GI.biz, Peter Moore shared some of his thoughts on digital distribution and the future of games at retail. When asked whether we might see a day when yearly sports titles are released as downloadable patches instead of on retail discs, Moore said that Electronic Arts is trying many different things in the online space -- such as 3-on-3 NHL Arcade and NCAA March Madness Edition -- but has "no plans" to change its core business model. Moore stated further that moving to an update-only model for annual sports titles is "not as easy as it sounds" and that the data in a new sports title amounts to much more than a simple patch.
Still, Moore believes -- as he did in his Dreamcast days -- that online is the future of the gaming business. Concerning retail, Moore noted that things like Xbox Live subscription cards are a good way for retailers to become part of online distribution. Regarding used games, Moore doesn't seem concerned with putting a stop to the practice, instead saying that publishers must find ways to monetize such consumers. Said Moore, "They still log-on, and we get access to them, so how do we sell them stuff?"
Our suggestion: Rename all EA sports games Madden. That ought to do it.