REDWOOD CITY – Video game developer, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) released a demo of Madden NFL 25 this week. The marquee game will have its full release on August 27 – just in time for the opening kick-off of the 2013-14 NFL season. With the demo release, fans will be able to test the game by downloading it from the Xbox Live (NASDAQ:MSFT) and PlayStation (NYSE:SNE) Networks. The game will include a replay of Super Bowl XLVI featuring the San Francisco 49’ers and the Baltimore Ravens as well as the controversial Seattle vs. Green Bay game from last season – that is the game where a replacement referee’s call cost the Packers a victory on Monday Night Football (NYSE:DIS).
According to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Trends, search intensity for ‘Madden NFL 25’ in July were down nearly 42 percent compared to ‘Madden 13’ for the same month last year. Madden 13 was extremely successful with more than 1.65 million copies sold in its first week. This compared to 1.4 million copies for Madden 12, which sold nearly 10 percent more than Madden 11 in its first week.
If the search trend holds, first week sales of Madden NFL 25 might disappoint and with the stock trading near its 52-week high, shareholders could get hit for a loss in the coming weeks. While there is still some time left for EA’s marketing machine build hype for the latest and greatest version of Madden, it is unlikely they will be able to gain traction in the near-term.
While Madden NFL 25 might disappoint, EA is using its Tetris rights to create a solid mobile revenue stream as the company also announced the release of Tetris Monsters for mobile devices – a free-to-play puzzler with role-playing elements. The game, which was developed by EA Japan, has attempted to recreated the success of GungHo Online Entertainment’s (TOKYO:3765) Puzzle & Dragons, which combines puzzle and RPG mechanics in a free-to-play model that is currently generating daily revenues of $4 million.
According to Japanese gaming analyst Dr. Serkan Tato, ‘EA Japan’s announcement doesn’t come out of nowhere as the overwhelming success of GungHo’s Puzzle & Dragons has triggered a wave of mobile games that combine puzzle and RPG mechanics. Tetris Monsters will not even be the first such game with Tetris-like mechanics.’
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