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EA's Riccitiello: Digital sales surge has pushed industry 'to tipping point'

EA's Riccitiello: Digital sales surge has pushed industry 'to tipping point'
Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has followed up the firm's disappointing Q2 2013 financials by stressing that the publisher's future lies within the digital arena.

Speaking during the firm's quarterly conference call, Riccitiello said EA had reached the "end of an era" thanks to the growth of its digital sales - particularly in mobile - with the role of packaged games likely to decline in the years ahead.

The growth game

"Digital games and services are surging, mobile is scaling nicely and free-to-play is bringing in millions of new consumers," said Riccitiello.

"The growth in social network gaming has slowed and console packaged goods are declining, which is typical for console games this late in the cycle."

Riccitiello said the firm's strategy was to take its existing IP into digital channels and to build its own technology to enable said releases to grow through EA's social gaming platform Origin.

"We are building bridges to the next generation of games and technology," added Riccitiello.

"We're pretty strong believers in revenue growth going forward. We think we've reached sort of an end of an era.

"We are reaching a tipping point relative to digital, and we've intimated, in many ways as we can, without getting ahead of ourselves that we are believers and it's worth investing in next-generation technology."

Socially speaking

Of Origin, CFO Blake Jorgensen said the firm's 20 percent year on year growth in the digital market has been coupled by the social platform hitting 30 million registered users – 13 million of those on mobile alone.

"Additionally, we have signed agreements with over 70 independent developers to publish their games on our platform, along with our own vast catalog of titles and new launches," said Jorgensen.

EA CCO Peter Moore added that 4.4 million people have purchased games through Origin, with the average sale coming in at $64.

"People are buying multiple games," he concluded.

"The breakup of that 30 million is, I think, mostly interesting is we're now seeing as many as 13 million who are accessing Origin via their mobile devices."

You can read the transcript of the conference call in full over on Seeking Alpha.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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