Physical retail could disappear in 10 years, maybe sooner, says EA’s Soderlund

Tuesday, 21 August 2012 20:29 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Patrick Soderlund, executive vice president of EA Games, believes boxed games will commercially go the way of the dinosaur within 10 years as digital becomes the norm.

Speaking with CVG
, Soderlund said it will be a tricky transition as many publishers, including EA, know that “packaged goods work,” but long-term, more consumers will opt for digital.

“I think [the switch will] be sooner than people think,” said Soderlund. “I think it’s going to be sooner than ten years. That’s my personal opinion, and might not be what EA thinks.

“We know that packaged goods work, and the majority of our current revenue comes from that. That’s still a viable business mode. In the long term, we’ll see more and more people gravitate to downloaded content. I happen to think that there’s something about physical content, like books, that’s collectable and satisfying to own. I still want physical content but I’m not part of the new generation of gamers.

“Looking back five years and looking at today, there is such a vast difference to how I consume entertainment and how I connect with people. We just have to embrace these changes rather than be afraid of them.”

Soderlund said the industry should embrace change instead of being afraid of it, because when a company doesn’t “adapt” it becomes “irrelevant,” as with releasing franchises across multiple platforms.

“I absolutely believe that’s the case,” he said.