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
Therion_I
by: crazyeyesreaper
did you forget server expense?
power usage for said servers?
back ups of said servers in case of issues?
servers across the world for multiple regions to maintain download performance?
Cost of paying people to keep those servers in top form
Cost of storing user data, for said games keeping them tied to various accounts various backups of said accounts.
Cost of support across clients with live support built into the Origin client

shall I continue, all these factor into the cost of a server, Games that dont sell or get downloaded often still need to be maintained on said server etc. All this adds up,

My guess is it adds up to about the same cost as buying discs burning discs making packaging and shipping to stores.

Theirs alot more that goes into keeping their servers running properly up to date and most importantly SECURE, security probably being the biggest burden,
I'm not forgetting these things, but if these things add up to more than physical media then why are we bothering down this road in the first place? Ease of use? Is that what it's called when I can't play my games offline?

I've no insight into the industry so I could be well off the mark but personally I don't imagine back end stuff comes to more than printing, shipping and having stores take their cut. If it did then how can Origin and Steam then sell for a more reasonable price later on? It all just smacks of trying to wring money out of people.

In terms of back end stuff, why aren't they doing more to promote P2P and thus reduce their server loads... oh right, it's because everyone believes P2P is used by pirates... ARRrr me 'earty!
Posted on Reply
#2
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: Therion_I
In terms of back end stuff, why aren't they doing more to promote P2P and thus reduce their server loads... oh right, it's because everyone believes P2P is used by pirates... ARRrr me 'earty!
Because P2P will destroy security. I'm not gonna give out my credit card to a service and then download the good from some random seedier who injects hacked DDL's.
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#3
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
by: Covert_Death
well for starters, the ad spam every time i boot my fucking PC... thats lame ass shit right there. not cool EA... this is MY computer, you have no right to FORCE me to use your software and then FORCE ads on my screen.

NO OTHER program i have installed EVER does that, so who at EA thought it was alright to spam ads?
Do you even use Steam? Origin only shows you the ads when you sign in. And Steam does the same thing, and right after you close a game in steam another add window comes up.
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#4
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
by: TheMailMan78
Because P2P will destroy security. I'm not gonna give out my credit card to a service and then download the good from some random seedier who injects hacked DDL's.
Wouldn't that only be possible if they allowed someone top be the original seed rather than them being that seed and putting the torrent out there? I honestly think it's a good idea if companies want to save money, though for people who have bandwidth limits it will just make things worse. But for everyone else, it wouldn't be too bad.
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#5
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: 1Kurgan1
Wouldn't that only be possible if they allowed someone top be the original seed rather than them being that seed and putting the torrent out there? I honestly think it's a good idea if companies want to save money, though for people who have bandwidth limits it will just make things worse. But for everyone else, it wouldn't be too bad.
Anyone who seeds the file can add a hacked DDL or any other BS.
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#6
Mr McC
by: Covert_Death
bought bf3 pre-release, had no idea ORIGIN would start spamming 3 months later.
Then, you have a fair point, I stand corrected.
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#7
Therion_I
by: TheMailMan78
Because P2P will destroy security. I'm not gonna give out my credit card to a service and then download the good from some random seedier who injects hacked DDL's.
So you've never downloaded WoW or Diablo 3 from Blizzard who do use the P2P method unless you manually switch it off? Fair enough. It's been done before and it's been done securely.

If you're that paranoid about your credit card then I'd suggest burning it and resorting to paper cash as frankly everyone you give it to is a potential security risk. Most decent Credit Cards have online fraud protection anyway so it's easy to get your money back. Hell, my bank even called me to tell me someone tried to use it to buy stuff from an online shop that I'd never used before just the other day. Turns out it was me but I was still impressed.
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#8
Desert Eagle
I bought a game from Origin and two days later my dog got ran over by a car. That never happened when I bought my games from Steam. Damn your black-hearted souls EA! Damn you!
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#9
dalekdukesboy
by: crazyeyesreaper
My guess is it adds up to about the same cost as buying discs burning discs making packaging and shipping to stores.
as someone else said if this is the case and obviously it is to some degree for online gaming isnt cheaper...wtf is the point of this crap? Honestly I've hated steam from the first time I've had to deal with it playing skyrim es V....just utter annoying bullshit if it didn't load properly sometimes when server was slow etc I'd wait forever for it to load up and blah blah blah, there is an option to play offline etc but point is I'm NOT even playing an online game with other people WHY THE FUCK do I even need to get online to play a single player role playing game? Shouldn't even be an option...I like having my physical copy, you put it in the tray OR better yet it doesn't have annoying copyright protection that hardly works anyway on it and I just click on the icon and it loads up from my harddrive same way everytime poof!
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#10
El_Mayo
by: Desert Eagle
I bought a game from Origin and two days later my dog got ran over by a car. That never happened when I bought my games from Steam. Damn your black-hearted souls EA! Damn you!
hahahahah

I dislike Origin, but not strongly. It doesn't have the catalog steam does, and it lacks the sales. Those are the two most important things to me. I only use it because I play Battlefield
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#12
evulmunk33
BitFenix Rep
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
way to go for "speeding up the process" and staying "following the latest trend" EA... :slap:

i havent had an optical drive in my system for almost 5 years, and havent had one in my laptop for 2 years

im shocked how many laptops actually still come with an optical disk drive...
why make a laptop thicker and heavier to carry around?
whats the last time youve seen somebody use an optical disc ON THE GO???

