EA head John Riccitiello has said the digital version of Mass Effect 2 for PlayStation 3, the console’s first launch-day digital release, pulled “meaningful” sales.
Speaking at last week’s Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, as reported by IGN, Riccitiello said the percentage of Mass Effect 2 PS3 sales through the PlayStation Store was a “meaningful”, double-digit amount, despite EA doing “absolutely nothing” to promote it.
“An unmarketed game,” he emphasised, “One year after the original was done on the Xbox and the PC, we released the PS3 and managed to do very, very well with it.”
Sony offers less than a dozen retail titles for downloads through its US PlayStation Network, and Ricitiello says the release of Mass Effect 2 was “more about proving it can be done than it was proving what the opportunity would be”.
“Sony had never done a day and day release,” he explained.
“They were very cautious about their infrastructure so it was mostly a technology test.”
Riccitiello also commented on why Sony and Microsoft are cautious in their approach to digital distribution of major releases.
“They have got to manage both selling boxes at retail, and it’s generally a pretty thin margin business. And so they basically negotiate and leverage shelf space on the promise of making retail margin on software.”