EA is focusing more and more on the new consoles and less on the old ones, and there’s a good reason for that. They’re selling like crazy, and EA expects the combined worldwide install base for the two systems to reach 50 million by the end of fiscal year 2016 (March 2016), they said this week in a financial earnings call.
Our last known sales numbers on the two consoles put PlayStation 4 at 22 million and Xbox One at 10 million – 32 million total, so EA expects as many as 18 million systems to sell in the next 11 months.
The rate at which these console sell matters to EA, one of the biggest third-party game publishers, because they need to decide where to publish each of their games and how much to focus on development for each generation of consoles. It also affects things like where to spend money on servers and how much to push digital distribution.
Faster Internet connections help make digital distribution a more appealing venue for purchases, and the first few months of this year had digital sales actually overcoming physical sales for EA for the first time ever.
This console generation is about 50 percent higher than the previous generation at the comparative time in its life cycle, according to EA, so a focus on digital games on next gen consoles makes more and more sense for the company. Rapidly expanding consumer bases and cheaper distribution methods are both appealing. It’s likely we can expect to see EA focusing on the current generation of consoles exclusively before too long.