EA Sports opening retail stores this fall

Publishing label's brand marketing VP says first brick-and-mortar outlet has already broken ground in Charlotte, NC.

Over the past year and a half, Electronic Arts has launched a number of initiatives designed at pocketing more money from the games it sells. These programs include EA Sports' Online Pass, which erects a pay gate around online modes for those who play the label's games secondhand, and the digital-download service Origin.

Madden NFL 12: It's in the store.

Now, EA Sports has made a move to cut out the middleman altogether. Speaking to Forbes, EA Sports VP of brand marketing Chris Erb said that the publishing label plans to open up its own chain of retail stores. The first EA Sports brick-and-mortar store is expected to open this fall.

"As pervasive as digital is, there's still an offline component to acquiring new customers that remains important," Erb said. "Our approach is to be creative and innovative with whatever we're doing offline and ensure that it connects with our digital strategies. For example, we just started construction on our first North American EA SPORTS retail store, which will open this fall in the Charlotte, NC, airport."

"It is the first of what we hope to be at least three new retail stores to open in the next year, and it's a place people will be able to interact and buy their favorite EA SPORTS games," he continued. "As we look to expand the overall sports game audience, it's important for us to create environments for people to get their hands on our products and experience how much interactive sports experiences have evolved over the past few years."

The opening of the first EA Sports store coincides with the launch of some of EA Sports' biggest brands, including Madden NFL and FIFA Soccer.

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Discussion

55 comments
Aureatus
Aureatus

This is the dumbest thing I have heard in a very long time... The person who thought this up should have been laughed at and then fired. If a product is already being sold and is selling well, then why would you change the model? I am really confused by this move. At a time when we as gamers are moving away from brick and mortar and into the cloud, what are they thinking? Now if it is a lounge and has girls/guys dressed up as players or cheerleaders serving beer and chips while you play your favorite game before you board or buy, this will fail.

Ronnie_Rim
Ronnie_Rim

This has got to be one of the biggest wastes of money I've ever seen. I'm sure the stock holders will be happy with this announcement.

fireflywang
fireflywang

unless the games are cheaper if you buy them there, i dont see resales happening there so this will be a flop. Yet another way industry is trying to crub the "used sales problem"

heroesfan261
heroesfan261

Why make it just EA sports? I mean, EA has Bioware, Visceral, and even Crytek. Either way, this is going to fail as unless they pull all EA games from gamestop shelves, there simply won't be enough of a market since people prefer to get their games in one place. Sony did something similar and yet added hardware such as tv's, move, headphones, and more there yet people didn't care because they can already get all of that stuff at best buy and probably for cheaper.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@sohereiam real gamers? who are these REAL gamers? am i a figment of your imagination then? i used to buy retail, and on rare occassion still do, until steam/d2d came around, unlimited activation, no lost/scratched/borrowed discs, cheaper than retail and unbelievable deals.

SythisTaru
SythisTaru

You guys sound like you think the game companies should just be giving them away for free. What a joke..

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@SauhlGood real gamers prefer retail rather than download, besides whats bothers me is, "why create a EA sports store", since it can be sold on any game store, and why they don't launch all of their games on retail. Besides the name is EA sports, "sports" so making streaming a sport game to make people stay on home, I mean, how come a sport can make someone lazy.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

omg your not that popular EA, like a hooker on the corner, EA will do anything for money... as far as money idea's go, people at the top are not living in the same world the rest of us are(anybody see the economy lately), nobody will buy your games from your stores when we can get them cheaper on steam or cheaper from a game exchange/used game... The EA online store sounds like a bad idea already, let alone retail, these people think they can cash in on trends of d2d or steam, these are established companies who have been giving good deals for the last couple of years. The words EA usually leave a bad taste in most peoples mouths. It often makes you think who are the share holders at the top, and why do they think this is a good idea, they are not gamers thats for sure. Video games are art, not a static industry like resources gathering(mining etc.), there is no sure-fire formula to making a hit game... Cross-franchising didnt work back when EA had burger kings adverts splashed in most of its NFS games, and back then it was in the name of "authenticity" thinking users seeing a burger king advert. in a racing game will "immerse them"... what a sorry excuse. You put it in there cuz burger king paid you alot of money, trying to make it seem like you did it for the users is just so pathetic and nothing less than what i expected from EA at the time.

