Analyst says EA Sports may be a cause for concern

EA Sports - Image 1It’s no secret that Electronic Arts is the biggest third-party game publisher and it’s almost a safe bet to invest on its stocks at any given time. However, one analyst says that the gaming giant may have cause to worry due to the under-performance of its EA Sports division. Titles like Madden NFL 08 (PC, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, PSP, Nintendo Wii, and DS) and NCAA March Madness 2008 (Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3) are taking some of the blame. Find out why when you read the full article.

Madden NFL 08 - Image 1Electronic Arts stocks have always been a safe bet for longtime investors because of the company’s ability to profit year in and year out with its plethora of video game titles. After the latest NPD numbers rolled in, though, one analyst voiced his concern for the gaming industry’s biggest third-party publisher.

Deutsche Bank‘s Jeetil Patel says that stockholders may be overestimating EA a little too much. He says that the decline in some of EA’s biggest portfolios is a cause for concern.

“We think investors are clearly giving EA far too much credit to its scale and product quality when its industry leadership position may be under attack,” Patel explains.

The market analyst pointed out that the latest market figures don’t reflect the real score within EA’s sales turf. He says that the EA Sports division may be on the decline as franchises like Madden NFL series NCAA Football are showing signs of slowing down.

Madden NFL 08 (PC, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, PSP, Nintendo Wii, and DS), for instance, sold five percent less than predecessor Madden NFL 07 despite its high quality and elaborate ad campaign. More striking is the 17 percent decrease in NCAA March Madness 2008‘s (Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3) sales when stacked against last year’s stats.

Patel says that the only reason that EA’s numbers are looking good right now is because Rock Band had a successful run. NCAA March Madness 2008 was released a month earlier than the usual launch period of its predecessors, giving EA a boost before the NPD let loose on the numbers.

EA recently closed its Chicago studio because of the division’s inability to generate profits. EA Chicago is responsible for the well-made Fight Night series which had three iterations before being shelved.

Via Gamedaily

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