Take-Two And Ubisoft Won’t Be As Big In 10 Years Says Cousins
I have many cousins but not one of them said the above headline. It was in fact said, in no uncertain terms, by ex-Battlefield developer Ben Cousins. Cousins spoke about the industry switch from physical to digital distribution of games which is rumoured to be not that far around the corner give or take a few years. The interview in which Cousins spoke about this is actually a bit old but seemed to slip everybody by.
“When I was at EA,” he began, “the public view – and it was also used internally – was that they would transform EA from a packaged goods business into a digital business, and they would always talk about higher margins on digital.
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“And for me that was never really going to be viable, I don’t think, just because of that cost of transformation. For me, the best case for a company like EA is just to survive it, at the moment.
“And you look at how the traditional revenues are declining and digital is increasing, but the top-line revenue is basically staying static. I mean that’s not a profit growth, right? The digital side of the business [has to outpace] the packaged goods decline in order for them to get growth out of it.”
Cousins also warned that the rise of prominent indies with a good handle on how the digital market works will pose a real threat to two major players – namely, Ubisoft and Take-Two.
He continued, “I don’t think that any of the [independent] publishers at the moment will be big players in 10 years’ time; I think there will be either companies that have just emerged or whom haven’t been founded yet.
“Ubisoft, I think are in a really dangerous position, and Take-Two are in a dangerous position, THQ obviously aren’t going to be around for much longer I don’t think.”
I can’t see where the industry is going and certainly not more than a year or two into the future so Cousins may be onto something but I can’t see physical distribution of games going away anytime soon. Not just yet. What are your thoughts on the state of affairs for Ubisoft and Take Two with regards to the future?