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EA Sports to open retail stores

EA, the mega-publisher lauded for its attempts to join the digital revolution, plans to open a couple of honest-to-goodness bricks-and-mortar retail stores. Has the world gone mad?

Chris Erb, EA Sports' VP of brand marketing, broke the news to Marketshare.

"We just started construction on our first North American EA SPORTS retail store, which will open this fall in the Charlotte, NC, airport," he said.

"It is the first of what we hope to be at least three new retail stores to open in the next year, and it’s a place people will be able to interact and buy their favorite EA SPORTS games."

Erb commented that EA needs to create "environments for people to get their hands on" EA Sports games in order to "experience how much interactive sports experiences have evolved over the past few years".

"As pervasive as digital is, there’s still an offline component to acquiring new customers that remains important," he said.

"Our approach is to be creative and innovative with whatever we’re doing offline, and ensure that it connects with our digital strategies."

Speaking of digital strategies, in the same interview Erb commented on EA's push foc social features and integration.

"[Facebook is] a piece of the new gaming ecosystem around our top EA Sports franchises. Social games are not marketing devices to us," he said.

" ... Our aim is to deliver fans the ability to engage with their favorite EA Sports games whenever, wherever they want – on Facebook, on mobile, tablets and, of course, consoles. Today, games are a place you go, not just a thing you buy."

EA also recently announced a new digital distribution service, Origin.

Thanks, GoNintendo.

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