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EA Executive Says Boxed Games Are Going The Way Of The Dodo Bird

EA Games executive vice president Patrick Soderlund has assured CVG that traditional boxed retail games are going the way of the Dodo bird. Soderlund says that digital distribution is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and that the next-generation of gamers genuinely won’t care about boxed retail games.

“We know that packaged goods work today, and the majority of our current revenue comes from that. That’s still a viable business model. But in the long term we’ll see more and more people gravitate to downloaded content.”

“I think it’s going to be sooner than people think [for boxed retail to die]. I think it’s going to be sooner than ten years.”

“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.”

“The distribution method won’t change how games are advertised or marketed, just how they are delivered to customers. My 96 year-old grandmother plays Cut the Rope and World of Warcraft. Honestly I don’t think there’s a digital barrier for the causal audience any more.”

103 thoughts on “EA Executive Says Boxed Games Are Going The Way Of The Dodo Bird”

    1. Nintedward . Wiiu . 3ds . 1991 .

      not doom and gloom. people will just switch to downloadable content. including nintendo fans.
      its sad tho . you would have to be retarded to not want the gamecase and manual etc.
      so we calnt sell our games ????? in the future ???? this is BS , people want to be able to sell their games . so i calnt see physical copies going away.
      hardcore gamers surely want to have the option to sell their games , and the trade in business is worth billions of dollars. i am sure nobody wants to see that end.
      2022 – 70% physical – 30% downloadable . for full price retail games.
      obviously gay little mobile phone games dont merit packageing and will continue to be 100% downloaded. they think cus people are downloading 1 dollar iphone games , that is going to affect the full price retail industry ???? BS , only 5% of NSMB2 sales in japan were downloads , i bet it is similar in the west . case closed.
      i want to sell my NSMB2 when i have Endgame it thank you very much , and buy a subway a magazine and some beers with what money i recover . nuff said
      disc >>>>> hard drive.
      pc games arent collectible
      nintendo games , seriously are .

      1. I won’t switch… So a guess if this happens (keeping in mind consumers make it happen) I wont be buying games… I don’t mind… Still lots more of the oldies to get

        1. Nintedward . Wiiu . 3ds . 1991 .

          i like having a dvd colection a book collection a game collection that spans time .
          i dont want a hard drive to be my collection.
          that sucks.
          even if DLC takes over . they will still produce boxed copies for us dedicated gamers to order , i know they will . for ever .

          1. Same with CDs… They are still going strong with a hefty consumer base… At least it’s high enough to keep the going… Don’t get me wrong… Little arcade style games or oldies are okay for downloading but not current and future video games which are getting bigger and bigger

            1. Nintedward . Wiiu . 3ds . 1991 .

              it is just common sense. EA and other douchebags want to cut the middle man out (gamestop /gamestatio) so they can sell it full price without having to sell it to the store for cheap , so the store can make $10 off it .
              well we all like the middle man , he gives us the factory fresh box and lets us sell and trade .
              this is essential for financing my games.
              take sleeping dogs for example. its not really the sort of game you want to collect.
              i want to finish it completely and then get 55% of my money back in 2 weeks.
              simple. its like a cheap rental . and lets people afford pre owned games etc .
              this argument is stupid . DLC games will suck balls in every way.
              is not having a bix an advantage ?
              i thought that was the major disadvantage…..
              noooooooof said.

                1. I don’t agree they should go bankrupt but need to gain common sense… I believe it was them that started that online pass… Consumers bought into it… Starting a bad habit for ea… Ea now believes they can do anything because people can’t live without their games.. Let’s say ea decides to make one of their biggest releases download only… Just to get that ball rolling again… Sadly people will buy into it… They won’t make a stand against it

      2. I still read the manuals excitingly when i buy a game.. i dont wanna let that go and have it be replaced with the lackluster feeling like that of downloading an app

      3. If DVDs n Blue Rays exist even though we have Netflix n Comcast. I’m sure physical copies will be fine. Sides if I want downloadable games is get a PC. Console gaming for life bitches!

      4. I could not agree more with Nintedward! He hit the nail on the head. There is NO WAY I’m going to pay full retail, plus taxes, for a game and not get the physical disc, case, and booklet. I’m a collector, so I want to have all of that to keep. Then if I want to sell it in the future, I have it available, unlike downloaded copies that you are stuck with if you do not like the game. I do not see physical games going the way of the dodo bird for a long time and certainly not anytime soon.

        1. Lolwut? No one offended you, so you start offending yourself now xD?! Comments like yours right here are what start flamewars, just cut it out man.

