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EA Senior VP criticizes Steam sales: “I just think it cheapens your intellectual property.”

Steam Christmas sale had a chat with EA's David DeMartini, Senior Vice President of Global Ecommerce. DeMartini talks about the state of and future of Origin, EA's digital distribution service, which has apparently been downloaded 13 million times, and generated more than $150 million in revenue.

Things get interesting with GI's interviewer asks if Steam's regular “deep discounting” is something EA plans to mirror, and DeMartini says no and explains why.

DeMartini, when asked about replicating Steam's strategy of giving deep digital discounts: “We won't be doing that. Obviously they think it's the right thing to do after a certain amount of time. I just think it cheapens your intellectual property. I know both sides of it, I understand it. If you want to sell a whole bunch of units, that is certainly a way to do that, to sell a whole bunch of stuff at a low price. The gamemakers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we're not trying to be Target. We're trying to be Nordstrom. When I say that, I mean good value - we're trying to give you a fair price point, and occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount, just don't look for 75 percent off going-out-of-business sales.”

DeMartini goes on to add: “Also what Steam does might be teaching the customer that "I might not want it in the first month, but if I look at it in four or five months, I'll get one of those weekend sales and I'll buy it at that time at 75 percent off." It's an approach, and I'm not going to say it's not working for Valve. It certainly works for Valve; I don't know if it works as well for the publishing partners who take on the majority of that haircut.”

Read Steve Peterson's full interview with David DeMartini here .

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