According to a leading executive from publisher Electronic Arts, it will take 10 years at the most for the digital distribution model to eliminate physical sales.
Patrick Soderlund, who is the executive vice president at EA Games
, tells CVG that, “I think it’s going to be sooner than ten years. That’s my personal opinion, and might not be what EA thinks.”
He adds, “We know that packaged goods work, and the majority of our current revenue comes from that. That’s still a viable business mode. 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.”
Soderlund says that his own experience of how he is consuming media today is very different from five years ago and that the changes will be even greater in the coming decade.
The executive vice president believes that Electronic Arts and other publishers need to adapt to the coming digital revolution or risk becoming irrelevant.
Recent financial figures from EA have revealed that the company is seeing double digit percentage increases when it comes to the revenue derived from digital distribution.
The company has tried to capitalize on the trend by launching the Origin digital distribution
service and by making a number of games, from Mass Effect 3 to Star Wars: The Old Republic, exclusive to it.
There have been rumors that both Sony and Microsoft have been considering dropping physical drives from their coming hardware generation but neither of the two companies has revealed official details about the Xbox 720 or the PlayStation 4.
Nintendo is launching the Wii U home console before the end of 2012 and the new device comes with a physical drive.