  1. Meh i will get as many digital games as possible. I will get a couple of 32 gb sd cards and im good. A couple sd cards > 20 boxes of games. That is if we get an account system

    1. not to mention, i’d love to get NSMBU and because NSMB2 became digital, im sure nintendo will make the U version digital as well!

      1. Nintedward . Wiiu . 3ds . 1991 .

        i like having boxes on display .
        its not futuristic to have downloads . its just a major disadvantage.
        the shops will fail . affecting a huge sector of the ecomony and we wont be able to sell our games. or have collectors edition artwork. loss loss for us .
        i will never download a retail game , until i have no choice

        1. Yes you do have a point. I will get the boxed copy if it has come type of speical edition. I like digital, but nintendo needs an account system. If nintendo is really featuring nintendo network, they gotta prove it

    1. yeah, digital should be cheaper, they dont have to ship/ make boxes for games and not buy cd’s. They should make it cheaper because we gotta buy sd cards to buy them digital. Even if its 10$ cheaper, it will be nice

      1. If they did that the retailers would drop them as clients. It is a delicate balance. If they loose the retailers they are pretty much screwed.

        There will be a time when DL titles become 5$ cheaper and so on, and it is at that point that the retailers will start to die out.

        1. no retailers is bankrupt digital never will be the future

          people simply like sometimes to go to the store real instead on internet thats why stores stay

  2. Except theyre not. The only reason you want full digital is so you get more money saved from used and box production. Thats it.

      1. I have nothing wrong with digital, as long as it stays optional. I buy digital, but when i see a game that i know i’ll play again, and want to keep, or a special edition, i buy physical copies.
        Cloud gaming is a joke however. Like Onlive. If that company just shut down, you loose ALL your games, forever. Its ny like Steam where if it went out of business theyd let you download them from a site or something. Not to mention the bandwith and internet restrictions make it bare impossible. Next gen WILL have a high percentage of games over 15GB, at the least. Who the hell whats to stream 15GB?! Downloading it is bad enough, but streaming it is a joke

        1. next gen during wii u? or you mean after the wii u?
          i don’t see that happening in the 8th gen but the 9th gen can do it. in this time the internet of or time can handle this stuff yet.

          1. The WiiU has 25gb disks that can be doubled to 50gb, and the ps4 and 720 will be no different, no holdin back when it comes to game sizes

    1. Except they are. There are so many statistics for digital vs retail sales that prove it. Digital is the future and you might as well deal with it, or leave. They don’t care if you do, really.

  3. Says the company developing the worst digital distribution software ever created. Not even trying to force people into using it works. Thanks, EA, but I’d rather not play your crap at all.

  4. Yet digital distribution is still the most hated form of buying a game… Well, besides Steam of course.

    Yes, digital media will one day be the big thing but I don’t see boxed games going away anytime soon. Nintendo is only digital distributing their Wii U games for people who don’t want to have boxes laying around the place or can’t go to the shops to buy the newest game.

  5. Please stfu. They mean more digital=less retail=less used game= more money for them, EA please STFU you money hungry a-holes. Myself and everyone else on this website-no the world- will buy physical games FOREVER, either that or video game companies DIE-OFF, EA first.

    1. Amen. Its easy to say something that benefits the person. They didnt even report any statistics. And true enough used games dont benefits the makers at all so I can see them trying to steer people to buy digital. Tho there is benefits to digital however.

    1. Companies like ea over look that a lot of the consumer base are collectors… They’ll lose that consumer base..
      Just so they can’t spend less while not making the games cheaper to buy

      1. Yes I buy them all the time… Even records are still being sold… Manufactured I’m not sure of but are being sold

        1. Nintedward . Wiiu . 3ds . 1991 .

          vinyl records are still manufactured and sold .
          most dj’s use vinyl . its the coolest way

  6. Think about downloading times and time to go to the store. In general I’d rather go to the store to get my game for the satisfaction of having the game and also not waiting for 30 minutes

    1. Um…I agree with you, but I think we are talking HOURS for most people and their internet connections, not 30 mins. Besides, I love being able to look at my shelf full of games…

      1. it will not LOL check some sales of games digital/retail

        digital is mostly like 20% RETAIL IS ALWAYS more

        only time ill download is if the game is not in store on first day

        1. If they force it upon the consumer, which Sony and Microsoft plan on doing, then it WILL go that way. As much as we think we help shape the product, they decide what we buy

  7. “We know that packaged goods work today, and the majority of our current revenue comes from that.”

    I hate those developers and executives guys who thinks they speak for everyone else, there’s so stupid to think that gamers don’t want to have in their hands a physical game/box. He insult himself. =/

    1. hope that greedy guy dies to be honest box games sell way more why same price you get nice box etc and probaly even cheaper at some nice retail game stores lol

  8. “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.”

