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Packaged goods best performer for EA in Asia

Despite rampant piracy, packaged PC games show "massive" growth for publisher in Asian markets

EA Partners manager Sergio Salvador has said it's a misconception that sales of boxed PC games in Asian markets have been destroyed by piracy, and that the company has seen "massive" growth for retail packages in the region.

Although reluctant to discuss solid numbers, Salvador again dismissed another myth that consumers in the market aren't interested in titles developed in the West – as proven by the success of Valve's The Orange Box.

"A not very well-known fact regarding Asia is that in our last fiscal year the packaged goods organisation was actually the best-performing part of the whole of EA," revealed Salvador in an exclusive interview published today. "You look at the numbers, and they're not particularly big overall, but it you look at the growth, it's massive."

"Actually the best-performing titles in Asia for EA Partners specifically - you'd be surprised, but actually the games that do well in the West, there's an understanding that maybe they won't do well in Asia. Maybe that's a misconception to a certain extent.

"The Orange Box from Valve did incredibly well here in Asia - again if you look at just the numbers, without context, they don't look very impressive and are relatively small proportion by Western standards."

It's not just the Asian markets with a good console penetration – such as Australia and Japan - where boxed product is shifting increasing numbers, with Salvador stating it's a “surprise” how well PC games sell in China.

"EA doesn't comment on numbers, so I can't give you details, but looking at PC it's not unusual to sell more units of a particular PC game in China than in Korea."

Even despite rampant piracy in China, EA's retail and distribution partners are using the publisher's product to support their own businesses, said Salvador, and taking advantage of such a huge population.

"Despite piracy, because you're looking at a much, much bigger country and the fact that the retailers and distributors who work within China actually understand that they can use the packaged goods as a base to build their own businesses, and cover all the different layers of revenue-generating products - everything from packaged goods all the way to microtransactions and other MMOs."

The full interview with Sergio Salvador, where he discusses success in the region, working with external partners, piracy and more, can be read here.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.