EA expects 40% of revenue from digital sales

Valve is a privately held company, so it’s under no obligation to share financial details with the public. As a result, we don’t have a perfectly clear picture of just how much of the PC gaming market has been gobbled up by Steam—or downloadable games in general. The market for digitally acquired titles is certainly growing, though. EA’s digital revenue was up 55% last quarter. For the current fiscal year, EA expects downloads to make up 40% of its projected $4.3 billion revenue.

In an interview with Reuters, COO Peter Moore says EA isn’t far away from shipping more downloadable games than retail-boxed copies. The firm’s digital sales could outstrip those of physical copies in a few years.

The market as a whole may be at parity already. Reuters cites an NPD Group report claiming that sales of boxed games dropped 20% in July and now make up half of the overall market. Perhaps last month’s Steam summer sale was partly responsible for the sharp decrease in physical sales. I’d be curious to see how NPD’s numbers look after the flurry of new releases expected during this year’s holiday season.

Downloadable titles seem to be particularly popular in North America, where Steam has long had a foothold. Square Enix’s upcoming open-world action game Sleeping Dogs, for instance, won’t be sold in a retail box at all in the U.S. and Canada. EA has no plans to phase out packaged products just yet, though. As long as there are consumers who want physical copies, Moore says EA will provide them. However, I suspect those retail-boxed games to still be tied to EA’s Origin online service.

Comments closed
    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]EA expects downloads to make up 40%[/quote<] Only if those sales are through steam. I know I'm not buying into Origin. Also, if EA starts including extra drm like Origin on top of steam, that's a no purchase. 3rd party account drm is where I draw the line.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      Isn’t Origin technically 1st party and Steam would be 3rd party for an EA game?

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 7 years ago

        No. Not when steam was here first and the game you buy [i<]through steam[/i<] contains Origin. We're talking distributors, not developers. You're confusing the two.

        • Duck
        • 7 years ago

        He means using a secondary layer of DRM like Origin (and probably that ubisoft always on crap and similar) on games that are distributed via Steam, not “3rd party account drm”.

    • windwalker
    • 7 years ago

    Wrong article

    • south side sammy
    • 7 years ago

    digital download vs boxed sales is almost a gaming oxymoron………… you can buy a game on a disc but that same disc, once installed, has to “dial home” and download content. Up yours.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    Based on the headline alone I expected EA to take a 40% cut from all non-EA games sold on Origin which to me seemed really high.

    And then, yeah, I wasn’t even close…lol

    • The Egg
    • 7 years ago

    I hope EA gets exactly 0% of digital sales revenue, and then dies of gonorrhea and rots in hell.

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      Wow some people are way more passionate about games than is healthy.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        I agree, I don’t believe in hell either.

    • Duck
    • 7 years ago

    Steam takes some of the market share of course, but it also generates some new market that didn’t exist before with the Steam sales. People buy some really cheap games on sale, but they don’t even get round to playing them or probably even downloading them. Valve have managed to get people to give them money and they don’t take anything in return. Pretty cool lol.

      • bcronce
      • 7 years ago

      When it’s only $2, why not? 🙂

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        2$ x 1000000 people paying for nothing.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 7 years ago

          I’ve done this, I can’t help myself.

          I do tell myself I’ll play them all someday though.

          (Also, I got a lot of games in packs that I don’t intend to play, but buying the pack was still cheaper than buying the games I wanted separately).

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            It’s made worse by bundles. I decided that I wanted Universe Sandbox and got an Indie Bundle with it inside. Splice was okay, but the other three games got uninstalled immediately…well, I guess I played them, but they’re still in my game list now.

      • glacius555
      • 7 years ago

      I am one of them and I spent more than $2 more often that not. Actually, far more than $2 each time.. 🙁

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    The other thing I’m thinking about here…what about digital-only sales? I believe XBLA has had games on there since 2005 without physical equivalents, and the indie game scene gets a TON of mileage being purely digital.

    • Sahrin
    • 7 years ago

    hmmm…dangling modifier headline. “EA expects 40% of revenue from digital sales” can mean “EA expects to get 40% of digital sales made on Origin” or “EA expects to get 40% of *its* revenue from digital sales.”

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      Since Origin is not mentioned, I’m assuming the most inclusive possible. They mean anything they sell digitally, so XBL, PSN, GOG, Steam and any other 3rd party service selling EA games, and anything they sell on Origin.

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