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Electronic Arts Sees Digital 50% of Total Sales by 2015

March 27 (Bloomberg) -- Electronic Arts Inc. Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore said digitally delivered video games may account for 50 percent of sales by 2015 as more players migrate to tablets and smartphones from consoles.

Electronic Arts, based in Redwood City, California, plans to offer games for mobile devices for free and will make money from sales of in-game accessories, Moore said today in an interview with Bloomberg TV. The company also will benefit from selling digital versions of games now sold on discs, he said.

“In two years we could be looking at the tipping point where digital becomes bigger than the traditional core,” Moore said.

Electronic Arts, the second-largest U.S. video game publisher, reported $4.14 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012. The company plans to expand on a model established with the February release of its first free mobile game, “Real Racing 3.” The title was downloaded more in its first five days than the previous versions combined, Moore said.

“It taught us that the business model of the future is bringing in a larger sampling of consumers with a free-to-play mechanic,” Moore said. “We’re seeing the balancing now of other platforms against the console.”

Electronic Arts rose less than 1 percent to $17.79 at the close in New York. The shares are up 23 percent this year.

Moore is considered a possible successor to Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello, who was ousted this month after the company lowered its sales and profit forecasts. Moore defended Riccitiello, CEO since 2007, saying he created a strategy to lead the company back to profitability.

“John Riccitiello leaves us in tremendous shape,” he said. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Activision Blizzard Inc. is the largest video-game publisher in the U.S.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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