I stumbled across some interesting news today, with EA's financial results for the first quarter of this year, which have some interesting facts for the games industry. EA's report is broken down into platforms, PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
EA made $292 million from the Xbox 360, $276 million from the PC and $267 million from the PS3. This means that as one of the world's biggest publishers, EA made more money on the PC than they did from the PlayStation 3, which to me, is quite surprising. EA's surge in business for the PC is looking to be attributed from digital sales.
EA has made $342 million from digital sales, up considerably from $232 million last year. Physical sales represent $592 million, dropping from $647 million last year. So, we're seeing that more and more people are going digital, like myself, compared to buying physical copies of games. If this trend continues, we could see digital thrashing physical copies, and when (note that I'm not using the word if) this happens, we're going to see an interesting shift in the gaming world. This is coming from a company who has said that it's "inevitable" that they'll become a 100% digital company.
Origin, EA's digital distribution service, sports 21 million users. That's a lot in such a short amount of time, and it looks like it's already accounting for a chunk of those digital sales. Battlefield Premium, for example, sold 1.3 million copies. FIFA Ultimate Team has already made $30 million already. I think we're going to see the digital trend continue, and physical sales are going to die a painful, and most likely, horrible death.
But, I think we're going to see digital evolve, somehow. Maybe DRM will die, and we'll see second-hand sales, or something that will change the way we 'trade' digital games. The future is digital, after all.
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