EA: “Origin’s first year a huge success”
Origin shows solid numbers despite criticism
EA’s Origin has had a somewhat shaky launch, receiving a ton of criticism from gamers who feel the service was shoved down their throat when EA made it a requirement to play many of their big titles.
However EA’s SVP of global e-commerce, David DeMartini, has called the first year a “huge success” – and he’s got the numbers to prove it. “We’ve got 12 million downloads of the application. We have 50 partners: independent game developers and publishers who are publishing on the platform. We’ve generated over $150 million in revenue, which represents huge growth on a percentage basis versus the previous year. In every numerical dimension it was a huge success.”
DeMartini does acknowledge the lack of features at launch: “That said, the Origin feature-set last year was very foundational. When you start one of these services, you can’t leap to the glitzy features. You have to get the meat and potatoes down first.
As well as the criticism: “I think people have been critical of our efforts. And usually, we really appreciate their criticism. When you start a service, if nobody says anything about you, they don’t care about you, and you’re irrelevant. I would not say that’s the case with Origin. There are many people with opinions about Origin: where we should go, about features we’ve deployed.”
With that in mind, DeMartini discusses how EA looks to improve Origin going forward: “Being self-critical of Origin, I would say it’s not sticky enough. And we want to put features in place where we fully take advantage of your friends lists and gameplay activities amongst all of your friends so you can compare achievements. We want you to be able to challenge your friends, and to challenge your friends to play other EA games to try and achieve things that might even be across EA games. A lot of people are loyal to us and we need to reward them with that stickiness, so we’re looking in that direction.”