Pre Order Starts for EA's MMORPG - Analyst Blog

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Video game giant Electronic Arts Inc. ( EA ) and Funcom, a developer and publisher of online games, announced the commencement of the pre-order campaign of their upcoming massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG), The Secret World . The game is set to release on June 19, 2012 exclusively on PC.   The Secret World takes gamers around the world, where they join hands with secret societies (Dragon, Templar, Illuminati) to fight against evil forces that include zombies, vampires, and mummies. All these pulsating actions take place in the modern day set up.

Pre ordering the MMO will let the gamers receive an access to the "Beta Weekends", which is expected to start from May 11, 2012. Moreover, players will receive certain in-game items that would help them in the progression of the game. Gamers would also receive a monster designed T-shirt and a virtual powerful pet, which in turn would help gamers to combat situations

The popularity of the game can be gauged by 750K gamers who have registered for the beta testing, according to Funcom. The game is available for pre order through Origin, EA's digital platform. With the release of The Secret World , EA would not only add another game to its portfolio, but will also solidify its position in the MMO gaming market

EA has tasted success with its last December's release of Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR), the much-awaited MMO game from the California-based company's stable. In the recently concluded third quarter, solid performance from Star Wars: The Old Republic boosted EA's top line. During the quarter, 2 million units were sold and the game registered 1.7 million active users.

However on the flip side, EA has been facing tough competition from Activision Blizzard Inc. 's ( ATVI ) MMO, World of Warcraft , which commands one of the highest subscriber bases among the present generation of MMOs. It has a subscription base of over 10.2 million.

Moreover, the emergence of free to play MMOs by social game makers like Zynga Inc. ( ZNGA ) has also been eating into the market share that EA enjoys .

Overall, we remain cautious on the company due to the gloomy macro-economic environment and increasing competition from its peers. But we believe EA's high-quality titles and a robust product pipeline along with the increasing online exposure and traction in the social and mobile gaming market are the long-term positive catalysts. Thus, we have a Neutral recommendation on EA over the long term.

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 The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ATVI , EA , ZNGA

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