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
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
Overall Origin is fine, my opinion of it hasn't really changed since it came out. The interface of almost everything needs some work. They got some deals sometimes. The only reason I got it though is because games I bought required it. It's just easier for me to use Steam and keep track of my friends list there than it is to start spreading my list and duplicating and having people who don't have the same names on both platforms (I already axe people on steam like that who I have no idea who they are because they don't have the same name as here, just too many people to remember if names don't match up). Steam got me first simply for the deals (which they have in a greater supply), and kept me with the friends (since tons of people use it), hooked me a bit more with screenshot adding too.

I'll continue to use Origin, but I still fire up most of my games through Steam and exclusively use Steam chat since I'm not going to bother with multiple different hotkeys for different overlays.
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#2
H82LUZ73
by: brandonwh64
Battlefield 2 is not free its 19.99$

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Originally Posted by Jurassic1024 View Post
But you're forgetting the people that don't have the luxury of going 100% digital.

People that don't have broadband available where they live.
People that don't have high speed broadband where they live.
People that have very low monthly download limits.
People that don't have a credit card or a bank account to link to PayPal to purchase digital copies.

So see if you can get a VISA Debit Card linked to your bank account,It is more common then you think.I have one and it has worked for Steam and Origin.
Posted on Reply
#3
Lionheart
by: nvidiaintelftw
whats wrong with Origin steam fanboy? THey are the same damn thing with a different interface.
And thanks to your ignorant comment the flaming begins:wtf:
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#4
DannibusX
I don't dislike Origin as a service, I'd just prefer to keep all of my games on one, which is Steam. Honestly, with Battlelog, you really shouldn't need Origin. EA's got to inflate their user count somehow though.

Oh yeah. EA and Origin brought some very questionable tactics when it comes to community management and stuff. Weren't they the first to include an anti-class action clause in their EULA? Didn't they also ban any Origin account when they troll in their forums? And I don't mean ban from the forums, but completely lock people out of their Origin accounts and make it so they couldn't even play their single-player games offline?
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#5
KissSh0t
I haven't bought any games digitally, All my games on Steam *right back to Half Life 2" were purchased in a shop, and the 1 game I am forced to use Origin for was purchased in a shop as well..

If they don't sell their games at a shop all that means is they are going to lose customers who don't buy digital, or who cannot download games due to slow internet or not having a large download quota.

EA going purely Digital means to me nothing more than I will not buy their games.
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#6
Bjorn_Of_Iceland
Wont buy anything from origin. Bought my bf3, da:o, da2, etc physically. Ccard / financial details + EA = bad combination.
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#7
THE_EGG
by: Bjorn_Of_Iceland
Wont buy anything from origin. Bought my bf3, da:o, da2, etc physically. Ccard / financial details + EA = bad combination.
Just get a debit card with like $60 on it. That way they can only use what's on the card, and it's separate from your other cards. :)
Posted on Reply
#8
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Bjorn_Of_Iceland
Ccard / financial details + EA = bad combination.
Why? Have they screwed up something?
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#10
TheOne
by: nvidiaintelftw
And origin has only been out for like 1 year and it took Steam multiple years to get it where its at.

It does have overlay if you pay attention itll flash a thing at you tell you how to turn it on when you start a game, there are good deals if you look at the right time. Overlay for steam messes up some games pretty bad.
by: THE_EGG
For those comparing steam and origin. We must remember that steam has been out for a long time now so they have had time to polish their product to be very good. Sure Origin is no where near as good as steam, not even in the same league. But it hasn't been out for a very long time.
Origin is just the latest version of EA's client, they have been playing at this since 2005, this is just their more Steam like version.

Origin also won't be doing sales like Steam, the head of Origin said at E3 this year that it damages intellectual properties.
Posted on Reply
#11
rpsgc
by: TheOne
Origin is just the latest version of EA's client, they have been playing at this since 2005, this is just their more Steam like version.
EADM was just that. A download manager. In no way did it ever compete with Steam. Especially since Steam was DRM from day one and EADM never was. Most people, like me, simply used it for the convenience of keeping a digital copy of our EA games.
Posted on Reply
#12
TheOne
by: rpsgc
EADM was just that. A download manager. In no way did it ever compete with Steam. Especially since Steam was DRM from day one and EADM never was. Most people, like me, simply used it for the convenience of keeping a digital copy of our EA games.
Origin is a combination of EA Download Manager (EADM) and EA Store, and the point was that EA has been doing Digital Downloads since 2005 starting with EA Downloader then going to EA Links and then to EADM and EA Store and now to Origin, the client is where it is because EA never took it seriously.
Posted on Reply
#13
Therion_I
Can someone asnwer me this one question because it has always been a mystery to me:

Why do games cost MORE when they are digital downloads and not boxed copies?

Logically there is no way a high street store can sell a boxed copy of a brand new game cheaper than EA themselves from their online store. Think about transport, handling, building overheads, shop employee wages... how on earth did BF3 for PC end up as £40 on Origin but only £29.97 at Game? Surely it should be CHEAPER as EA don't have to worry about all these other costs associated with physical content? I know there is backend server work and the like but if it's coming out more expensive then they are doing it WRONG!

