EA Games president Frank Gibeau recently said in an interview that EA is currently forging a path to become a 100% digital operation. I'm not sure how this is a huge shock, but I suppose it's much like Anderson Cooper's coming out this morning: it's something official.
"It's in the near future. It's coming," Gibeau said. "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.
"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."
With EA's sports game franchises, this move really makes a world of sense. Why pay $60 each year for the same game with new athletes and a few new features? It makes far more sense to purchase the core game and then DLC for each year to add these extras.
The biggest downside is the need for larger hard drives. 250GB may not even cut it before too long.