EA Unveils EURO 2012 Expansion Pack - Analyst Blog

By Zacks Equity Research,

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Catching the EURO 2012 fever, Electronic Arts Inc. ( EA ) recently announced the launch of UEFA EURO 2012 , a paid digital expansion pack for gamers that already own FIFA Soccer 12 . The game is scheduled for release on April 24 in North America and Europe and on April 25, 2012 in other countries around the world.

Developed by EA Canada, the expansion pack will be available on both Microsoft's ( MSFT ) Xbox 360 and Sony's ( SNE ) PlayStation 3, as well as on personal computers. Gamers are required to spend $19.99, or 1800 Microsoft points or 2500 FIFA points to grab a copy of the expansion pack. The expansion pack has been rated E, which means the game is suitable for age groups of 6 and above.

The expansion pack is sure to pump the adrenalin in gamers, as the fight for the championship unfolds at every stage. Gamers have the option to choose any one of the 53 teams of the official tournament and can compete online in a quest to win the championship. An Origin account is sufficient for PC owners to play the game online, while Xbox 360 and PS3 users are also required to have a FIFA 12 ONLINE PASS.

The expansion pack includes a live service which will put gamers under different real-game like situations and challenges based on official tournament matches. Gamers can earn experience points by overcoming these challenges, which will improve their EA SPORTS Football Club profiles going forward.

Other than the real-life feeling, the expansion pack features an expedition mode, which is the new attraction this year. In this mode, gamers can build and manage their own team by selecting footballers from different European nations participating in the tournament or from FIFA Soccer Virtual 12 Virtual Pro. The team can compete with other European nations or other customized teams to win the UEFA championship.

EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer franchise has attained a cult status among soccer fans. We believe that the success of the FIFA franchise demonstrates EA's continued endeavor to produce quality products. FIFA Soccer 12 sold approximately 10 million units during the third quarter of 2012. We believe that the popularity of the FIFA Soccer franchise and its strong subscriber base will be further driven by the new expansion pack. Recently, EA released FIFA Street , the latest game from the FIFA Soccer franchise, which is also expected to boost the top-line going forward.

EA's pipeline consists of high-quality titles and with the increasing online exposure, social games guarantee market share gains over the long term.  However, the gloomy macro-economic environment, increasing competition from Activision Blizzard Inc. ( ATVI ) and Zynga Inc. ( ZNGA ) and sluggish video game sales results over the last 12 months, compel us to remain cautious.

We have a Neutral recommendation on EA over the long term (for the next 3-6 months). Currently, EA has a Zacks #3 Rank, which implies a Hold rating in the short term.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Stocks: ATVI , EA , MSFT , SNE , ZNGA

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