EA going "100% digital" in the near future

Tom Hatfield at

EA Labels President Frank Gibeau has told GamesIndustry.Biz that he believes EA will be a "100% digital" company in the future.

"It's inevitable," says Gibeau. "It's in the near future. It's coming. We have a clear line of sight on it and we're excited about it."

Gibeau went on to criticise the NPD monthly retail reports, which are used to measure games' success in US brick and mortar stores. These reports are often used as a guideline in the industry even though digital sales are not included: "My point is it's an irrelevant measure on the industry. It's totally irrelevant," said Gibeau. "We don't even really look at it internally anymore. We're more focused on our services and how we're connected with consumers. The number of Nucleus accounts we're growing, the amount of engagement time that we have, the amount of services that we're running - those are more important metrics for us than unit sales according to NPD and North America."

The EA Labels President also made it clear that EA wouldn't be abandoning retail right away: "But if customers want to buy a game at retail, they can do that too. We'll continue to deliver games in whatever media formats make sense and as one ebbs and one starts to flow, we'll go in that direction."

We don't pay much attention to retail charts much either. They've spent the last few years telling us that PC gaming is dying while digital distributors are dive headfirst into piles of cash, Scrooge McDuck style.

We've seen a lot of executives make proclamations recently, including an EA executive criticising digital sales... shortly before Origin begun one.

Do you think the future is in digital gaming?