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Slowing sales of packaged goods pushing EA online

Company pledges $150 million investment as Burnout Paradise sells 20k over PSN

Electronic Arts is to heavily invest in its online, EA Partners and distribution business, as sales of packaged goods are expected to slow in the future, according to CEO John Riccitiello.

Speaking during a conference call following an announcement to further reduce costs by cutting 600 positions at the company, Riccitiello also revealed that sales of Burnout Paradise via the PlayStation Network had topped 20,000.

Riccitiello stated that such digital delivery methods are "crucial to our long-term success... in the future, we see slower growth in packaged goods," reports Gamasutra.

The company is investing USD 150 million, with initiatives such as micro-transactions in Asia and the recently announced Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO benefiting from the cash.

However, he did note that support from traditional retail outlets had been strong this year, with bricks and mortar stores making extra room for products on the market.

"Game sales have also been good this year... retailers have added space for the game industry," he said.

"Still, we recognise these times are unprecedented, and so far in October there are indicators that consumers and retailers are cautious," he added.

Although the market appears weak in the short-term, Riccitiello is optimistic during the current economic downturn.

"The game industry has been very resilient in past recessions. History has shown us that the technology driver of new consumers has outweighed the negative of a recession."

It was also revealed during the conference that two more titles have been delayed – Saboteur and Lord of the Rings: Conquest – and Riccitiello talked of a number of "slips and kills", including the recently canned Tiberium and the delay of the next Harry Potter game.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: 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.
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