EA's Peter Moore, having outlined a strong digital future for the company at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2012 Global Technology Conference earlier this week, has said that physical retail is still of crucial importance, not only because a number of consumers don't own credit cards, but because people are still incredibly wary following last year's PSN hack.
"A lot of our consumers don't own credit cards. A lot of our consumers are still afraid of what happened to the PlayStation Network when 77 million accounts were accessed by Anonymous in 2011," Moore said.
"A lot of our consumers prefer to go into retail buy those Xbox Live or PlayStation Network cards, and retail gets a very strong margin on that. For retail, if they can evolve to be not just a physical media purveyor, but a digital media purveyor, it'll play a very strong role in our business going forward."
Moore also praised the marketing opportunities created by high street retailers, noting especially the ability to make game launches feel like proper, tangible events.
"Once we get that disk installed in the tray of an Xbox or a PS3, we then look at our consumer on an ARPU basis," he said. "We love what retail does for us. We love its ability to create massive launches and create excitement. GameStop probably sees three million hardcore gamers walk through their doors every day, and that's a marketing opportunity for us." [Gamasutra]