Wednesday, July 4th 2012

EA to go 100% Digital, Calls NPD 'Irrelevant'

EA has made a major push into PC digital distribution with Origin, and it seems to be paying off. Analysts have predicted that we're heading toward an all-digital age, and EA intends to speed up the process by actively moving toward that goal itself. "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," EA Games president Frank Gibeau said. "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." He also noted the problem that many in the industry have pointed out: our only measure of tracking sales numbers is through NPD, which tracks retail sales but has lagged behind on reporting digital numbers. Part of that is probably that the large digital marketplace Steam is reluctant to share its sales data, but it still creates a definite issue of incomplete data. "I think one of the problems with this industry right now is that people tend to look at it like they're looking at an elephant through a straw," he told GI.biz. "They only see a little parts of it and they're not looking at the total picture, right? Between Facebook, social, mobile, free to play on PC, Asia, consoles... it's a vibrant, growing, huge market. An occasional bad report from NPD, which measures a sliver of what's actually happening in gaming gives people an erroneous impression."

Mr. Gibeau also said, "My point is it's an irrelevant measure on the industry. It's totally irrelevant. We don't even really look at it internally anymore. We're more focused on our services and how we're connected with consumers." This is similar to a previous statement from corporate communications executive Tiffany Steckler, who called NPD's data "a misrepresentation of the entire industry." In a statement to GameSpot, NPD Games president David McQuillan said he was surprised at Gibeau's comments. "Successful companies are looking at how their products are performing within all channels, particularly retail," he said. "For that reason, we were surprised to read the comments by Mr. Gibeau that EA does not look at NPD data internally at all. While we will not comment on the specifics on our long-standing relationship with EA, we can say with confidence that we have daily dealings with all of our major publisher clients. And we know for a fact they’re using the data." He also noted that their estimates show 56% of consumer spend is in physical software, and 70% in Q4.

While NPD defends its retail figures as valuable, it seems to understand the changing tide. The company announced last year that it would be moving into digital tracking as well. In the same breath, however, it pointed out that it needs digital retailers to open their doors to the tracking firm to have accurate figures.Source: Shacknews
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123 Comments on EA to go 100% Digital, Calls NPD 'Irrelevant'

#1
TheMailMan78
Banstick Dummy
You mean PC gaming isn't dead?! This guy doesn't know what hes talking about. Everyone knows PC gaming is dead. Just look at brick and mortar sales!
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#2
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
Wished EA would take my BF2 complete edition key! Shame the want me to buy it again.
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#3
DoomDoomDoom
EA is "Irrelevant" to me. Really starting to wish they as a company would just burn to the ground... maybe the smart employees will move on to better ones.
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#4
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
i dont purchase EA games.
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#5
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: brandonwh64
Wished EA would take my BF2 complete edition key! Shame the want me to buy it again.
Do they actually want that or have you talked to them? Because some companies (at least Microsoft) can give you new keys.

EDIT: But this makes a lot of sense these days. I think I kinda agree with everything he said. And he didn't say they're giving up physical media from now on but that is what it will be some day.
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#6
TheMailMan78
Banstick Dummy
by: DoomDoomDoom
EA is "Irrelevant" to me. Really starting to wish they as a company would just burn to the ground... maybe the smart employees will move on to better ones.
QQing: If its in the forum, its in the forum.

Really why do you hate EA man? Why?
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#7
Jurassic1024
"...our only measure of tracking sales numbers is through NPD, which tracks retail sales but has lagged behind on reporting digital numbers."


Just as I feared, EA is looking to go 100% digital sooner than we all may think if they are already claiming current physical copy sales stats are irrelevant.
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#8
Jurassic1024
by: TheMailMan78
You mean PC gaming isn't dead?! This guy doesn't know what hes talking about. Everyone knows PC gaming is dead. Just look at brick and mortar sales!
Not sure if this is sarcasm.
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#9
Prima.Vera
EA was just voted again worst company! ...
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#11
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Jurassic1024
"...our only measure of tracking sales numbers is through NPD, which tracks retail sales but has lagged behind on reporting digital numbers."


