The gaming industry has seen some interesting trends so far in our new-generation of hardware and one of them has to be the rise of full game downloads among gamers. EA has noticed how quick people have taken to the full game download avenue of software acquisition and they believe that console trend will only continue.
The PS4 and Xbox One originally released with 500GB hard-drives back in 2013 and recently, we’ve begun to see new models launch with larger storages, 1TB to be exact. The Chief Financial Officer of EA Blake Jorgensen spoke about the trend and commented on what will help continue it moving forward.
“Our last quarter we announced we were running about 20 percent full game downloads. That’s compared in the prior console cycle to a peak of about 5 percent full game downloads, so that’s a big step up. Part of the driver is the consoles have more storage, so the consumers are more comfortable with that and bandwidth speeds are going up.
“Today, there are still a couple impediments to full game downloads. One is bandwidth speeds are not the same all over the world and, these are big pieces of software. It can take multiple hours to do downloads. The second piece is a lot of customers of our’s are either too young to have a credit card or maybe not able to have a credit card, and so cashless transactions improve different methods to do that, the PayPals of the world. That will help to continue to drive the full game download business,” Jorgensen said at the USB Global Tech Conference.
Gamers who have purchased full games via digital purchases know that it can be quite a lengthy process for the title to download, however, once that has been completed the convenience gained is undeniable. Digital provides more convenience for gamers and for publishers, they know that game won’t be resold as a used title, something that is a benefit for them.
Used games is an inevitable thing gamers have to think about when purchasing a physical copy versus a digital copy because the former allows them to share the game with friends are trade-in for credit in future purchases. EA and other firms are working to make digital purchases more enticing compared to what a retail copy offers.
“There is also a residual value in some consumers minds about possibly trading [their games] in, and we’re trying to add extra content to the digital full game purchases to entice people to do full game downloads. We think that 20 percent goes to 40 percent over the next three or four years, in a way very similar way that it has happened with books, music, records, TV and film. Convenience is ultimately what the consumer wants,” Jorgensen said.