An EA executive has stated that it is “inevitable” that the company, one of gaming’s leading publishers, will eventually move to a 100% digital-only business model in the “near future”, ditching boxed retail versions of their games altogether.
“It’s in the near future. It’s coming. We have a clear line of sight on it and we’re excited about it,” said Electronic Arts labels boss Frank Gibeau.
“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.”
EA saw their digital revenues rake in more than $1 billion dollars last year, with projections for the coming year set at $1.7 billion.
“For us, the fastest growing segment of our business is clearly digital and clearly digital services,” he added.
“At some point in the future we’re going to be a 100 per cent digital company, period. It’s going to be there some day. It’s inevitable.”
EA already have the digital download service Origin on PC, which rivals Valve’s mega-successful Steam platform.
With Sony buying up cloud-gaming service Gaikai, Apple’s App Store proving a massive gaming success and traditional brick-and-mortar retail channels like GAME struggling, the inevitability of a wholly digital games industry doesn’t seem all that far fetched these days. Those who enjoy picking up a cheap second hand copy of their games may have to start being a little more thrifty with their pennies.