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EA Expanding EA Sports Active, Confirms Madden Arcade

In the wake of strong sales of EA Sports Active for Wii, Electronic Arts announced an expansion for the game, and expressed a bullish attitude towards Nintendo's console; EA
EA Sports said Tuesday that EA Sports Active sold 1.8 million units during its June quarter, making the game the publisher's "best-selling Wii title ever." The company intends to maintain the high sales momentum through unconventional marketing and distribution that saw the game advertised on QVC and sold at Dick's Sporting Goods, for example. The success has also prompted EA to release an expansion for the game later this year. "Given the success of EA Sports Active, we've decided to launch an expansion pack this holiday. We are using development using from our tennis team on our EA Sports Active franchise," said Peter Moore, president of the publisher's EA Sports label. With the tennis series' development resources going towards the higher-priority EA Sports Active, other SKUs will suffer delays. "As a result, we are delaying the 360 and PS3 tennis SKUs. We believe this is a good swap, and expect this decision to yield positive results," Moore said. Moore added that EA Sports Active "continues to sell well." "What we've learned is that the consumer out there is very, very open to the concept of interactive fitness. ... We're very optimistic..." The game launched in May, and was developed by EA Vancouver. Fitness games on the Wii have shown strong traction with the mass market, namely exhibited by Nintendo's own Wii Fit, which continues to occupy weekly top-selling games charts over one year after its Western debut. Tiger Woods Wii Success EA Sports also had a strong performer during the quarter with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10. Moore said, "I think the real excitement around Tiger is the Wii version with the Wii MotionPlus. We've seen tremendous growth year-on-year [compared to last year's Tiger Woods for Wii]." Moore did not provide sales figures, but NPD Group said the game sold 272,400 units during June in the U.S., ranking number four overall for the month. "When you're actually replicating the natural movement of the sport with the Wii motion control, that has been the key," Moore said, explaining what makes a successful sports title on Wii. EA Sports bundled Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus peripheral with some of its Tiger Woods 10 shipment, allowing for more accurate control. He did not break down the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 sales share between the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii versions. Tiger Woods is also heading to PC in the form of an online-based game. Football Highs And Lows NCAA Football 10, launched in mid-July, is underperforming against EA's expectations so far. "One of the things we are looking at is whether the real excitement, which is very strong right now around Madden, is actually in some ways negatively impacting NCAA. I think the key here is that we're still two or three weeks away from the college football season starting." Moore also said that it is expanding the pick-up-and-play concept behind the downloadable sports title NHL 3-on-3 Arcade, and applying it to pro football with "Madden Arcade" later this year. He said EA would release the game sometime after the launch of Madden NFL 10. As for Madden NFL 10 pre-orders (which EA said isn't always a be-all end-all indicator of actual game sales) are "marginally up" from last year. Moore said the game is strategically releasing on Friday, August 14 -- the day after a pre-season Super Bowl rematch between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals.

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