Digital gaming has become a major part of the industry in the last decade or more. Like most other mediums such as music and movies, digital distribution has become even more prominent. EA discussed this today during their their end of quarter earnings briefing for Q4 of the 2017 fiscal year, where they revealed the solid increase in the number of their games being sold digitally.
EA is easily one of the biggest publishers in the gaming industry, so they are definitely one to look at for potential trends each and every year. Behind series such as FIFA, Battlefield, and Mass Effect, EA puts out some of the most talked about games, with a lot of gamers seeming to move to the digital option this past year.
According to the prepared comments from EA’s briefing, nearly 33% of their total sales this past year were digital, which is a good bit higher than the 29% they had forecasted previously. Comparing to last year, this number increased by 9%, showing an ongoing trend for the company.
“The chief driver was the continuing evolution of consumer behavior, but some of the outperformance was driven by the shift from Star Wars Battlefront to Battlefield 1, as well as the digital performance of our catalog. As a result, we continue to believe the underlying trend is closer to 5 percentage points per year.”
Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, better known as ZhugeEX on Twitter, stated that EA believes the entire industry will hit a 40% ratio in digital sales by the end of calendar year 2017. However, EA is expected to be a little lower at 38% by then due to the number of copies that FIFA sells physically compared to digitally.
People have been wondering for awhile now if we may see a switch to all digital consoles in the future. While that isn’t the case yet, there’s no doubt that the option is becoming increasingly popular for people.