EA Predicts Downloads Beating Retail in 2011 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Industry Gamers has conducted an interview with EA CEO John Riccitiello, who has some interesting things to say about digital distribution of games. His direct prediction is that by the end of the year, digital sales of games will exceed boxed retail sales. He also has a lot to say about microtransaction and alternate play models as well as continuing to offer games on a wide variety of platforms. Check out the full article here.
The free-to-play model has been a huge boon for EA. Riccitiello noted, "Our highest ARPU (average revenue per user) are free-to-play games among paying users. You think about that and say, 'how can a free game be the game they pay the most for?' We have people who are giving us $5,000 in a month to play FIFA Ultimate Team. And it’s free. Dirty little secret."

The key for publishers is to be flexible, he added. "I actually don’t think that there’s a lot of mileage in trying to decide exactly how consumers want to buy their entertainment content. They may want to buy it on an iPad; they may want to get it through the social network, they may want to pay for it through micro-transactions and monetizing, or they may want to pay for it all at once. They may rather pay a subscription price in order to count on what their costs are going to be, but they may want to pay for it all at once and never have to pay for it again. We’re in all of those businesses and I think the way this is going to work is that the models that the consumers like the most are going to grow the most," Riccitiello said.


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