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What does this mean for us?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Lady Storm, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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  2. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    It just means that EA's biggest titles weren't released in April/May. EA had a few big games released earlier this year, like Dragon Age II, etc. but their biggest games are later this year, plus their upcoming sports games.

    I'd be more concerned about Star Wars crashing and burning.

    EA is trying to move to all digital which will get them a lot more money anyways.
     
  3. EvilPixieWorks

    EvilPixieWorks Lore Keeper
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    Hmmmmmmm....


    I wonder if it's because EA refuses to put even a game card for UO on the retail space with the countless others?

    It's that or space aliens.
     
  4. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    I'm sort of confused... the link here doesn't show anything about EA at all, unless you count Portal 2 in the top 10 having been listed.

    Not sure what "box" games are, unless that means "X-box," and in that case... yeah, we've known that EA's console games outsell PC games by a huge rate.

    I'm just curious what info it is I'm not seeing here...
     
  5. 5% Luck

    5% Luck Guest

    I hear this alot. Players want to see retail stores carrying great PC games. Now IDK about the rest of the country and maybe ya'll have some nostalgia for shopping in the mall......

    But I have not seen a decent PC again I say "PC game rack" in over 10 years. Maybe in my area we had a round of pc copy and return scams because of a few dumb clerks or pc games are more likly to be stolen or the industry is concerting the torrent theft data with shoplifting data...IDK but what I can say is,

    THERE ARE NO PC GAMES ON SHELVES ANYMORE!

    The ones I see on shelves are ancient DOS games I couldnt even get to run with an emulator!

    Get a decent DSL/Cable/wtvr and download. I look for daily deals in a number of places and have a great time finding and -downloading- games!
     
  6. Raptor85

    Raptor85 Certifiable
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    If you happen to have one in your area, luckily verizon offers 3 megabit here now without a bandwidth cap. Gotta remember that a HUGE portion of america still has no access to even DSL speeds, and the areas that do are all moving to tiered bandwidth caps. (our old ISP had a 500MB/day cap, which was pretty lame as you could hit it in a few minutes and the connection goes down sub-dialup speeds until midnight)

    There's also the speed factor, games are getting up in the tens of gigabytes now, at about a hour per gig to download on a decent connection, I could have gone to the store, picked it up (generally for the same price, as EA and everyone else loves to charge the full boxed price for digital downloads), installed, and beaten the game before i would have even finished downloading it. (and contrary to popular belief, best buy, frys, and most other big electronics retailers still have large PC game sections, game stores have however gone pretty much 100% console though)

    Having a disc also means 5 years down the road, bored, drunk, hanging out with friends, we could dig through the games collection and....hey.....get your laptop, lets play some OP4 deathmatch!
     
  7. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Box games have no real effect on us, at least not in a negative way. If anything when they start to fail the resources would be redirected at revenues that are still pulling at about the same speed (ie UO maintains, more or less, its revenue year after year). But I doubt box games will ever really dwindle, Big titles come out at the end and beginning of the year, so mid year there would always be a decrease in sales unless a big title had been released, don't look at game sales per month, have to look at it over all for the year. Last I checked we were over all up compared to past few years.

    And I buy all my games in a store, UO is the only game I download, although I would purchase it if it came in a box.
     
  8. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    Why blame EA for something that is out of EA's control?

    It is up to the retailer what merchandise they carry and what they carry is determined by: "How much profit is in the item", and by: "How fast that item sells" (turnover).
     
  9. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    All three of those statements are only partially true. Retailers do sell space, Vendors, as they are called, can put anything they want into that space. Also EA is a company with great influence, if it wanted something "tried" it could have it tried, granted it may not be able to keep things that don't sell on a retailers shelf, but it could get it put up to begin with.
     
  10. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    It doesn't matter what EA wants to do, Wal-Mart is not going to carry cards for UO when it has games that sell more in a week than UO would in a year.
    You must live in the sticks, because within 10-15 minutes of my house, there are several places selling plenty of PC games, including Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Frys. They may all be selling the same 30-40 games, but they are selling PC games.

