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EA's Soderlund: Physical retail could be gone in ten years

"I think it's going to be sooner than people think," says executive vice president of EA Games

Patrick Soderlund of EA has shared his thoughts on the future on the industry, and specifically the time when boxed products will no longer be a commercially viable way of selling games.

"I think it's going to be sooner than people think. I think it's going to be sooner than ten years," the executive vice president of EA Games told CVG.

"That's my personal opinion, and might not be what EA thinks."

He admitted that it was a tricky subject, made trickier by the different attitudes to physical goods that the new generation of gamers have.

"We know that packaged goods work, and the majority of our current revenue comes from that. That's still a viable business model," he explained.

"If you don't adapt you become irrelevant."

"In the long term, we'll see more and more people gravitate to downloaded content. I happen to think that there's something about physical content, like books, that's collectable and satisfying to own. I still want physical content but I'm not part of the new generation of gamers. I remember a time when I bought a cartridge and excitedly read the manual on my way home, imagining what the game was going to be like. Maybe kids don't have that anymore."

He also spoke about the evolution of franchises across multiple devices, and warned the the industry had to adapt.

"Looking back five years and looking at today, there is such a vast difference to how I consume entertainment and how I connect with people. We just have to embrace these changes rather than be afraid of them. I think some people are so surprised by the changes that are happening that they become afraid of it."

"They try to stick to what they know and that's the danger. If you don't adapt you become irrelevant. I absolutely believe that's the case."

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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