Say what you will about EA, but the company definitely seems to be thinking ahead. Head of EA Labels, Frank Gibeau, has told GamesIndustry in an interview that EA will “be a 100% digital company, period.” Talking about the gaming industry and the rise of digital media, Gibeau believes that selling digital products directly to the consumer via the internet is the way of the future.
Retail partners probably won’t be too thrilled to hear that, but it’s the way the industry is moving in general. Gibeau says that while retail is a “great channel” and that the company has “great relationships” with its partners, EA will respond to customers who want to get games directly from the source.
Naturally, the company won’t completely abandon retail: “[I]f customers want to buy a game at retail, they can do that too. We'll continue to deliver games in whatever media formats make sense and as one ebbs and one starts to flow, we'll go in that direction.” Gibeau goes on to say that digital is the fastest growing segment of EA’s business, and that the company is preparing for the advent of streaming games via the cloud from the likes of Gaikai and OnLive.