    That will change within the next 5 years though. EA and the others would rather sell directly to us digitally so that they can cut out the middle man and make a lot more money. It's hilarious, yet sad, that it's cheaper for me to buy physical copies of a lot of EA games from Amazon than buying directly from EA, but eventually I'll have to buy directly from EA. I haven't looked, but it's probably cheaper to buy Amazon's digital downloads than EA's digital downloads.
     
  11. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Maybe with some retailers, but Wal-Mart, no. Wal-Mart has an insane amount of control over what goes on its shelves. It's actually scary how much influence they have over vendors.
     
  12. Lexfixr

    Lexfixr Seasoned Veteran
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    You have to understand the whole retail sector of the business I own a computer store. In order for any manufacturer that wants to market through retail chains THEY CANNOT BE IN COMPETITON WITH THEIR OWN VENDORS.
    it doesnt matter whether it is a piece of software a printer or system, you will find that the manufacturer if they also sell to public have a price that is almost always higher than what retail stores will sell. If they didnt the retail market wouldnt buy their product for resale.
     
  13. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Okay, that makes sense, but what happens when EA becomes the sole distributor through certain channels, like if EA is the only online distributor of certain EA games, and I'm not talking UO.

    That can't leave Steam, Amazon, etc. too happy.

    It looks like Star Wars: The Old Republic won't be EA's first Origin-only digital download, they are removing Crysis 2 from other download services as we speak. The will still be available through retail stores, but EA is going to be the sole digital distributor for its games.
     
  14. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    You mentioned Wal-Mart twice, am I to assume you work there? I have worked there, know a DM and my uncle is a Store Manager. So my original post was on my knowledge of what happens at Wal-mart in my district.

    Wal-Marts opperate slightly independent of each other, not entirely but they do vary based on Store managers, and District managers.

    It is not as if they have no control, obviously if something does not sell they are not going to let it continue to take space, but again if EA wanted to give it a try they would be able to. UO needs a ton of attention before I would suggest EA trying it though, since I know they wont be selling much of anything UO related.
     
  15. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    I don't think it means anything for us. I think we are just living in a time where people's disposable incomes are getting lower.
     
  16. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I have a relative who is a store manager and I've heard plenty of stories about how much Wal-Mart can strong-arm manufacturers and how they track every item they sale. I also saw a good documentary where Wal-Mart executives talked about "helping" manufacturers by studying their production processes and telling them where they could cut costs, like using a slightly different material or outsourcing something to China. These executives really believed they were doing the manufacturers some good, but you could tell they felt like they were being held hostage. If they said no and Wal-Mart said they'd go with another manufacturer, they'd go under.

    I don't know how much revenue Wal-Mart generates for EA, but I bet that it's enough for Wal-Mart to dictate matters, given how many console games that are sold through Wal-Marts. I'd go so far as to bet that given how small the PC market is to the console market within such retail stores, that EA can do very little for their PC titles, outside of the really huge titles, some of which also have console ports.
    EA is not willing to invest that kind of money in UO, otherwise UOHerald would be listing a lot of new hires.

    I do think UO is in a better position now than it was last fall, but I would still feel a lot better if EA had hired some people for UO. The team is stretched way too thin, pushing out these theme packs and working on Ter Mur and then everything else.
     
  17. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    He said decent PC Game Rack. None of those places have one.

    All of those stores namely carry, WoW and a selection of what ever Microsoft slaps their name on. And like all Microsoft products, their games as a general rule sucks. Oh yeah and I forgot the $9.99 side caps...

    Outside of a few titles,PC games don't hold enough market share for retailers to justify selling out limited shelf space that could go to other things like Movies, CD's, and Console games. When ever I walk into one of those stores I mainly see BS Clipart CD's, Photo Editing, Registry/Virus scanning and repair utilities, half a dozen versions of Windows 7 BSoD Maker Utility (you know Microsoft's OS), and anything with Adobe on the label, games have a tiny section other than educational and children's games. Not much of interest for the Grown Ups, sure there are a few gems hidden in there, but not enough to make the entire section rank as "decent".

    I wish they would catch on, the average age of a PC gamer is somewhere around 32 now. We don't want to play "Hello Kitty Adventure Island" I'll leave that to Butters..
     
