EA Talk Mass Effect 2's Digital Sales

Mass Effect 2 was released on the PS3 without much fanfare, but was also quietly released digitally on the PSN. This was one of the first times a major publisher has released a new AAA title digitally on consoles on day one, so we were curious to see just how well the game did.

Talking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco, EA CEO John Riccitiello wouldn't be drawn on specific numbers, but claimed that a double digit percentage of the purchases were made digitally, which bodes well for a digital only future on home consoles.

According to Riccitiello, it was a "meaningful" experiment.

"This was really more about proving it can be done than it was proving what the opportunity would be," claimed Riccitiello. "So an unmarketed game one year after the original was done on the Xbox and the PC, we released the PS3 and managed to do very, very well with it."

A double digit percentage is a success, but hardly a big enough number to justify consoles going completely digital in the near future. We're keen to see if big publishers like EA attempt similar experiments with AAA releases in the future.

Mass Effect 2 Passed the Digital Test [IGN]


    $99 for digital download. I bought a physical copy for $88. If I imported it, it would have been cheaper.

    Shouldn't a digital download be cheaper than a physical copy? If it was it woul dbe a far greater incentive to buy it.


      This is dumb, I'm sure it's ~$50 on Ozgameshop, Seems silly to buy it for $99 on the PSN without a physical copy to share with friends or trade in for future games. I would have thought they would set the price down to discourage such things...

      I guess their excuse would be convenience, its like charging people to use atms that don't belong to their own bank they can charge extra because they know people would rather spend an extra 10 bucks than get off their arse and go buy the game in a store

        it's the retailers. You have no idea how much pressure is on games publishers to price the digital downloads the same as retail

        if they don't retail won't take the game, and sales are lost and exposure.

        Convenience is a poor excuse and I don't agree with ATM comparison.

        There are real benefits of having a digital copy of something installed on your machine/console, but not at that price.

          what benefits are there to having a digital copy other than convenience?

          I don't agree with that comparison either.

          I think ATM fees are more about who wears the cost of running the machine. Independent owners (like pub ATMs) can charge banks that cost now, and banks just pass the cost straight over to their customers.

      Unfortunately this is due to retail stores. No way can EA etc justify a cheaper digital download or they would be seen to be undercutting the very stores they are trying to get to stock their game.

      I'll just keep importing or buying when cheaper. The only thing that determines where I purchase from is the price - the product is the same regardless.

        I am sorry but I can't agree with that, look at steam. Steam has great deals on some B grade (and a few A grade)games the moment they hit the metaphorical shelf. I personally feel that it is more likely that when you see price on a digital distribution platform the same as it is in store it would be due to the publishing companies buisness plan, cutting out the cost of production can increase profits immensely and face it a good game will sell whether it is $50 or $100 it all depends on how the publisher forecasts the sale of the target game.

    I dread the day when purchases become Dl only.
    What happens when you are without net?

      The world will most likely implode? I understand your concern but how many times has ur net gone down recently? It's a pretty rare occurrence these days. I buy tinned of games digital only via steam, psn, xbox live, app store etc. Digital only will be a reality so get used to it. I do agree that prices for digital content should be cheaper. $99 for ME2 on PSN is a ripoff. It's only $40 on steam for the superior version :)

        Tonnes* not tinned. Stupid iPhone...

          "Digital only will be a reality so get used to it."

          I hate this attitude. Just because you've decided to accept something does not mean you should disrespect others desire not to.

          I for one haven't touched digital and don't intend to, which could be a lot of lost money for a digital future.

      You get out ye olde hoop and stick.

      Worse still - what if Tony Abbot somehow managed to scrap the NBN?

        We would still have adsl and cable connections capable of downloading games? TPG offer adsl2+ plans with 500gb monthly download limit for $50/month - plenty of usage and speed. Speed of NBN would be sweet but not necessary.

        Digital makes sense. I have plenty of boxed games and still buy all my console games at retail but thats due to pricing. What needs to happen is companies to sell digital versions of games to retailers to sell online to prevent monopolistic pricing.

          Matthew, it's great you have access to ADSL 2+ for a cheap price. I don't. I'm on a crappy ADSL plan (20 GB) for $50 p/mth.

          That's the best deal going where I live - most providers can't even find us on a map (and we live IN our nation's captial).

          I personally dread the day when I will have no choice but to connect my console to the internet, and spend longer downloading one title than it would have taken for me to drive to the mall and buy three.

    I'm at the point where I really don't mind just having full priced digital downloads on PC, be it with steam or other services. I was slowly weened off boxed PC games once they started to disappear off shelves at retail and with the super sexy deals that are available on steam. I feel the same way with handhelds since having a ton of games on the system waiting for me is really convenient.

    With consoles it'd probably take me longer to get used to. I don't really find the pricing system on psn or xbl attractive and the benefits of having a physical copy far outweight what you'd get out of a dd copy on a console.

    By just owning a retail copy I have the options of a trade in, selling it or letting a mate borrow it. It's not like with pc games and how pretty much everything now requires a cd key or account to use making tradeability non existent.

    Wasn't a large percentage of the US under snow at the time?

    Is there a correlation to be made between people who bought it, and people who couldn't get out to buy it?

      That's a really interesting point!

      I'd love to see a geographic distribution of the digital downloads overlayed on a map of where the heaviest snowfalls were, or where shopping centres were closed.

      /geography hat off

    I bought the physical copy from jb at 79 dollars new, thats 20 bucks less, plus I get dlc bonuses. Theres no incentive there to buy it from the ps store, I go into the city everyday anyway.

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