    This is why i dislike this current generation of gamers they don’t have any imagination.

  9. These type of companies over look so much just in hopes to make more money… Ea makes a profit like every year and now they want to push this to make more not realising it will effect a lot of the consumer base they have in a negative way… People who don’t have Internet or appropriate bandwidth and collectors… That’s a fairly high amount of people

  10. Most of my hard copy games I ended up installing to the console anyway. Out of convenience, I have more digital games than hard ones.

  11. I will care as long as there are HDD failures, network issues, and availability of faster Internet connections for everyone without spending ridiculous amounts of money for an unreliable service (I’m looking at you Clear).

  12. Even though I prefer to have boxed games for collective purposes, digital is the future unfortunately. Anyone who doesn’t realise that by now is pretty much an idiot.

    And it is to all tackle the publisher’s worst enemy, preowned gaming. If I see a game on Amazon which is cheaper to buy preowned (taking DLC I want into consideration), I’ll buy preowned in most situations, giving the publishers and developers no money.

    Yes, the digital revolution is greedy, but it is just good business.

  13. lol no never going to buy digital as same price as retail>.>

    this is not going to happen becuase not everyone goes digital

    check some sales of digital games THEY ARE ALWAYS MUCH LOWER THEN PHYSICAL

    sorry for bad language

  14. I know im gonna hate myself for this, but im aching for an handheld. Sighs, i guess the wii u $ i saved up ($220) is going to the 3ds xl. Not joking.

    and i guess i will sart saving AGAIN next year and get it by august

  15. the only upside i see with digital is that games will release quicker… i do enjoy having physical collections, though

  16. This is bull crap. Digital will never destroy the market for hard copies. It’s way less satisfying to have a downloaded game versus a hard copy. Too many people would rather go to the store and buy an actual game than wait for something to download. Especially considering games are getting bigger and bigger, you will have to wait longer and longer for it to download. Collectors and even people who don’t collect love having a hard copy of the game, it just feels better. Going digital would be bad for game stores everywhere severely impacting their business. CD’s are still going strong. Digital may become more popular but it will never take over.
    Sorry that was long

  17. If EA thinks that the future is digital. Then they should sell all their games digital and see how money they.

    I know I still want physical copy for my collection and fun memory.

  18. New Super Mario Bros. 2 say’s no to this as I think 95% of people bought the retail version while 5% bought the digital copy so there.

  19. “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.”

    That’s really the worst part as far as I’m concerned. Instant gratification lessens how much you care about things. Personally, I don’t feel like the ease of use outweighs the emotional aspect you’d be losing. Not to mention all the other problems digital brings (like ownership issues).

  20. EA is on it’s way to being the last Dodo mister Patrick Suderlund. Activision already hatched into a fruity and cheesy Dodo, plus THQ.

  21. Know what would be funny?
    If each of the big 3 started up their OWN chain of stores so that they could cut out stores like game stop and still sell games used.
    It’d work out best for everyone that way, I think.

  22. Oh they’d like that wouldn’t they. That way you have to always be online to play anything…No thanks…not happening.

  23. they are like a broken record, i would struggle to keep all my games i have on physical copy, also i have lost games i have paid for on my PSP went to re download it and it was go off the store after i paid full price for the software. this is why i hate digital down load

  24. sounds like “we don’t want to pay Chinese people 5c a week to make stuff you can hold in your hands anymore”

    I really wouldn’t mind if pricing was fair. you’d need to lose about 25 – 50% of the cost of a game here in Australia because the company doesn’t spend the money on discs and cases and don’t need expensive middle men and shipping costs added on. bullshit that’s going to happen. let’s all continue to rip off Australia!!! if they’re ripping me off, I’m buying a physical copy.

    its also an attempt to blur the line of stealing. in older copyright laws you own that physical copy and therefore reserve the right to sell it etc. if they move digital they start getting more and more leeway to delete the entire concept of fair use.

    at least nintendo is rumoured with the network that if you sign in on any wii u you can play the games you paid for.

    1. o and Christmas / birthdays. wtf do you give little cousins / neices / nephews? “here’s a download code for you” “o, gee aunty, how nice”

      also, as a conspiracy – the want everyone to have a credit card and to be able to access that card information.

  25. Then why should I pay for the game if I can’t get a hard copy? I want my hard copy so that when I meet the people who worked so hard on it, I can have something that they can sign.

  26. Digital will not fully replace physical media. Not anytime soon anyway. I don’t think it would be in 10 years. A lot of things need to change for this to become the dominant format. Externaol harddrives need to become cheaper and more accesible to all. And, internet speed must be level for every region. Some gamers still have really slow connections and some don’t have the internet at all. Leave luck to heaven.

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