Publisher EA has pledged a big drive toward emerging digital markets – a strategy in direct contrast to rival Activision, which just yesterday pledged to exact opposite.
Speaking at the Credit Suisse 2010 Technology Conference, chief financial officer Eric Brown said that a principal growth driver has been downloads for extra content, which includes microtransactions for free to play games,” according to GamesIndustry.
This would include Playfish, map packs for 360 and PS3 games.”
Brown claimed that the wider market is currently split 40/60 between digital and packaged goods, a number which he hopes EA will closely match” in the future.
Digital currently delivers $750m in revenue for EA, up from $430m two years ago.
Overall we're growing our digital business by more than 30 per cent per annum,” he added. In the first half of fiscal 11 we grew our total digital revenue by 35 per cent year over year. We're actually taking share in digital revenue over all.”
There was also special mention for FIFA, which now includes the microtranaction-driven Ultimate Team Mode: There's really no limit to the card packs that you can purchase. We've seen people paying $500, $800, $1000 on digital trading cards so they can get the best possible line up of teams.
This has driven net digital revenue of FIFA from $15m for FIFA 09 to $31m for FIFA 10. We don't know where the number's going to end up for FIFA 11, but we do know that we've sold more packaged goods units.”