EA’s Position On Future Of Gaming: Why They’ll Win
Speaking to Eurogamer, EA Sports Vice President Wilson spoke of the future of purchasing video games, stating that the day will come when we stop going to Game and Gamestop, claiming it is important for retailers to understand what customers want for the future.
EA’s direct download service Origin is the future that they are discussing of course. This would come about from EA using exclusives such as Battlefield 3 as bartering chips to drag customers to Origin. This can be showcased through their purchase of Popcap games, by drawing a fan base to Origin through exclusives they cut out retailers, meaning EA get access to 100% of the profits.
EA are not the only company to do this. Sony are constantly pushing their online store, as it’s noted that the new Playstation Vita will only have larger games on formats that will be sold in the market; they tried this with the PSP Go and the reason it failed was simple… games were released late on the market and the prices were far above the retail in the shops, despite all profits going straight to Sony.
The reason they will win is simple, regardless of Battlefield 3 being pulled from Steam to attract customers to Origin. That reason is: Customers will still go and download it from Origin. The same remains true as they phase out traditional Video Game distribution; when EA took manuals out of their video games, we were powerless to stop them. As consumers, the money saved from not printing manuals as well as not requiring as much staffing to work on these game manuals was not passed onto customers purchasing EA products with no options for those that wanted a manual.
EA CEO John Riccitiello has spoke of recent statements that EA need to move away from their traditional packaged goods model. He said “Over the coming years, we will transform EA from a packaged goods company to a fully integrated digital entertainment company”.
His pitch to the investors tells us of the future of Video Games…. “Origin”
I’d love to hear personal opinions on this. How would you feel about your local game retailers closing down so that you cannot ask if a game is any good; or for those working in game retail, how would you feel if you lost your job because of EA’s favour over digital distribution?