EA’s Riccitiello: “No question” that digital will overtake retail this year

Saturday, 8th January 2011 05:19 GMT By Nathan Grayson


Quick! Out of the GameStop! It’s going down!

But first, would you like to preorder this life-jacket-and-flotation-device bundle?

Speaking with IndustryGamers, EA CEO John Riccitiello bet the house (and, you know, the entire multi-million dollar corporation) on digital distribution.

“At the end of [2011], the digital business is bigger than the packaged goods business, full stop. No questions in my mind. Then, you know, I think that we’ll find ways to even sell our packaged goods content in chunks and in pieces and subscriptions and micro-transactions,” he said.

Big words, but can he back them up? Turns out, the answer is a resounding “yes” – and then some.

“Our highest ARPU (average revenue per user) are free-to-play games among paying users,” he continued. “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.”

Now walk over to your coffee-maker. Don’t have one? Drive to some sort of caffeine-peddling establishment. Next, grab a mug of coffee, then head home. Are you back? Good. Now cozy up in front of your computer. Finally, take a sip, read that last Riccitiello bit again, and then spew molten mocha in every which direction. There: you have now reacted accordingly.



  1. OrbitMonkey

    So they give you a taste, hey its free, what’s the harm? Oh you want some more? That’s gonna cost you. A business practice that works for drug dealers & videogame publishers alike :)

    #1 4 years ago
  2. polygem

    He is so wrong. It wont work like that in the long term. Its all about the pricing. But not like this. People dont want to pay fees for the franchiseS they play…this might work for ONE game.- its not practible for all the games.. 30% to 40% cheaper than retail digital game downloads is what i want. And thats not much to ask for…Still i would go retail for most games and download the few i know i will keep on playing for a year regulary…

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Dannybuoy

    *Looks at HMV sitting in the corner trembling*

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Callum

    What a dick. Hes silly if he thinks it will take just one year for DD to take over completely. The retailers have too much invested to go down without a fight. Expect something to be thrown into the mix that this douche did not predict…thats all im sayin’

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Callum

    Woops, just re-read the article. He said ‘Bigger than’

    Well actually he might not be far off. I think it will depend heavily on the 3DS’ success and if the Wii gets some sort of a face lift (those games will not be digitaly distributed, and will count for a large prortion of the indsutry sales). He could be right…but hes still a dick.

    #5 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.