  18. *shrugs* not as much as this

    All you brought is yet another indication that family budgets may be tightening to compensate for higher gas and food and ever other thing
    PRICES

    Bobby wants to pop another 50bucks for some entertainment


    no
    bobby needs to get a cash-under-the-table J-O-B to help with the utilities and maintenance costs
    (food shelter transportation)
    :lol: I said bobby and job in the same sentence ...

    :lol: Yeah! thats gonna happen!
    AS IF he could fill out an employment application
    *snaps fingers*

    is there an APP for that? preferably FREE ???

    :danceb:
     
  19. pfffft! missed the actual "trend"

    which I submit: is away from brick and mortar
    and towards "the net"

    EA even indicated as much ... somewhere/when

    Oh! need to cite the source of your GUESS re:
    (there are likely more "minors" than unemployed "elders" gaming their lives away ...)
    *shrugs*

    heh! go figure:

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/111041-EA-Gets-Ready-to-Throw-Down-With-Steam-UPDATED

    :danceb:
     
  20. Black Sun

    Black Sun Grand Poobah
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    Not from me it wont. I either want physical media, a manual and some box art or a substantial price drop. I think paying full retail price for a game and just getting a few files deposited on my computer is complete crap.

    UO is the only exception. I have long ago given up hope of ever getting a nice box with a UO disc in it to add to my collection.
     
  21. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    We are in the minority.

    It may already be happening. I don't know how many 100s of millions of games have been downloaded from iTunes or the Android store, but none of those will ever have a physical release, and people are getting conditioned to not needing physical media. Steam, Amazon downloads, etc. are getting us on the PC side, and some of the bigger games are download only. Things like Minecraft sold 2.5 million copies and is digital only.

    The game companies love it, because digital distribution means they cut out the middle man and eventually they'll get to cut out used game sales, since they can tie the games to your account.

    We're old.
     
  22. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    Talks about a study done by NDP, a market research firm..

    Average age of gamers is 32, says study News - - Page 1 | Eurogamer.net There's an article about it.

    If you don't know who NDP is, Market Research Company | Consumer Market Research Firm ? NPD

    So it wasn't as much of a guess as reviewing the findings of a research group.
     
  23. yeah, but as ever, its the Ones that Adapt that will tell the tale ...
    Physical media? print/burn your own
    too busy?
    contract a hobbyist to do so ...
    They (EA etal.) will provide aftermarket gizmos and gimcracks to micro satisfy the bazaar remnants (oooo I got a mini Blackthorn with my bigmac)

    easy enough to "one off" >anything< you want, re: keychains, t-shirts, ball-caps, figurines ... chessboards of varying themes, hubcaps? no problem, UO logo laser cut to your contacts?
    just a sec ... Classic and/or enhanced? uv A_B protection?

    I wonder how long before they get the licensing DONE ...
    Anti-Virus software >with embedded instructions<
    UO.exe removed to the quarantine vault ... you have mail ... proceed?

    Life is hard
    it WILL bite yo crippled behind ...
    :scholar:keep up!
    Devil takes the hindmost
    :scholar:keep up FASTER!
     
  24. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest


    Well, everything you said here is true. And as I said, only way they would be able to accomplish anything is to simply give UO more attention. I would not mind seeing the game receive more attention, but I would not be one to hold my breath for it.
     
  25. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Technically it is getting more attention. It's getting the graphics and EC updates, it's got the UltimaForever.com and GOG.com stuff going for it. The Ultima Forever stuff alone got a lot of people talking on a lot of websites.

    The problem is everything is going slow. It's going to take forever before we see the first graphics update with the terrain and walls. I just hope they don't screw around with any more booster or theme packs for a while so they can get the graphics updates out.

    I would feel a lot better if UO picked up a dozen or so new hires - designers, artists, developers, whatever. The problem is that a dozen or so new hires starts to creep up towards the million dollar range when you factor in pay+benefits. It's one thing for Cal or whoever to get EA to allow them to do a graphics update with the human resources they already have for UO, it's another to get an extra million added to the budget.

