Electronic Arts earlier this week decided to shutter its social and mobile games branch. It’s not that the department was doing poorly. It’s that the strategies folks in EA Interactive have worked with for years now are needed in other areas. After raking in $1 billion in digital sales last year, the head honchos over at EA decided it might be best to disperse the talent in order to create a bigger presence in the virtual realm.
Some of the effects of EA’s new focus on digital could be seen last year, when the publisher expanded noted RPG-maker BioWare to include social games as one of its duties. EA Interactive boss Barry Cottle also left the company entirely to join Zynga. More details about the company’s goals will be shared during a town hall Feb. 2.
The release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, FIFA Ultimate Team and the launch of the EA Origin delivery platform are all cornerstones of the company’s new emphasis on digital distribution. It’s also part of a larger trend in the retail world. Brick-and-mortar stores had a tough holiday while their online sales saw notable increases. These facts and the increasing adoption of games streaming services like OnLive give you an idea of just how much the hobby has changed in the last few years.