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EA: PC Becoming Largest Gaming Platform

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 47 comments

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.

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Top Comments
  • 31 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2009 12:08 AM
    I find this kinda amusing, seeing how if pc gaming is becoming the largest gaming platform, then why are the gamers being treated like second-class citizens, getting games way later than their console counterparts, and a large portion of those are horribly unoptimized. at the very least the pc versions should be available from digital distrobution on the same day as the console versions with the retail version coming out later.
  • 28 Hide
    LATTEH , May 7, 2009 12:12 AM
    PC > Console
Other Comments
  • 31 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2009 12:08 AM
    I find this kinda amusing, seeing how if pc gaming is becoming the largest gaming platform, then why are the gamers being treated like second-class citizens, getting games way later than their console counterparts, and a large portion of those are horribly unoptimized. at the very least the pc versions should be available from digital distrobution on the same day as the console versions with the retail version coming out later.
  • Display all 47 comments.
  • 28 Hide
    LATTEH , May 7, 2009 12:12 AM
    PC > Console
  • 8 Hide
    Luscious , May 7, 2009 12:20 AM
    Largest gaming platform - is that why they made installing BF2 and getting it to work such a PITA?
  • 3 Hide
    Turas , May 7, 2009 12:43 AM
    Aren't they the ones that make Madden? Didn't the stop releasing Madden to the PC last year?

    It was the one game I buy every year. Play it for like a month and then shelve it till next year when I buy the new copy.
  • 8 Hide
    eklipz330 , May 7, 2009 1:35 AM
    you think their losses has to do with them redirecting valuable resources into the DRM department, only to realize their losing more money than they're saving?

    I have to admit, when i was younger i did torrent games, but i never had the intention of buying them because i was poor and had no money. BUT BECAUSE I DID TORRENT THEM THEN, and I have money now, I totally want the business to benefit for great games. if i want to try a game now, i demo it. i think it worked for their benefit as well as mine. sorry for my little life story, i live my life on tangents
  • 6 Hide
    Geibys , May 7, 2009 1:52 AM
    I Don't know about you guys, but why should PC gamers care about EA. Installing Spore for some of us was hell, Need For Speed Undercover was a disaster, unless you like bad frame-rates, and they took away Madden and Tiger Woods from PC. If EA wants my well earned money I suggest they stop with the DRM because it doesn't stop pirates it just gives them a challenge, and also they could think about making PC games for PC and not just port them from consoles. The Keyboard and Mouse are the most flexible input devices you could use for a game and it seems they forgot about it, not everyone has a gamepad.
  • 4 Hide
    apache_lives , May 7, 2009 2:16 AM
    tis because "mum and dad" dont want to spend a $#$#$%^^ load of cash on a console when they can spend a bit more on a computer for "homework", then the kids nag for a video card, then its a gaming system, then upgrades and so on - its the widest platform for everything - ofcourse its the biggest.
  • 2 Hide
    NuclearShadow , May 7, 2009 3:02 AM
    tayb is right the PC will never be #1 again. But I think this is a good thing for PC gaming notice how 99% of the junk games only make it to the consoles?
  • 7 Hide
    techguy911 , May 7, 2009 3:15 AM
    Most of games on consoles are junk designed for kids, i have a ps3 so far i see no titles that interest me, i like rpg's and rts which only seem to show up on pc so far this year i have bought 20 games for my pc.

    So many people are waiting for wc3,starcraft II,sims 3 they will sell big i will buy all 3 once they are out.
  • 1 Hide
    eklipz330 , May 7, 2009 3:25 AM
    taybI cannot honestly say I am surprised a negative comment about the state of PC gaming gets a vote down. The numbers, however, tell the real story. PC Gaming software retail sales for 2008 were at $700 million. Even if you think that retail sales only account for 1/3 of all sales (not even close to realistic) that would put PC gaming at $2.1 billion for the year. Console software sales easily eclipsed that mark in December 2008 alone + about $600 million. It isn't even close. Like I said, PC gaming will never be the largest gaming platform again, ever. Even if you consider each console to be a separate platform PC gaming is still pathetically far behind compared individually against the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii. Oh, the graphics look great, but the game sales don't. The game sales look awful.