    It's depressing when you think that EA will spend $100 million advertising Battlefield 3 :(
     
  26. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    I meant more attention than it is getting, as even you yourself described, having a dozen more people work on it. And advertising for uo would be nice. As for boosters, I would be happy if they didn't put any new boosters out for a long while if they in fact fixed everything that is currently wrong with the game. >.<
     
  27. RawHeadRex

    RawHeadRex Slightly Crazed
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  28. EvilPixieWorks

    EvilPixieWorks Lore Keeper
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    Find a business school anyplace that teaches that marketing is the least important thing to sell your product… and I will agree with EA not putting UO in the faces of retail shoppers is a good thing.

    Unless you are into hard core game info… odds are you are not buying computer game publications. Any magazine is overpriced, these days… the same people don’t care about those same websites, so they are outside those circles like MOST OF US.

    I grew up with Ultima. I used to cruse the game isle of 3 major retail shops at least once a month. Every single game I ever bought was off those same retail shelves. The only downloads I do are connected to UO… but we live inside the circle. Those isle still exist. Just for fun… try striking up a conversation with someone else shopping those games and ask them if they have herd of UO. And then ask them if they know about WoW. Odds are they know WoW and for UO you will get a confused look.

    Why? World of Warcraft is on the retail shelf!!!

    Not only the game, game cards… in all the 7/11 stores along with all kinds of other games you’ve never herd of before. These take up all of a 4x6” card. You will also see WoW books, hats, posters, other rubbish along those lines… and the odd TV ad. When was the last time you saw an Ultima Online TV ad? Ever? They even corrupted Mr. T for a WoW ad… a few times. And by the way… EA does have a game card… but it's completely void of any sign of UO.

    Yes… UO has far more for far all kinds of players. Consider the poor customer support, even worse in-game support, and how many of your friends quit vs. wondering where new players are coming from.

    So tell me again how EA isn’t responsible?
     
  29. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    What I don't understand is why the team uses its limited resources to do something like make sure that there is now, after so many years, a sound that plays when you use the tinkering skill. What in the world does the team see coming down the pike for UO that makes it worthwhile to spend whatever time it took to put that sound in and have someone be sure to mention in the publish notes that they fixed an issue with tinkering but it was so trivial or so hush-hush that they couldn't spell out the details? It just seems like a very odd decision to make unless there is more going on behind the scenes with UO than any of us realizes or is privy too.

    Personally, I still think there's something afoot with NetDragon Websoft and that we will eventually see a worldwide release of one or more 3-D versions of UO. NetDragon Websoft just released a new set of quarterly financial results yesterday and UO is still mentioned as being in development. I know you think that's just boilerplate language and that nothing is actually happening. However, I think that because the company is publicly held, their attorneys wouldn't be so careless as to mislead actual and potential shareholders by continuing to include such language if there isn't actual work still being done on a new version of UO. I really believe there's something going on behind the scenes and that Cal and perhaps some others on the team or former employees are heavily involved in it but can't talk about it. I did listen to the recording of yesterday's NetDragon conference call and while UO wasn't mentioned, it was clear, especially at the end of the call, that the company has multiple undisclosed projects "in the pipeline." I think UO is definitely one of them.
     
  30. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    Are you talking about this?
    From NetDragon Websoft Inc. Announces First Quarter 2011 Unaudited Financial Results NetDragon Websoft Inc. Announces First Quarter 2011 Unaudited Financial Results
    No UO based game listed. Will never be allowed to run in United States or any country that the internet is not controlled by the government. You will not be allowed on any shard located in China, Hong Kong, Macau and India.
     
  31. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I think (hope) they are moving away from quick revenue generation (like the booster/theme packs) and seem to be working through a laundry list of little things. They may not be that important in the overall scheme of things, but from the tinkering thing to a few other small fixes I've heard about, it seems like somebody is now dedicated to fixing the little things. That's a definite change for UO, because I remember that over the last six months they went from admitting that they only fix bugs occasionally when they have some free time, to making an effort to fix bugs with every publish.
    I don't remember who I pointed it out to, but NetDragon has literally not really been changing the templates they use for their public documentation for a few years now and the language discussing UO has not changed at all. What has changed is that NetDragon has announced several games/licenses since the UO deal, with release dates and everything. Since NetDragon signed the UO deal, they've picked up much more lucrative EA licenses. Besides NetDragon is targeting Asian markets, and they've already got a few high-profile licensed MMOs in the pipeline.

