EA: "It's conceivable PC will become our biggest platform"

"Retail may be a problem but PC downloads are awesome" - Gibeau

EA Games president Frank Gibeau has suggested that the publisher's future may lie in PC gaming.

"The user base is gigantic," he told Gamasutra. "PC retail may be a big problem, but PC downloads are awesome.

"The margins are much better and we don't have any rules in terms of first party approvals. From our perspective, it's an extremely healthy platform. It's totally conceivable it will become our biggest platform."

Facebook and the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic are perhaps the vanguards of this, but Gibeau also referenced free to play games for the Chinese market. "If you look at the way people play in Asia, PC is the model. I think that free to play model is coming to the West in a big way."

Gibeau echoed comments regularly made by EA CEO John Ricitiello about the publisher's possible resurgence coming via digital sales. "I really feel good about where we are at EA these days. There's a lot of transition going on in this industry and we're really well positioned for that.

"We feel like we're on the offensive. We're moving from a fire-and-forget packaged goods model to an online services model."

EA recently revealed plans to open a new multinational strategy games studio, Victory, which will relaunch its Command & Conquer IP.

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Latest comments (13)

James Knight QA Manager/Game Design 7 years ago
They should call it "Winning".
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Nicolas D'Offay Programmer, Lightning Fish Games7 years ago
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When is the last time EA posted a healthy profit?

Online is all fine, but IMO there is a lot less revenue in it than going through retail. EA is a big company, with a lot of salaries to pay.
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Show all comments (13)
Julien Wera Marketing & PR Manager, Massive - A Ubisoft Studio7 years ago
Gibeau is just expressing here what many smaller-scale publishers and developers have understood for years. Unfortunately for them, large publishers such as EA have a very rigid structure in place, which makes it harder for them to switch to a different and more flexible business model.

But among the top publishers, I guess EA is well placed to do this change of focus compared to others who relate 100% on boxed products.
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EA does quality stuff, if this mindset means there will be someone doing decent games for the PC and not the swarm of completely horrible ports we've been seeing in the last few years, then this can only mean good news
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Lance Winter Senior Game Designer, Splash Damage7 years ago
We're moving from a fire-and-forget packaged goods model to an online services model

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James Prendergast Research Chemist 7 years ago
So.... all those servers EA takes down every year for the online portions of games....?!

Maybe it's just me but i'm seeing a discrepancy between actions and statements again.
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Jas Purewal Partner, Purewal & Partners7 years ago
+1 Nicolas d'Offay
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Matthew Whittington investor 7 years ago
EA online download manager UI is a joke. They need to step up their game big time if they are going to catch up with steam.
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Victor Perez CEO, Games GI7 years ago
6 years to realize that... not bad... perhaps we need to wait 6 more to see serious invest on it.
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Peter Law Freelance Game Designer and Unity Developer, Enigma 237 years ago
A nice change from the "PC gaming is dead" comments we usually see :)
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Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology7 years ago
hopefully this will mean that EA starts making games that take advantage of powerful hardware some people have (eg: DX11,Quad-core CPUs,SLI/xfire) rather then little facebook type games....

still good though.

hopefully they will use steam or the like for the distribution of these new games..
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Private Industry 7 years ago
Now something in the comment I don`t like and thats "doesn`t require first party approvals". I do prefer games to go trough a approval system outside of the company that makes the game. While that`s not a guarantee for stuff to work as we have seen with the completely broken Fallout 3 DLC on GFWL it`s still better than not having that.
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