Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said in a recent interview that the PC is the platform with the fastest-growing software revenues in all of gaming.
“Just five years ago, people said that the PC game business was in a radical state of decline because NPD said it was down 10%, 20%, 30% year in and year out,” Riccitiello told CNBC. “The fastest growing platform for video games today is the PC, but it’s growing through subscription, through microtransactions, through downloads.”
That the ever-changing PC platform looks better than the stagnant end of a console generation should come as no surprise, but Riccitiello is also quick to point out that digital sales overall — a category in which the PC has a clear advantage, and which are not tracked by industry analysis firm NPD — are experiencing massive growth. EA is seeing 40 percent more sales year-over-year in its digital business, to the tune of $1.2 billion in purely digital sales in its last fiscal year.
What about Star Wars: The Old Republic? The last official news, from back in May, was a 400,000 drop in active subscribers even after EA gave out a free month to a large chunk of its playerbase. Without making any hard announcements about the game’s future, Riccitiello sung the praises of free-to-play gaming before saying, “We’ve begun to work with different models to bring more users into the game.” Reading between those lines isn’t too hard.