EA believes digital sales will make a big stride before the end of the year compared to physical.
EA shared very positive results for its Q4 2017 and the full fiscal year in last night’s earnings report, thanks in no small part to digital sales which made up 61% of total revenue for the full year.
In a call to investors following the earnings, CFO Blake Jorgensen was asked about EA’s comment on full digital game downloads making up 9% of the publisher’s fiscal year.
“The number surprised us because we had thought that it’d be around the 5% year-over-year growth,” Jorgensen said. “Some of that may simply be the consumer is shifting faster than we know or we expected.”
“We do think the industry will end calendar year 2017 probably above 40%,” he added. That’s close to half of the industry’s sales being done online, which is a big step.
That said, EA’s own digital share will lag behind the competition, thanks to FIFA. The game is very popular in places with limited access to high-speed bandwidth, and in countries where buying digital goods isn’t the norm, so it’ll always sell better on disc. And with it being the company’s biggest game, it will reduce the overall percentage of digital revenue for EA.