EA Sports big-wig kicks off Brighton’s Evolve conference.
The annual Develop conference kicked off in Brighton today with, as per usual, the ‘Evolve’ portion of the programme. Evolve focuses on the future of the industry and the current events that will shape it (usually that means a lot of talk about Facebook, mobile games and the free-to-play market).
This year’s Evolve keynote address was given by Andrew Wilson – Senior Vice President and Worldwide Head of Development for EA Sports. ‘Gaming 3.0: Moving the Goalposts’ looked at whether free-to-play, microtransaction gaming represented the future of the industry or, at the very least, the future of EA.
Wilson began by highlighting the growth of digital services compared to more traditional package goods. In 2008, digital goods (free-to-play/microtransaction models, subscription packages, mobile games, XBLA/PSN/Steam etc) represented 31% of sales, whereas packaged goods sat at 69%.
Fast forward to 2010 and the numbers shift to 55% packaged goods and 45% digital.
Other numbers given during the keynote include the fact that the industry grows 5-10% annually and that the industry’s audience has grown from 250million to 1.2billion – largely thanks to mobile, digital and free-to-play PC games.
It’s so nice to kick off a conference with some numbers, makes our jobs a lot easier.