Electronic Arts Ceases Physical German Releases
Players in Germany might be in for a rude awakening very soon. Or not, depending on how they buy their games. Electronic Arts has… re-touched their distribution model. While the powers of the internet will certainly not prevent German players from getting physical releases, it looks like those extra channels may be necessary. Because for EA themselves, physical releases are a thing of the past.
This news comes to us through the German-speaking site Gameswirtschaft.de. This makes things a bit difficult for English speakers to comprehend, but there’s a fix. Luckily for us, a user on Reddit offers a translated version of a key piece of the article.
Fewer and fewer games are being bought on DVD or Blu-Ray. This almost inevitable development has a huge impact on the German branches of major game publishers. EA Germany’s latest annual report states: “The ongoing shift from physical goods to digital downloads continues to have a negative impact on sales development. Revenue from digital downloads is not processed through EA, but through an affiliate.” Therefore, an “Economic restructuring” was initiated: Local customer contracts had already been terminated as of May 2022 – after the restructuring, Electronic Arts will “No longer generate sales with packaged goods” in German-speaking countries.
This is certainly a new step for AAA publishing, but not out of the norm for the industry. Plenty of indie releases have been digital-only for their entire existence. But those aren’t big-name releases. They don’t have a history, nor an expectation for, physical releases. And for those who prefer the sense of physicality, you may be disappointed at this news.
If you’re based in Germany yourself, your input is especially valuable here. Does this impact you? What about anyone you know? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!