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PC gaming growing faster than any other platform, says EA boss

PC gaming is the fastest growing platform as digital revenues make up for declining boxed sales.

The fastest growing area of the video game market is for PC titles, according the boss of Electronic Arts (EA).

Chief executive John Riccitiello defended the company's stock downturn in an interview with news agency CNBC by saying that the PC gaming sector is booming.

Addressing the concern among investors that the video game market is a difficult area to channel their funds into, he pointed out that the NPD Group's figures only account for boxed retail sales in the US.

"Just five years ago people said that the PC game business was in a radical state of decline because NPD said it was down ten per cent, 20 per cent, 30 per cent, year-in year-out," he says.

"The fastest growing platform for video games today is the PC, but it’s growing through subscriptions, through micro transactions and through downloads."

Speaking at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference, he explained that money not spent on packaged goods is being made up for in digital revenues. EA has found success selling titles on the Facebook social media gaming platform as well as in Apple's online store.

The company is also working to keep gamers playing its titles by providing a "service business". The example Mr Riccitiello uses is of the Fifa video game franchise, which before would lose much of its large audience after a month or so. But with EA providing regular updates to provide extra challenges to its latest title Fifa 12, there were five million players in the first week and since then it has dropped no lower than 4.5 million.

EA is set to expand its digital offerings with the Play4Free range, which includes Battlefield Heroes and Lord of Ultima, and making the massively multiplayer online role playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic free until gamers reach level 15.

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