EA Labels president Frank Gibeau believes that retail sales will fall by the wayside and EA will become a 100 percent digital distribution company in the future.
“We have a clear line of sight on it and we’re excited about it,” he told Gamespot. “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.”
Gibeau added that it’s up to players how games are distributed, however it’s only a matter of time before everyone wants digital downloads.
“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,” he 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… we’re going to be a 100 percent digital company, period. It’s going to be there some day. It’s inevitable.”
According to the NPD’s latest figures, around one third of U.S. gamers prefer to buy their games digitally. This appears to be the future, and I’m all for it, as long as Internet speeds continue to increase at a steady rate. I can live without a retail box, and it would mean I no longer have to go to the shops or wait for the postman to arrive before playing a new release.
Would you be happy in a world without retail game sales?