EA's John Riccitiello has a bit of advice for the anxious investors, analysts, and fanboys who eagerly await the monthly NPD numbers: "There's an entire other world of download, online, all the things that are going on that doesn't really show up in the surveys and I think that's the future." NPD figures only track retail sales, a market that has been challenged by the downturn in the global economy. Games like Madden 10 may sell fewer copies than previous versions, but that doesn't mean investors should jump ship.

"Online games that you download, games you would get by way of iPhone for example, that totally digital business is up so strong that it's actually offsetting the challenge we see at retail," Riccitiello tells FOX Business. Offerings like Madden 10 on iPhone, the upcoming Madden NFL Arcade, and Madden 10 DLC should go far in helping the company's bottom line. "The retail business is down," Riccitiello admits, but "the combination [of both retail and digital] is up."

Riccitiello's belief that digital is the future of the industry echoes earlier sentiments from EA Sports boss Peter Moore, who called the retail model "a burning platform." See Riccitiello's full interview with FOX after the break.

[Via Edge]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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