Electronic Arts Aims for 100 Percent Digital Distribution Model

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John Pombrio

Uh, CONSOLE games? Exactly how are we supposed to take a DVD sized game and stuff it into the overpriced and pathetically weenie sized hard drive that comes with consoles? Roll our own USB drives?

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Scatter

You'll probably have to uninstall some games over time though your Xbox Live account will remember that you've purchased it and allow you to re-download it again the next time you want to play it.

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TheRyGuy

Uh, YEAH! EA becoming fully digital won't be for another few years. By then the next-gen consoles will be out and I guarantee they will have 500GB or higher sized hard drives. With the decline in hard drive prices, I can expect to see some high-capacity drives in the consoles. HOPEfully the hard drives will be able to be easily replaced like they are now, if need be. I'll always be a PC gamer though, except for those few console exclusives.

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RaptorJohnson

The eventual goal of console makers it to make all games server-side computing, micro-transacting, pay for each bullet you fire, pieces of crap. In short Zynga is the future.

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Engelsstaub

Post of the Day. I LOLed.

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hades_2100

"It's going to be there some day. It's inevitable."

So is the sun going nova. It's inevitable.

How more generic can you get?

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momarkey

Back in the day, before digital downloads were the norm, all we heard was: "Because of downloads, we do not have to pay for a box or shipping and all that savings will be passed onto the customer"

Correct me if I am wrong, Diablo 3 cost how much to download? What about Star Wars the Old Republic? They were both $60.00 just like their box counter parts.

Digital downloads favor the companies not the consumers.

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sean76

I totally agree with you on this. They want to save money not packaging and shipping product, but yet charge the same price as what is! My ISP has a download cap, and given the choice, I guess I will opt to purchase a hard copy of games. I own a lot of digital downloaded games. Until the games are priced right for what they are doing... I plan on buying hard copies.
EA puts out so much buggy games anyways..... Take Star Wars The old Republic for example... =P~

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Scatter

To be fair, Microsoft will charge developers for the right to sell their games on the Xbox marketplace so it's not all savings. How much MS charges for this compared to how much it would cost for a developer to package and ship a game I do not know.

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sean76

The developers are going to have to pay that cost no matter if it is digital or hard copy.

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Valor958

Like others have said, there are pros and cons. IF we have to deal with digital only from them, fine, they're within their rights to do so. With that also comes alienating a huge market of people with download caps and other limits. With games frequently getting into the 8-14gb range, downloading one game, updates, maybe some mods, then streaming download rates from online play... goodbye frequent users. Especially with the always-on DRM being implemented...
I WOULD still support in store copies for at least the cd-keys so you can purchase with cash and not worry about your info getting out. There are a lot of methods to accomplish this, and I won't bother to list them all, but with even a LITTLE effort, they could still have their cake and eat it too.
I'm not an EA fan, and don't like the way I'm sure they'll go about this, but it IS what's coming for the industry as a whole. It's a pretty obvious cost cutting measure that fits in well with PC gaming, since so much is online in some way anyways. Diablo 3 set a precedent by showing people will complain and whine about always-on DRM and even online required for single player (same as Origin for BF3), so now it will happen more frequently I can assure you.
Heck, at least Steam lets us go to offline mode. I love Steam. ^_^

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TommM

(shrugs) I hate EA as much as the next guy - they've managed to screw up some stellar high-profile games.

But he's right - everything is going digital, so this shouldn't come as a big shock to anyone. The next generation of consoles will rely heavily (if not exclusively) on digital distribution.

The only thing I dislike about buying digital games is having to print off your own user manual. First of all, it kills off half the ink cartridges in my printer (and we all know how much they cost), plus I just liked having a well done manual ready to go. I guess that's the old school in me... ;)

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someuid

I dumped inkjet printing years ago for laser. I no longer have to budget out printing supplies at home. I can print on the cartridges for years, and the replacement cartridges don't cost but a few buck more than inkjet cartridges. The last black toner cartridge I bought was $40 and I've been printing on it for 3 years now.

Inkjet are for fools. Don't be a fool TommM. Go get a color laser printer. You'll thank yourself about 1 year from now when you realize you haven't had to refinance the house to buy printer ink.

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TommM

Good point...

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noobstix

If they do switch over to an all-digital format, I'll be getting my games except I won't be paying these bastards a single penny.

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Scatter

Good advice, lets all resort to stealing things when we don't agree with a distribution model.

I'm curious if you'll raise your kids to believe that stealing is wrong.

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Captain_Steve

EA wants to go digital to up their profits by eliminating the manufacturing process, eliminating shipping to distributors, eliminating the second hand market, and eliminating the chance of anyone else deciding prices on their products but them.

If EA would be willing to let other Digital Download companies (like Steam) also distribute their products, I wouldn't mind it so much; but when a single company controls the price for an entire market, there needs to be some competition put into it.

And yes, I'm aware there are other game companies out there; but for those that are into sports games or are longtime Maxis fans (Will Wright is awesome) you don't have any option than to pay what EA wants.

Fuck EA.

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TerribleToaster

This, essentially.

EA's simply looking for anyway to remove the entire concept of "free market" from their distribution platform, and if they just happen to cut out some overhead (to increase their own profits by that exact amount, because screw using a percentage markup) so be it.

I'm sure at some point, there will be a suit against them for this since they control too much of the market. Probably anti-competitive business practices or the likes.

I'm amazed they think they will succeed in this little venture. It's akin to Microsoft pulling an Apple and thinking that no one will care.

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Badg3r1977

If they are going DD only I hope the allow different tenders; I hate PayPal and there is NO FUCKING WAY im using my credit card with any games company (not with Anon on the prowl)!

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wolfing

I keep hearing from people stuff like "I don't want digital copies, I want to have an actual box". To me those sound pretty much like people who ditch e-book readers because they like the smell of books...

Digital is the present and future. But it has both pros and cons.

Many decisions have been made in the past "not to anger the distributors" (like, not being able to sell the digital version of a game cheaper than the box when it does cost them less, or not making an M rated game because Walmart doesn't sell them). Eliminate the middle man (or reduce their importance) and now you can, in theory, pay $50 for the digital copy instead of $60 for the box on opening day.

But then we now have less competition. A boxed game that doesn't sell well occupies physical space in the stores. Eventually stores need the space for something else so they lower the prices to get rid of them. With digital copies this doesn't happen. We depend on the marketing team at EA to decide if and when there is a sale.

But I'm all for digital, I've thrown away so many boxes thinking I wouldn't play them again (or just lost them), with digital they're always there for me to re-download if I want to.

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ApathyCurve

"clear line of sight"

/SLAP

"amount of engagement time"

/SLAP

"more important metrics"

/SLAP

Stupid MBA schools.

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someuid

+1

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Zoandar

Although Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) may seem fitting when talking about EA, I don't think that is what you meant. However, it IS the first hit when Googling "NPD" because you did not define the acronym in your article. So to what were you really referring?

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