munchlax99
munchlax99

why not sell all EA games in the store? :P

Gen007
Gen007

Wow we destroy the planet for stuff like this it kills me man. Why do we need a EA sports store? Even an EA games store would be pointless. Nobody is going to buy their copy of Madden from the EA store unless well it's $10 or $30 cheaper there or something. We all know that wont be the case though its EA were talking bout here aka the previous bad boys.

PayneKiller
PayneKiller

I welcome this, I love EA even if others don't. But I'm a sports game fan and I buy FIFA every year. Open a store in South Florida please EA, I'd be a regular window shopper if anything.

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Where are the Lulz when you need them?

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

@archlvt that is the most truthful thing I have ever heard said about EA.

P8rt
P8rt

This isn't a bad idea.Floor space at an airport is pretty cheap.Also the terminals will be chalk full of EA sports demographic whilst they are bored with time to kill. As far as ideas for expanding their market this might be pretty good.

rasputin177
rasputin177

I don't get it. Will it be cheaper? Will they have games other stories don't have in stock? If not what is the point seriously. I guess so they can resale their games instead of GS?

jamyskis
jamyskis

So much for digital being "the future". Anything is "the future" as long as you can maximise profit from it.

archlvt
archlvt

Using the word "innovative" should be illegal. They don't know what they're talking about anymore.

YoussefS
YoussefS

lol, I have played 815 matches in total since launch and I have yet to see pro passing and personality plus. So many gimmicks to make a quick buck, its disgusting. However, I got to admit, PES is currently crap(so many broken promises), so this is my only go to game at the moment. bioware, Wanna create a soccer game? maybe atleast implement a story in manager mode or something.

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

So will the same "brilliant" marketing team that put forth such wonders as the fake "protestors" for Dante's Inferno, the "your mom will hate it" Dead Space 2 commercials, the "more uber-hype than game" of the dumbed-down Dragon Age 2 and other wonders of bad promotion be pushing these EA sports stores? Only thing EA's marketing did well recently was not putting Micheal "It's all better now because I appologized on TV" Vicks on the cover of the latest Madden. I sense "fail" coming. Couldn't happen to a more deserving publisher.

LoadedTuna
LoadedTuna

protip: make good games before you decide to fill a retail store with them.

Pokemon18986
Pokemon18986

@exedeath have fun buying Mass Effect 3 at a EA "SPORTS" store XD

MNBeta03
MNBeta03

Opening a EA sports store = bad idea; Opening an EA sports store in an NC Airport = WTF???

pokecharm
pokecharm

this news article really just has me scratching my head...wonder what they based this decision on, because having an online store and a physical store are two totally different things...I've bought from their online store, but this...huh...

richlockard
richlockard

An "EA store" might have been interesting, but an "EA sports store"? I'll pass...

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

Of all the things to open a store for, this is probably the one thing I am least interested in. It's pretty literally the only game genre I don't care for and I haven't touched it in over a decade. They could literally have built an entire store just for Mass Effect 3 and it would have more appeal than an EA sports store. But of course, some of these franchises (like Madden) have been going for 20ish years so I guess it makes sense. Are they actually going to stock last years game? I just can't imagine them actually filling an entire store.

exedeath
exedeath

This is great news. I hope they do very well for themselves, so they may open more stores. More stores equal more jobs, and a better economy. If EA does well enough they might start a trend, and very well could save this country. I will fully support them on this, and now if I buy anything from EA, it will not be from Gamestop anymore.

DennisWZH
DennisWZH

if this is true, then what would happen to the online pass? dont tell me it's staying cause now that there's no middleman, there wont be a loss of profit anymore.

Sniper-Gamer
Sniper-Gamer

I don't really understand the point of making a store just for EA Sports games. If it was all EA games and they have some kind of added benefit then maybe it would make sense. But right now, I think it's just a waste of their money.

