Video game developer and publisher,
Electronic Arts Inc. (
recently announced a number of new games from some of its acclaimed
studios that will be showcased at the ongoing Electronic
Entertainment Expo (E3).
EA studio Visceral Games announced a sequel to the critically
Dead Space 3 (February 2013).
The new game is set on a new planet known as Tau Volantis, where
the main protagonist crash-lands.
Dead Space 3
carries a new co-operative feature, which allows players to team up
with friends to embark on the fascinating journey.
Criterion Games announced the new game
Need for Speed Most Wanted (October 2012)
, a much anticipated sequel of the
Need for Speed
franchise. The new game carries an additional feature known as
Autolog. With the help of Autolog technology, gamers can challenge
friends across social networks for single play or multi-play
Digital Expansions and Bonus Packs
The new game of the
Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor Warfigher (October 2012)
has an additional mode which allows gamers to combat against other
well known warriors all over the world. EA recently launched a
limited edition of the sequel along with a number of bonus packs.
Medal of Honor Warfigher Limited Edition
, will be the first to unlock these special packs.
Another well known studio DICE recently announced a new
"premium" membership for Battlefield 3 fans. Gamers upgrading
themselves to the premium membership for $49.99 get five new
digital expansion packs, namely
Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand
Battlefield 3: Close Quarters
Battlefield 3: Armored Kill
Battlefield 3: End Game
(December 2012) and Battlefield 3: Aftermath (March 2013).
EA also announced a new reward point system for EA SPORTS
Football Club members. As per the new system, the returning members
will be able to carry forward their level and experience points
. FIFA 13 players will also earn Football Club Credits to unlock
different items. The players will be able to interact with their
friends through EA SPORTS Football Club. EA also announced that the
mobile versions (both for iOS and android enabled devices) of
will be connected with the Football Club.
Expanding into Facebook
The Sims Social
EA is bringing its simulator gaming franchise
to Facebook, the world's largest social network. Developed by EA
studio Maxis, the game is known as
. Being a social game, players are allowed to visit their friends'
cities, can also use their resources to complete tasks and can
choose to build friendly relationships among themselves.
Grabs UFC Rights
EA announced that it is buying out the licensing rights of
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) from Zuffa LLC.
THQ Inc. (
used to hold the rights associated with the brand name. The new
multi-year, multi-product partnership will provide EA the exclusive
rights to develop UFC videogames along the lines of
. We believe that the popularity of the UFC videogames among
hardcore gamers will drive EA's customer base and top-line growth
At Last, Free!
As anticipated, EA is opening up its portfolio for free gamers.
According to a recent news feed from Reuters, EA is planning to
offer at least 15 levels (from July) of its magnum opus,
Star Wars: Old Republic
for free to play. The company expects that this free offering will
boost its dwindling subscriber base going forward. EA lost
approximately 400K subscribers in the fiscal fourth quarter. EA
expects to earn significant revenue from additional features and
through micro-transactions by selling in-game based items.
We believe that EA is diversifying its revenue earning base.
With rising consumer spending on digital gaming (social, mobile,
casual), we remain optimistic on EA's growth trends over the long
term. The company is opening up new fronts in social, mobile and
online gaming based on its well known franchises which is expected
to boost its customer base going forward.
We believe that EA's innovative product pipeline will boost its
market share in the online gaming market. Moreover, EA's strong
focus on the digital segment will help it stand out even amid
sluggish market conditions going forward. However, the highly
fragmented video game market continues to witness increased
competitive pressures, which are hurting its overall profitability.
This compels us to remain Neutral on the stock over the long
Currently, EA has a Zacks #3 Rank, which implies a Hold rating
in the near term.
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