Top-flight titles like Rock Band and Left 4 Dead are distributed by Electronic Arts but the association doesn't mean as much to the company's bottom line. The publisher will be moving away from distributing third-party titles in the coming year.
"While we have great relationships with our partners we are modeling a reduction in our distribution business as we concentrate on higher margin EA owned titles and digital initiatives," EA chief operating officer John Schappert said in yesterday's conference call.
Short-term, that takes $450 million of revenue off of EA's books. Long-term, it means they won't paying the freight on titles they didn't make.
No Rock Band games were listed in EA's upcoming key releases; in fact, all were in-house projects.