Just as I feared, EA is looking to go 100% digital sooner than we all may think if they are already claiming current physical copy sales stats are irrelevant.
But read this:
While NPD defends its retail figures as valuable, it seems to understand the changing tide. The company announced last year that it would be moving into digital tracking as well. In the same breath, however, it pointed out that it needs digital retailers to open their doors to the tracking firm to have accurate figures.
And
"I think one of the problems with this industry right now is that people tend to look at it like they're looking at an elephant through a straw," he told GI.biz. "They only see a little parts of it and they're not looking at the total picture, right? Between Facebook, social, mobile, free to play on PC, Asia, consoles... it's a vibrant, growing, huge market. An occasional bad report from NPD, which measures a sliver of what's actually happening in gaming gives people an erroneous impression."
I mean the man has a point.

And he still didn't say they're doing the move TOMORROW or even the next week, but it is coming. And others will do it as well, it's how the world is nowadays. On the other side of the spectrum we have the folks at Double Fine that will have proper boxes and manuals and stuff like that (and it will be interesting to see if that will have an impact on the industry as a whole later on when the games actually arrive), but on the whole it's the new age. Welcome to the future.
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#13
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
uh...
EA to go 100% Digital
were they releasing their games on vinyl before this?
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#14
Dj-ElectriC
It's about damn time already we stop polluting the earth with useless disks and boxes made of plastic.
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#15
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Easy Rhino
were they releasing their games on vinyl before this?
Wax cylinders and eunuchs.
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#16
RejZoR
Origin is rubbish. I'd buy more games if it wasn't such a massive piece of crap. But because of that i've bought just NFS and even that was from retail and BF3 which arrived the same way. I've bought all the rest from GOG and Steam instead.
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#17
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
by: RejZoR
Origin is rubbish. I'd buy more games if it wasn't such a massive piece of crap. But because of that i've bought just NFS and even that was from retail and BF3 which arrived the same way. I've bought all the rest from GOG and Steam instead.
whats wrong with Origin steam fanboy? THey are the same damn thing with a different interface.
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#18
Wrigleyvillain
PTFO or GTFO
by: Dj-ElectriC
It's about damn time already we stop polluting the earth with useless disks and boxes made of plastic.
Requires being shipped around too. Including driving to the store and back.

And I would not call Steam and Origin "the same thing" overall, hell it's still a work in progress and not from Valve which is a pretty unique and great company and developer/publisher, but it doesn't deserve hate just because it's from EA and has always worked fine for me.
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#19
zual
by: nvidiaintelftw
whats wrong with Origin steam fanboy? THey are the same damn thing with a different interface.
No backup option? Hes right, Orgin is crap.
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#21
3design
Oh that is pure ***** from EA! Blizzard, Ubisoft and Sony Entertainment (PS3 / Vita) is already ahead of Digital Download AGE!

This is LOL...
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#23
RejZoR
by: nvidiaintelftw
whats wrong with Origin steam fanboy? THey are the same damn thing with a different interface.
Sorry but that's not the same, not even by billion miles.

1. Steam is very easy to re-install after system format by having it on non-system partition, Origin needs bunch of fiddling with path settings because it stores parts of itself in user profile (which goes bye bye when formatting)

2. Steam has better view options, better sorting options and favorites

3. Most of my online buddies are already on Steam, getting them on Origin is Mission Impossible

4. Steam has trey controls and recently played list, Origin has none of it

5. Steam Store is way better organized and more friendly to spend my euros

6. VAC that also comes in non-Valve games

7. Much more secure login and security checks

And there is probably more stuff that i don't remember right now...
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#24
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
by: nvidiaintelftw
whats wrong with Origin steam fanboy? THey are the same damn thing with a different interface.
You hit the nail on the head, the difference is interface, by miles.
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#25
atikkur
by: nvidiaintelftw
whats wrong with Origin steam fanboy? THey are the same damn thing with a different interface.
No overlay, no great deals, no sale... yea origin is still crapsss.
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