Peter Moore: Digital Sales Will Overtake Retail In A Few Years

EA has shifted its focus to digital, that's pretty clear from its acquisition of studios like Popcap and Firemint, in addition to its movements into Facebook gaming. But now Peter Moore, EA's COO, has said that he believes that digital sales will overtake retail, and that transition is "not far away".

But how far away? Clearly as some point in the future it would be reasonable to expect digital to overtake retail, but when specifically?

"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," said Moore.

EA's investment in online is an attempt to future proof the company, and move away from dependence on big budget 'AAA' titles, but investor response to the move has been muted, with EA's share price dropping dramatically over the last year.

According to Moore, investors are starting to turn in favour of EA's long term plans.

"Investors are starting to understand our strategy," he said, "are starting to see light at the end of tunnel, starting to see growth rates in the areas we have invested in and in the industry as a whole starting to attract attention again."

EA expects its digital sales to overtake boxed games [Reuters]

Thanks VG247


Comments

    In other news, water is wet and fire is hot.

      Leela: [Attempting to retrieve the note from the fire.] Ow! Fire hot!
      Professor Farnsworth: The professie will help. [Catches on fire.] Uwahh! Fire indeed hot!

    Especially when I can buy games such as Borderlands 2 and even Guild Wars 2 for $30 or more cheaper from an online legitimate store than what I can buy them retail.

      Seconded. THAT's why I buy Steam games ALL THE TIME EA.

        Steam sells certain EA titles still?

        Also, Steam is digital. Or am I missing a very funny joke here?

        While I am of the EA hater school, and am boycotting all their titles, it doesn't change the fact that digital distribution will get a larger share of the games market. It's great for people on the go, and while having the physical copy of a game is great and I still like buying physical copies, it is also convenient to have them as a digital copy somewhere so if I were to leave the comfort zone for a long period, at least I can still get the games without having to lug around every disc I have.

        The pricing of digital distributed games however still leaves much to be desired.

    I think it's going to be inevitable that digital downloads are going to be the preferred way of purchasing software. It makes sense. But at the same time, I don't want it to be the only option I have to buy games. I like seeing my collection there on my physical shelf. I also like being able to purchase collector's editions with cool trinkets and knick knacks in them from a bricks and mortar store.

      How much of that random crap do you actually keep though? Is it honestly worth the extra $30-$60?

      I don't think physical media will disappear entirely, but I think the future of physical media is going to be exclusively collector's editions. These may end up being sold for quite a premium over the digital versions (even more so then now) and many non-AAA titles may not get any physical release at all (already many/most indie games are only available online).

      The value of a digital release comes from how many potential customers you can have. Once enough Xbox consoles have been sold, then many games will be targeted for the Xbox. If Microsoft controls the Xbox, then microsoft will have a monopoly. If there is one thing you do not do when you have a monopoly, it is lower the cost per unit. When you control the platform, people have no choice but to either pay what you ask, or don't pay, so naturally the prices will be set at a static highest common denominator of what people will pay to not go without.

      The only hope is for a Steam console or for Apple to release standardised controllers (or for Google to get Android's shit together). Broadband in our country will never be fast enough to support mainstream remote rendering of games, the Republicans will make sure of that, so that won't be an option.

    I just wish EA handn't bought out all the old great studios (westwood, bullfrog etc) because they now own a massive libary of great ip's that are going to die with their, how do i put this, jaunted 'casual ambistions'. Great for share holders that just want money but a real tragedy for consumers who still hold dear the art, design and storys of some of those franchises :(

      Bullfrog ran emselves into the ground. I thought they went bankrupt.

      Only good game was Theme Park World. Theme Hospital was okay, but it had nothing on Theme Park World. Shame the sequel sucked.

        No, they were bought out in 1995. Personally I LOVED syndicate and magic carpet just to name a couple of excellent titles.

      Not to mention, my favourite Electronic Arts series of all time - Road Rash and the Strike games!

    hahahahahaha EA can keep their face book games and their origin bullshit!!!

    Will Microsoft be gentle? Or will they just shove it in all at once?

    Will the substantial savings and benefits of single use only be passed onto us, or will we still be charged the full RRP for their games?

    I don't trust Microsoft for a second. For those of you who relied on preowned games, cutthroat retail competition or borrowing from mates to keep up with gaming; your hobby is about to become a lot more expensive.

      Which means these big companies will actually lose money, as we will all have to by less games per year to afford their pricing...

    While Digital sales market share will increase, the fact is, as a society it's more important to have things come in the form we like them too. Just because there is an new way of doing something doesn't mean we have too! Like books. It's awesome to be able to carry an whole library on an E-reader, but it's just more relaxing to have the paper book, which also doesn't require power or an internet connection to function! Which one is really the more advanced format? And what ever happened to companies having realistic design choices based on Ergonomics. Big Corps. if you wanna survive in the long run get rid of self-fulfilling money pinchers who have no place in the creative industry. And let's not even bother with the digital pricing these companies are trying to make us pay, which is full retail pricing + your personal Bandwidth cost - which is based on how much you pay per GB on whatever plan your locked into. On that note, Steam and GOG are the only digital only companies who have a clue on digital pricing... if companies don't follow suite (in spite, in my opinion), the will be left behind (also save yourself the millions in R&D and actually use these interfaces, and actually take note, because if you don't get it, you never will - they ain't auction houses, they is game distribution services...) The amount of profit the big Publishers make, and not re-investing into the company, is ridiculous! I still can't get over Activision making Billion dollar profits on COD, and trying to make us believe they're hard up an can only afford 50-100 Million budget on an new game...

      A game is like a movie, except these days with DLC there is more life (and income) beyond the initial release. Too many publishers spend as much money (if not more) on marketing as they do on the actual development, it's a disease, like stupidity and herpes, that stays with you until you die.

      And then there's the business model of publishers, EA being the most prominent these days. Nickel and dime what you can until the consumer either gets fed up or, I don't know. The end of that model hasn't come yet. THQ I think had a reasonable way of doing it, the few games of theirs that I played didn't appear to have nonsense content cuts to repackage as DLC. SR 3 and Space Marine had lots of bling packs, but the games were perfectly fine without them. I guess the take home from this is that being nice to your customers only gets you into trouble, because of all the major publishers, THQ seems to be the one in the most trouble. But again, the amount of money they spent on marketing for Homefront probably didn't help.

    Yeah, will we see prices go down since there is no more manufacturing and printing costs? No? Oh well.

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