Pretty much everyone loves to see a Steam sale; there's no better way to grab an awesome game at such a low price, but David DeMartini, the head of EA's maligned Origin service, thinks that the sales are very bad for business. What's that, you say?
Speaking to GamesIndustry, DeMartini explains EA's thinking:
Obviously they think it's the right thing to do after a certain amount of time. I just think it cheapens your intellectual property. I know both sides of it, I understand it. If you want to sell a whole bunch of units, that is certainly a way to do that, to sell a whole bunch of stuff at a low price. The gamemakers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we're not trying to be Target. We're trying to be Nordstrom. When I say that, I mean good value - we're trying to give you a fair price point, and occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount, just don't look for 75 percent off going-out-of-business sales.
Basically, what he's saying is that EA would prefer that you pay as near to full price as possible for a title (which you'll have to do, since you can't get it anywhere else). Of course, since this is EA we're talking about, you'll end up paying more than enough for DLC to make up for any sales cuts that they do make, so there's no need to feel bad about it.
Sure, the (mostly) no discounts approach has worked out well for some companies; just take a look at Apple. We could trot out JC Penny's as an example of where things can go wrong, but we think that's a bit too out of the field. Speaking strictly in terms of gaming, sales tend to draw attention to a game like nothing else can, drawing in people who wouldn't have bought the game otherwise, and hopefully building up enough positive word of mouth that more people pay full price for them later.
So, what do you think? Do sales 'cheapen intellectual property,' like DeMartini says, or is EA just being greedy?