While most feel that digital distribution is the way of the future for all video games, retail still plays a significant role for console gaming. Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore talked about the significance of retail at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Global Technology Conference.
"Once we get that disk installed in the tray of an Xbox or a PS3, we then look at our consumer on an ARPU basis," Moore said, according to Gamasutra. "We love what retail does for us. We love its ability to create massive launches and create excitement. GameStop probably sees three million hardcore gamers walk through their doors every day, and that's a marketing opportunity for us."
Moore noted that there are still issues holding consumers back from fully embracing a digital-only model. "A lot of our consumers don't own credit cards. A lot of our consumers are still afraid of what happened to the PlayStation Network when 77 million accounts were accessed by Anonymous in 2011," Moore said. "A lot of our consumers prefer to go into retail buy those Xbox Live or PlayStation Network cards, and retail gets a very strong margin on that. For retail, if they can evolve to be not just a physical media purveyor, but a digital media purveyor, it'll play a very strong role in our business going forward."
Retail cards for DLC do well, said Moore, especially when it is available at launch. Day one DLC can clearly result in an increase in revenue, indicates Moore.
"The other key thing is selling digital content on the day of launch...When we sold Mass Effect 3 back in March, we saw a 40 percent attach rate that first week to DLC at GameStop in the United States. Not only are you selling a $60 game...you're selling $20 DLC, so the sale becomes $80," Moore said.