Jens Uwe Intat, the man behind EA’s European operations, recently said that physical media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This is an interesting viewpoint for him to take not only because of the growing popularity of digital distribution, but also the company’s recent launching of their Origin service, a direct competitor to Valve’s Steam client for Macs and PC.
Uwe Intat came up with several reasons for why he believes that digital distribution won’t completely replace going to a brick-and-mortar store, telling Eurogamer the following:
“The amount of data our developers put into a game grows so fast. Software engineers, you give them storage space and they use it. As fast as the pipes grow, those guys are so creative.
“Secondly, there are people who just like to have a physical copy of a game. Thirdly, there is still this impulse purchasing and gift purchasing where people just like to give a physical present to somebody rather than a voucher or an attachment to an email.
“So I think there is still a lot of reasons why physical goods in bricks and mortar stores will have an interesting future.”
He raises some fair points, especially when it comes to the large amounts of data in games. For example, I purchased Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition on Steam a few months ago, which clocked in at a massive 22 GB. Even with a capable cable internet connection, it took a while before I was able to actually play the game. There’s also a comfort in knowing that if you don’t like a game that you bought a physical copy of, you can always return it or trade it in.