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Janco: Hardcore Holiday To Benefit Electronic Arts

Ahead of EA's Q2 results expected November 1st, Janco analyst Mike Hickey has said that constrained Wii supplies and rash of solid hardcore software should shift this holiday season in EA's favor, and expressed cautious optimism over its plans to enter th
Ahead of EA's Q2 results expected November 1st, Janco analyst Mike Hickey has said that constrained Wii supplies and rash of solid hardcore software should shift this holiday season in EA's favor, and expressed cautious optimism over its plans to enter the MMO market. On the upcoming holiday season, Hickey says "We believe the recent release of killer content (Halo 3 - BioShock), lower hardware price points, and limited Wii (hardware/software) supply could shift market focus from Wii casual to 360 hardcore this holiday." "A market shift toward core gamer platforms (360/PS3) and a potential PS3 price cut (November) should benefit [EA] this holiday," Hickey portends. Turning to its recent Bioware/Pandemic acquisition, Hickey says his optimism is still guarded despite speculation that Bioware's unannounced MMO will be a Star Wars license. "The MMO segment has received considerable investment after the smashing success of WoW and the subsequent annuity stream it has unleashed," he says. "However, aside from international markets, the genre’s success domestically has been limited to WoW," and adds that its planned calendar 2010 release will be "highly competitive," given the "huge domestic development ramp." "In addition," Hickey concludes, "we are uncertain over the MMO market demand for their unannounced licensed IP and game quality (BioWare has no MMO track record). A competitive MMO release prior to their CY10 or continuation of the WoW subscriber phenomena could capture a large portion of the available market, locking out their economic opportunity."

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