet is not always reliable, and what's more, in some areas, it is NOT cheap. The lowest cost in my area is 6 Mbps for $29.99, but ONLY if you get it with a TV package, the cheapest being $14. The price becomes $39.99 stand alone. It's $39.99/49.99 for 12Mbps, and there are two more jumps at 25 Mbps and 50 Mbps for $49 and $59 WITH the TV bundle!

Rural areas are a WHOLE other story. I considered my internet BROKEN when I had only 192 Kbps... I KNOW people who live in the country and still live on 56k dialup, or have DSL that tops out at 10 Mbps near town, and drops to slower speeds the farther out they go. My brother peaks at 1.5 Mpbs at his farm.

Even IGNORING the element of the network itself...

What if my machine breaks. What if the game network goes down for 3 weeks (like PSN). Do i get to play all those PS+ games I downloaded if i can't sign in? If my machine breaks, and i move to crappyinternet USA, will I get to redownload hundreds of gigs of data? Can my PS4 hold all these DLCs? What if a publisher or developer goes out of business, and I want to redownload something they made and it's no longer on the network???

If I have a PHYSICAL DISC (or cartridge)... I have NONE of those problems.

Last edited by richfiles on 12/6/2013 5:50:29 PM

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