    The biggest sign that nothing is going to affect us as far as any "3D" or NetDragon versions of UO is that UO is getting a graphics update. If EA was intent on seeing a 3D release of UO, they would not be putting resources into a graphics update for the EC that still relies on pixel/isometric graphics. They would be milking UO players with more theme packs/booster packs or they would be working on other things that are independent of graphics.

    Next year is UO's 15th anniversary - if there was some major 3D revamp of UO that affected non-Asian players, we'd have already heard about it, because it would have to be nearing alpha/beta testing, and they'd be talking it up because of the upcoming anniversary. It would be foolish of them not to take advantage of the anniversary next year.
    :lol: I don't think there are any shareholders holding their breath over a UO MMO from NetDragon. NetDragon has announced other EA titles and they are keeping the shareholders informed of those titles. Those titles are much bigger than UO. UO is not some kind of state secret or anything.

    Just because NetDragon signed a deal for an Asian UO doesn't mean they have to actually follow through - this happens with companies all the time who end up canceling titles or put them off for years. If anything, if NetDragon put resources into a UO MMO for Asia after they signed these more recent deals, the shareholders should be pissed since these more recent deals are much more lucrative.

    From an interview I've read, the unannounced/secret MMO/MMOs that NetDragon is working on are actual original NetDragon properties, in that they aren't licensed from any companies, and that is why they are intent on keeping them secret.
     
  32. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Got to go with Woodsman mostly, that your "thought" is more like "hope" NetDragon has a lot of licenses for production of games in Asia that have not come to fruition and most likely never will, them holding the right to develop something does not mean they will. Also EA would not pour resources into two cups that have the same outcome, IE they would not put resources into updating graphics on the EC (when was the last 2c graphic update?) if they were planning on letting NetDragon develop a 3d UO and then release it world wide. Also remember you don't know what is in that agreement.
     
  33. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
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    Exactly. Think about it. The NetDragon 3D agreement, UO's team size is drastically cut, and their output is greatly reduced. They will say and spam anything and everything to keep people p(l)aying, i.e. like with the Classic shard and factions and anti-cheating, but it is phone it in mode until NetDragon takes over.
     
  34. Barok

    Barok Grand Inquisitor
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    Some companies tie up intellectual properties like games/books/movies/music etc. with licenses and options without ever intending to actually develop the item, just to restrict the competition.
     
  35. Whoa!:talktothehand:
    "exclusive rights to listed >regions<" doesn't necessarily MEAN that ...

    It could easily(most likely) be read as: Netdragon only in these areas and EA gets the rest of the world ...
    and IF they(EA) want to copy some netdragon stuff TO the rest of the world ... well how much will that net you/me?(NetD/EA)

    A few other glaring points(else where) ...
    not so much "intent" need be there ... IF they knew with a guaranteed certainty that a 3d WAS forthcoming ...
    maybe it would be unwise to spend GM payroll on TWO clients they were CERTAIN to ditch ... follow?
    EA is quite willing to carry two clients with ... wow ... how many rulesets?
    Prodo tram-fel & Siege ... Mugen?
    *shrugs* I sense the presence of an irrational number in there ... suit yaself
    "actual LEGAL work" being done ... ranges from cleaning monitors and keeping the waste cans empty ...
    The lawyers ALWAYS cta re:"potential outcomes" {we are working on fusion power too!}
    &
    the company is publicly held ... where? ... aha moment for ya?
    Remember when UO2 was >tha thang?< certainly "investment worthy" ...
    ^^ that was being worked on, vigorously ... probably mentioned in the similarly styled EA reports ... annnnd? ... K!


    Hummm ... i sense a disconnect through out the thread ...
    EA seems to be the Schrodinger cat of business models ...\
    simultaneously Brilliant&Stupid in the management of their resources(money) and/or ALSO wrapped in a box of a shrinking market of desktop vs handheld "future" possibilities of platform dominance and/or pending failure ...

    wow ... okay ... let's try this
    NetD may have secret original products in development
    fine
    sounds like the "undisclosed" super secret project that EA-Origin/OSI "had"
    and was NEVER disclosed ... Not UO2 or UX:O or KR ... there was another ... and probably stunk >so bad< NO ONE ever will mention it ... or be associated with it ... or text a misdirected picture of it ...
    thing is ...
    that last paragraph goes nowhere and adds Nothing ... why?
    BECAUSE NetD may have secret original products in development
    ...
    yeah? SO? Meow?