some people MAYBE use them at home or in the office or when meeting friends... but how common is it that they are used on the go? and most of those situations are predictable, nothing "just comes up" requiring you to use an optical disc these days... those few people should carry an external drive with them which weighs about the same, making laptops cheaper and lighter for the vast majority...

luckily intel FINALLY realized this as well and is suggesting no ODDs in ultra books, one of the few things they got right about those things...
or maybe they only did it to cut costs, hah!
Posted on Reply
#13
Desert Eagle
by: evulmunk33
way to go for "speeding up the process" and staying "following the latest trend" EA... :slap:

i havent had an optical drive in my system for almost 5 years, and havent had one in my laptop for 2 years

im shocked how many laptops actually still come with an optical disk drive...
why make a laptop thicker and heavier to carry around?
whats the last time youve seen somebody use an optical disc ON THE GO???

some people MAYBE use them at home or in the office or when meeting friends... but how common is it that they are used on the go? and most of those situations are predictable, nothing "just comes up" requiring you to use an optical disc these days... those few people should carry an external drive with them which weighs about the same, making laptops cheaper and lighter for the vast majority...

luckily intel FINALLY realized this as well and is suggesting no ODDs in ultra books, one of the few things they got right about those things...
or maybe they only did it to cut costs, hah!
Well said, and EA, the bane of gamers and a turd-stripe on the underwear of humankind, intends to drag us kicking and screaming into the post-optical disk age whether we like it or not. Adapt or be left behind. Evolution 101.
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#14
theoneandonlymrk
by: evulmunk33
i havent had an optical drive in my system for almost 5 years, and havent had one in my laptop for 2 years
i still have a single burner, just for makeing driving cds it seems, I had not considdered it but ive not bought a hard copy in a year or two

Ive allready got 8 games via origin but imho they need to get all their back catalogue on it fast and allow disk copies ,ALL old disk serials to be tied to it if legit, simples via this they would garner some respect and support from the gamers(pc) inc me, origin has improved since the beta started but what is going on over their that its still a soddin beta:confused:
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#15
CrAsHnBuRnXp
Can EA just come out with another Burnout game already? One that isnt anything like Paradise and more like Revenge.

Edit: Also, why do we not get discounts on digital media compared to that of physical media? I dont want to pay $60 for a game for a digital copy when the physical media costs the same. I want $10 off.
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#16
3design
EA This, EA that...

Seriously, I stopped buying their product 2 years ago (accept burnout paradise). They are blabbering like gits with their mouth open for flies to lay their eggs.

Need For Speed is getting crappier everyday, accept for burnout paradise. I still play that game...

Need For Speed: Underground 1 & 2 (Holy **** Big GREAT game!)
Need For Speed: Most Wanted (Great Game!)
Need For Speed: Carbon (Graphics Improvement, needs improvement!)
Need For Speed: Undercover (OK Game, needs more flare and WOW factor...)
Need For Speed Pro street (Crap, who made this ****?)
Need For Speed: Shift 1 & 2 (WTF? This game is the biggest downfall! The game is buggy, glitch as hell (even worse on Shift 2), features and contents are limited.)

Notes: In Shift 2 (PC), it looks more like a port version from PS3, even if you set graphics quality to the max. That is disturbing and lazy...

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (PS3 & PC Edition) - Great Game! Needs more flare... Criterion can do better than that - com on!

Need For Speed: Most Wanted 2 (Criterion Game) - Car Modification are being stripped down or thrown aside... WTF? Criterion, look at the original: Most Wanted game! Open your firkin eyes!!!!

Crysis - 1 & 2 - Still buggy as hell if you haven't notice. Most of the bug are located behind the game and the 'core' engine...

Command & Conquer 3 + 4 --- The worse series ever made for public! The other version: C&C 4, it's even worse! The gameplay mechanics were stripped down like crazy, graphics are buggy (if you look hard enough). Even MORE disgraceful, they slap that "Always Online DRM" just for everybody to HATE like never before! What a total FAIL...

EA, get a life...

-----

This lists are endless... I will stop here...
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#17
atikkur
by: 3design


EA, get a life...
they had it,, THE SIMS
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#18
theoneandonlymrk
by: CrAsHnBuRnXp
Edit: Also, why do we not get discounts on digital media compared to that of physical media? I dont want to pay $60 for a game for a digital copy when the physical media costs the same. I want $10 off.
+1:toast:
Posted on Reply
#19
natr0n
Lets say you buy a game and its no longer supported.

example: a fps and they turn off servers and remove game from accounts.

You'll have nothing left basically.

I'm not sure if someone mentioned this already.
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#20
james888
I might actually play some ea games if they were f2p.

Most just don't look worth the money. I enjoyed crysis, but borrowed that from a friend. Same with crysis 2, but that wasn't as good a game. The nfs games just don't interest me. I don't feel like playing bf3 for $60 when I have mindless shooters I am happy with. Friends tell me I need to play bf2142 if that is what it is called.
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#21
Hilux SSRG
EA when are you discounting BF3 Premium or at least CQ? And can you push back BF4 until Fall/Winter 2014?
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#22
happita
by: Hilux SSRG
EA when are you discounting BF3 Premium or at least CQ?
Probably never seeing as though Premium gets you all 5 DLCs for $10 a piece instead of paying $15 individually for each one. And not to mention EA isn't like Steam with discounting their games.

by: Hilux SSRG
And can you push back BF4 until Fall/Winter 2014?
Its not so bad, at least its not like a new COD every single year :laugh:
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#23
Hilux SSRG
I picked up Karkand for $7.50 on a short 50% off sale,... so I have some hope.
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