    oh how are you so wrong my friend. Ask valve how many games they've been selling. just go ahead. just ask them. digital distribution is the future, and guess what? pc has been there forever.
    and another flawed part of your argument is that you picked the busiest time of year. EVERYONE knows shit sells like ten fold on holiday season. do you remember the steam sale? do you remember how epic it was? do you even HAVE steam? imagine how many games digitally they sold compared to the limited, and possibly 'sold out' copies of retail...
  • 5 Hide
    duckmanx88 , May 7, 2009 3:52 AM
    taybI cannot honestly say I am surprised a negative comment about the state of PC gaming gets a vote down. The numbers, however, tell the real story. PC Gaming software retail sales for 2008 were at $700 million. Even if you think that retail sales only account for 1/3 of all sales (not even close to realistic) that would put PC gaming at $2.1 billion for the year. Console software sales easily eclipsed that mark in December 2008 alone + about $600 million. It isn't even close. Like I said, PC gaming will never be the largest gaming platform again, ever. Even if you consider each console to be a separate platform PC gaming is still pathetically far behind compared individually against the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii. Oh, the graphics look great, but the game sales don't. The game sales look awful.


    lol. using npd #'s and ignoring digital distribution. hahaha i bought fallout 3, far cry 2, mass effect, and COD 4 all through steam. yeah pc gaming is down,lol just tell that to the millions of tf2, CSS, WOW, and guildwars players. you fail.
  • 1 Hide
    meatwad53186 , May 7, 2009 4:00 AM
    lol waiting for wc3? u a little late there pal? u mean d3? cuz i for one cannot wait for diablo 3
  • -5 Hide
    genghiskhanid , May 7, 2009 4:11 AM
    I believe tayb isn't that wrong. I've got many friends in various game companies (Eidos, Ubisoft, EA, A2M-which doesn't really count though) and all agree, PC gaming is sadly, slowly dying! Not that I like it, I don't own a console and won't buy one before they stop making some quality games for PC. But as a PC gamer, I need to face the facts, of course, we, as gaming adult consumers, form the most of the PC game sales but consoles have the simplicity that soccer moms need. No drivers, no upgrades, and now, most consoles offer more attractive DLC than PC. I sure wish that the PC would get back up and attract the game developers, but I doubt that the mouvement towards increased console game production will be reversed, and that even though no console will ever be able to rival a PC on graphics/speed/capabilities... Not only that but we all need to realize that developing for a console is alot simpler, all same old hardware!
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2009 4:51 AM
    Games started on PC and they will end on PC
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 7, 2009 5:30 AM
    ATI's HD4770 will bring back those who deserted to console...

    let's face it, PC gaming? expensive graphics addon that could buy an entire console... thank God for competition...
  • -4 Hide
    tayb , May 7, 2009 5:59 AM
    Wow did all of you guys forget to read. Seriously. I'll quote myself.

    Quote:
    PC Gaming software retail sales for 2008 were at $700 million. Even if you think that retail sales only account for 1/3 of all sales (not even close to realistic) that would put PC gaming at $2.1 billion for the year.


    I addressed digital downloads RIGHT THERE.

    Everything I said, including that, was spot on.
  • -1 Hide
    tayb , May 7, 2009 6:05 AM
    Even if you conclude that digital downloads account for 75% of PC software sales you are talking about 2.8 billion in YEARLY SOFTWARE SALES. The three big consoles, combined, equaled that in DECEMBER ALONE.

    Then if you want to trade each console as a separate platform PC gaming is still fourth or fifth behind every next-generation console and possible even the PS2. It just can't compete.

    And yes. I have Steam. I purchased L4D last weekend and The Orange Box the weekend before for $9.99.
  • 7 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , May 7, 2009 6:13 AM
    Wasn't EA one of the companies bitching last year about how piracy "forced" them to focus more on the console as their platform of choice?
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