    :sad4:
     
  36. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    well China has a rule about western influence in their country, and game play I would assume is high on their list. Dont let that modern look fool you, China is still comunist and they didnt roll over and give way to a soft government with no teeth. I trust China as much as I trust a deadly cobra at my feet. I would feel alot more secure if we didnt owe them so much debit! I would say this just means the government of China is only willing for their people to play our games under their eyes/rules.
     
  37. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    I'm still confused as to what this thread, at least initially, is going on about. The link provided doesn't say one bloody thing about EA except for listing a title, and contrary to the contention that EA's main money maker is the "box" games... (which from further points in the thread I take is meant to mean "PC games in boxes on shelves"), EA's money doesn't come from PC "box" games. I'm curious as to the source of this belief.

    For years and years, EA's main bread and butter, as it were, has been the console games, of which, clearly, Ultima Online is not one of.

    In fact, one needs only look to EA's investor relations site for Q4 2011 to see that, while the Q4 report focuses some on "EA Digital Revenue," of which the PC plays a significant (yet, not exactly growing segment) of EA's "digital" earnings (ie: downloads, MMOs, et cetera), like their traditional "boxed" market, they are expecting the console market to grow significantly (and, I'd bet, eventually to take the lead). The thing is, this is talking about the purely digital market.

    If you look at EA's 2010 financial report, you can read through to see that the biggest hits to EA's bottom line have been things like the "used game market" (which has caused them to offer more digital, direct-to-consumer offerings like map packs and so on in the console market, as there is next to nothing for a used PC game market), that their focus is on certain F2P models (ie: Playfish), but if you head to page 184, you can see their net revenue by platform.

    Combined console revenue (360, PS3, Wii, PS2) was approximately 2.34 billion dollars from their FY 2010 (down from FY 2009's 2.77 billion, but up from 2008's 2.25 billion); comparatively, PC revenue was a whopping $687 million, down from both FY 2009 (712) and 2008 (702). Meanwhile, wireless platforms (ie: the DS, mobile, and PSP) were also down overall, but combined had $472 million in net revenue.

    The one thing this report doesn't do, however, is break out exactly what online revenues are, much less break them down by game, by platform, by service, or anything similar. There are, however, things we can presume to be rolled into the "PC" figure given no breakout of "online" revenues. Among those are Dragon Age (what percentage is PC and what is console is hard to say) and The Sims 3 (this I would presume is mostly PC though there is a console version available). The Sims 3, it should be noted, was of note across all of their specific markets.

    It should also be noted that the report mentions the floundering WAR and the upcoming SW:TOR games, but doesn't even blink at DAoC or UO. EA Mobile, Pogo, and Playfish, however, remain relevant.

    So... what does this mean for us?

    Ultima Online, like Dark Age of Camelot, isn't hardly a blip on EA's overall radar. And... by the makeover the DAoC site is getting, one might be pressed to believe that UO's blip is a bit dimmer -- which may (my opinion, not proven fact) mean that UO's subscriber base has finally fallen below DAoC's. The fact that EA's still talking about WAR also indicates it might not be floundering as badly as many of us presume (though I doubt there's any argument that WAR is not doing as well as EA had hoped).

    The drive for digital downloads, though, is likely to continue to see EA push Mythic to release more micro-mini-booster "expansions" to try to squeeze more money out of the playerbase. Hopefully someone at Mythic has run the numbers though and seen that the offering from "UO:Rustic" and "UO:Gothic" weren't worth the detrimental hit that UO just took to its already diminishing reputation. If someone at Mythic is paying attention, the next booster/mini-booster should be of somewhat markedly improved quality. Problem is, with the rushed release of UO:HS and the poor state it was released in, following that up with the two mini-boosters that were shoved out the door this year really make it clear that someone wasn't paying attention to the UO:HS release (or overestimated why people had bought that booster in the first place).