And who are these people paying £40 for a digital edition when they can get it for 3/4 the price? Are they mugs?
Posted on Reply
#14
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Therion_I
Why do games cost MORE when they are digital downloads and not boxed copies?

Logically there is no way a high street store can sell a boxed copy of a brand new game cheaper than EA themselves from their online store. Think about transport, handling, building overheads, shop employee wages... how on earth did BF3 for PC end up as £40 on Origin but only £29.97 at Game? Surely it should be CHEAPER as EA don't have to worry about all these other costs associated with physical content? I know there is backend server work and the like but if it's coming out more expensive then they are doing it WRONG!

And who are these people paying £40 for a digital edition when they can get it for 3/4 the price? Are they mugs?
I've been thinking about that as well. Another good example is Deus Ex: HR. It was over €40 on Steam on release, retail price €29. Now it's €29.99 on Steam, retail price €9. It's not true for all games but for most of them the difference is LARGE (€15 and up) and in my opinion totally illogical.

EDIT: About internet connectivity: This is an issue they can't really ignore (hopefully). So to me it would make most sense to simply not release physical copies in "developed" (internet-wise) nations, but release them in "developing" nations (such as Australia :p).
Posted on Reply
#15
cmberry20
I'm buying some popcorn..... who wants in??

:)
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#16
erixx
LOL, is TPU now a totally USA centered site where we have to eat acronyms all day? What the heck is NDP?
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#17
THE_EGG
by: Frick
I've been thinking about that as well. Another good example is Deus Ex: HR. It was over €40 on Steam on release, retail price €29. Now it's €29.99 on Steam, retail price €9. It's not true for all games but for most of them the difference is LARGE (€15 and up) and in my opinion totally illogical.

EDIT: About internet connectivity: This is an issue they can't really ignore (hopefully). So to me it would make most sense to simply not release physical copies in "developed" (internet-wise) nations, but release them in "developing" nations (such as Australia :p).
I see how it is :P I blame the politicians! lol
Posted on Reply
#19
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
by: erixx
LOL, is TPU now a totally USA centered site where we have to eat acronyms all day? What the heck is NDP?
If you are refering to the original post, NPD (not NDP) is a market reasearch firm that issues information on sales and such.
Posted on Reply
#20
Therion_I
Another good example is Deus Ex: HR. It was over €40 on Steam on release, retail price €29. Now it's €29.99 on Steam, retail price €9. It's not true for all games but for most of them the difference is LARGE (€15 and up) and in my opinion totally illogical.
Indeed, I didn't mean to single out Origin. Just the whole damn thing about digital downloads costing MORE stinks to high hell of market rigging.

If EA go full digital then we have to pay them whatever THEY want. This is terrible news for the consumer! Of course the logical recourse would be to not buy EA, but as I said before there seem to be absolute MUGS who are happy to spend 25% more money for no concievable reason.
Posted on Reply
#21
XNine
CaseLabs Rep
I don't hate Origin, or EA for that matter. EA has had their troubles in the past, but so have many other companies. How many here remember the Microsoft Antitrust trials of the 90's?

As for Origin, it's not a bad client. If you compare to where it is now, to where Steam was during the same period of time, Origin is years ahead of it. Origin will mature as time progresses and I have no doubt it will be a major competitor for Steam.

Don't get me wrong, I love Steam too. But I'm not willing to put all of my eggs in one basket. It's bad for competition and bad for consumers to do such a thing. Competition makes everything better for the customer in the end.
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#22
Woodhull
I'm tired of the argument repeated at least 3-4x above that Origin should be given slack because it hasn't been out as long as Steam. The opposite should be true: Origin should be better because EA should have learned from what Steam did right (and wrong). People similarly argued to give SWTOR slack because it hasn't been out as long as WoW. Bad excuse to me.
Posted on Reply
#23
=TWP=WOLF
by: Woodhull
I'm tired of the argument repeated at least 3-4x above that Origin should be given slack because it hasn't been out as long as Steam. The opposite should be true: Origin should be better because EA should have learned from what Steam did right (and wrong). People similarly argued to give SWTOR slack because it hasn't been out as long as WoW. Bad excuse to me.
I give NO slack to any company that makes things more complicated for their customer than needed. This is specially directed to the Electronic Arts Game Activation Limitation Insanity!

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=387662644616156&set=a.168213893227700.33447.100001172713309&type=3&l=1a78d5e3b7&theater
Posted on Reply
#24
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
by: H82LUZ73
Wall of text....
I know that the DLC's are free BUT!!! They will not take my BF2 key cause it was released before the date of EA/Origin downloader and it does not recognize the key. I would have to pay 19.99$ for the game again which is not happening. They should allow older keys to be used with EA/Origin.
Posted on Reply
#25
D007
Lol people comparing steam to origin.. I don't like either of them tbh. The moderators at steam will lifetime ban you on a whim or if u piss off a freind of theirs, then they won't even talk to you about it.

Origin is fine, it's just very basic, no frills. It's what I expect from EA. They want to make money, not a community..
Is Origin a constant DRM? If not, origin takes my vote.. I don't like crap running in the background when I'm gaming and steam has a tendency to go crazy on memory useage..

All I know is, if prices go up when they should be coming down. I'll just stop buying from the companies who are slimy like that..
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