NEWS - Wednesday, September 3, 2003


EA says sold 2 million

LOS ANGELES, Sept 2 - Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. (NasdaqNM:ERTS - News) on Tuesday said its newest "Madden NFL" football game had sold more than 2 million units in its first three weeks, making it one of the year's top- selling games and among the fastest sellers ever. The total, which represents sales for six game platforms, was stronger than some analysts had expected and above what is believed to be the company's own initial projections. Deutsche Bank Securities analyst Jeetil Patel said the last version of the game sold about 1 million units across four platforms in August 2002. A company spokeswoman declined to detail EA's internal forecasts for the game's sales. The game was released in mid-August. The nation's two leading specialty game retailers, Electronics Boutique Holdings Corp. and GameStop Corp., both said in a statement the game was their fastest-selling title ever, eclipsing even last year's smash hit "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City." EA also said the game was tracking ahead of 2002's performance, a record year for the title. The company has registered more than 200,000 accounts for online players of "Madden NFL 2004" and its other hit, "NCAA Football 2004," on Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2 console, where EA has made a major push into online gaming. Deutsche Bank's Patel said sales of "Madden" were tracking to account for 18 percent to 20 percent of the industry's entire sales, on a unit-sold basis, for the month of August, versus 11 percent last year. "On top of that the marketing is only starting now," Patel said. "It's EA's industry." He has a "buy" rating on the stock and does not own any EA shares.
Source: http://www.easports.com/

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