NightDrifter05
NightDrifter05

IronBeaver You're not to bright are you? Do you know how many developers EA publishes for? You just listed game's developer by EA but they have hundreds of partner games they would be selling.They would put EASILY 50+ games a year just on PS3 and 360. You need to do a little research to see how many developers they have in there partner program.

IronBeaver
IronBeaver

EA and Activision are going to make me quit video games.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

An EA Store. MLB,Baseball,Football NFL,Football NCCA,Fifa,NHL,BastketBall NBA.maybe a Street hops game. So EA might be able to sell 28 yearly games for PC,Playstation 3,XBox 360, Maybe a bit for the Wii. Some PSP and 3DS. maybe 40 titles for all of the platforms. As popular As EA sports "It's in the Game" games are. I not sure that just Selling EA Sports games is going to be enough to support a brick and mortar store. Maybe 50 EA sports games on a yearly basis. I just cannot see this working out for EA. If you just sell Sports games. There is no way that a store can survive on just one genre? Even I like the odd EA sports game once and a while. But a EA Sports only game shop is not going to work. Sorry EA (if you sold All EA games past and present, you would still have a tough go of this store idea) EA its in the Store (but not for long.)

namdar
namdar

They should skip all this and go straight for the amusement park industry! Bad Company 2 laser tag whoo hoo!!

PoindeJ
PoindeJ

First of all - what? Really, EA? Second of all - why the heck would you put your first store in an AIRPORT?

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

I said EA might do something like this in a post a few weeks back. If they have a used game program, I'll have called it perfectly. Got fam in the area, will have them check it out for me.

JusticeFromSeed
JusticeFromSeed

I am strongly against each and every publisher opening up their own store. I am strongly against each and every publisher charging for their online services through the use of online passes. Losing respect for you, EA. You've recovered some rep in the past couple years as Activision had it out with Infinity Ward - don't ruin that comeback by proving you're the greedy sobs you were formerly portrayed as.

svaubel
svaubel

Hmm, a store full of nothing but Madden, Sims, and Fifa. And they charge you 5$ just to leave the store. No thanks.

SythisTaru
SythisTaru

The online pass idea is completely justified, and makes perfect sense. I don't see people complaining about Blizzard games requiring a CD-key in order to play; and that is needed to play ANY aspect of the game, including single-player. In order to prevent pirating and keep gamers on a more regulated playing field, these online passes are actually a good thing. (And I know people complain about buying used games and not getting an online pass, but all the used games I've purchased from gamestop in the last year have come with a brand new id/code to use, including Dead Space 2. )

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

Do they even have enough merchandise that people want to buy? I can understand games, but the store can't just consist of EA games. I don't see these stores being around for very long, unless they start selling sports equipment and licensed merch that's of actual good quality. Then, maybe.

JorgeChC
JorgeChC

Hey, wait, they won't be just selling games, they will be selling the brand-new Online pass ! which you need to enjoy all the "Exclusive content", that consist on the new marvel of videogames, playing online ... :^/ I hope you can read Sarcasm between the lines

YoungCardinal
YoungCardinal

This is all leading to exclusive titles on Origin and the EA Store. Great, that's 1 more publisher I can cross of the list to support. It's a shame too, Cuase I'm really looking forward to BF3, but I will not buy it if they keep with this nonsense. Even exclusive DLCs at select stores is pissing me off. Give everyone the full Game. The Way It Was Meant to be Played...

hunter8man
hunter8man

Wait, huh? What a horrible waste of money.

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

I'm personally holding out until "Madden Second Week of August 2012". It looks like the best one. It has real injury physics!

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

Unless you suddenly make like 100 new games, there just isn't going to be enough stock to sell. Football fans come in and buy Madden 2012 or whatever, and then that's it. There's no incentive to come back and buy another game until a year later when the next one comes out. Or, highly likely, instead of having 1 Madden/Fifa/Whatever Sports 2012 game, it switches to "Madden Summer 2012", "Madden Spring 2012", "Madden Winter 2012" etc etc and we start getting four games a year.