EA says that the PC is becoming the largest gaming platform.
Electronic Arts yesterday reported its quarterly results with net revenue of $860 million, down $267 million as compared with $1.13 billion for the prior year. Even with the dropping results, losses weren’t as bad. Net loss for the quarter was $42 million, as compared with a net loss of $94 million for the prior year.
According to Shacknews’ listen-in on the earnings call, EA has seen its digital direct revenue grow to $400 million in the last fiscal year, and digital game distribution nearly doubled in revenue year-over-year to $80 million.
With many gaming PCs being net-enabled--at least more so than gaming consoles--the computer gamer is seen as a big market for digital distribution.
"In terms of distribution, the way we look at a lot what's happening in the future is, we've got probably a billion PCs out there in the world," said EA CFO Eric Brown. "Very rapidly the PC is becoming the largest gaming platform in the world, just not in a packaged-good product."
While the PC is a games platform that is constantly evolving with new GPUs and updated APIs, the console market is one that sees a full reboot every handful of years. EA CEO John Riccitiello said that he’s seeing the console lifecycle slow down a little bit, perhaps with this generation riding for longer than the usual four to five years.
"I think that [console] arms race, while I can never say that it's done, the relevance of doing that faster.. seems to have subsided," said Riccitiello.
Riccitello may be right. Although the Xbox 360 debuted in 2005 and the PS3 and Wii the following year, the entire generation still seems to be growing in their own respective niches.