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EA: There's a "hunger" for digitally delivered content

The digital revolution is "already here" says UK boss

EA boss Keith Ramsdale has said he believes consumers have a "hunger" for digitally delivered content that has led to the days of the single player experience being over.

Speaking at the London Games Conference on Tuesday, Ramsdale also expressed his view that established franchises will end up leading the digital space.

"When mobile gaming started there was a rush of products - too much - and where it seems to be settling is with well known franchises," he said. "Only a few mainstream franchises will stand the test of time."

The exec used figures from the just-released FIFA 10 to prove the digital revolution is "already here".

Three weeks following its launch, 54 million matches had been played online, he said. "The game hasn't yet launched in the US. That's just European numbers."

Furthermore, online play allows companies to see how gamers are engaging in their products, he added. Which wouldn't be possible with a single player experience.

"There's a hunger for it. FIFA Ultimate Team is a download option - we've sold about USD 12 million worth.

"This year's forecast is that digital download revenue is around a billion dollars in gaming. That's more than 40 per cent bigger than music digital downloads in revenue terms. We're eclipsing music, we're already there, it's growing and yet we see it as different."

It's a seamless journey, he pointed out: "Customers buy packaged goods at retail, then want more," but he did admit that traditional retail wouldn't disappear overnight.

"Every week 30-40 million consumers walk into retail shops - it's not a market we're going to quickly ignore. While there are disc drives in machines in homes, consumers will still buy discs."

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