EA has said that it is turning focus inwards and towards digital for products in the coming year.  Gamasutra reports on comments from the publisher s senior management on an earnings conference call.  EA said that it plans to scale back its exposure to publishing and distribution of externally developed games including those that fall under the EA Partners label.  EA COO John Schappert said the move is to concentrate on higher-margin EA owned titles and digital initiatives.   EA pointed to successful external partnerships including Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2, which it said surpassed expectations with more than 2.9 million units sold.  But the publisher said distribution partnerships generate low margins while publishing internally developed games can return as much as 90 percent profit margin for PC titles and 60-70 percent margin on consoles.  Gamasutra says the omission of future Rock Band music games on EA s slate is evidence of the new strategy.  EA helped MTV Games launch the Rock Band franchise and has been listed as co-publisher on previous titles.  Read more at Gamasutra.


Reported elsewhere in Edge-Online {link no longer active}, Schappert made a statement on the same earnings call that all of EA releases in the coming year will have an online component, both downloadable content and online play.