EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau has said that he believes the publisher will be a 100 per cent digital company in the ‘near future’.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Gibeau points out that it may not be as far off as you’d think.
“It’s in the near future. It’s coming. We have a clear line of sight on it and we’re excited about it. 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. It has a lot of enhancements for our business. It allows us to keep more that we make. It allows us to do some really interesting things from a service level standpoint; we can be a lot more personalized with what we’re doing,”
EA isn’t about to ditch it’s valuable retailers though:
“But if customers want to buy a game at retail, they can do that too. We’ll continue to deliver games in whatever media formats make sense and as one ebbs and one starts to flow, we’ll go in that direction,” Gibeau continued. “For us, the fastest growing segment of our business is clearly digital and clearly digital services and ultimately Electronic Arts, at some point in the future – much like your question about streaming and cloud – we’re going to be a 100% digital company, period. It’s going to be there some day. It’s inevitable.”
It’s hard to see a world without discs, box art and other benefits that can come with games, however this format is more or less being tested out now on the PS Vita. I can see some of the benefits of a digital market, where some areas may not have a game store near by, only time will tell if it works and EA’s vision will obviously be one step closer to reality.