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'Madden' sets record sales
Electronic Arts flagship game sees 26 percent first-week sales increase.
August 18, 2005: 4:31 PM EDT
By Chris Morris, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) The gaming world, it would seem, IS ready for some football.

Sales of Electronic Arts (Research)' "Madden NFL 06" topped 1.7 million in the game's first week of availability, a 26 percent rise over the first-week sales of "Madden NFL 05." It is the biggest week-one launch in the game's 16-year history.

Madden is EA's premier game, selling more than 45 million copies in its history. It contributes a significant portion of the game publisher's revenue from sports games, which account for roughly one-third of the company's total annual revenues.

The 2005 version ultimately fell short of sales expectations due to strong competition. In December 2005, however, EA announced an exclusive licensing deal with the NFL, effectively eliminating all competition.

"Madden" could see a second sales boost in September when the game becomes available for the PSP (PlayStation Portable), Sony's (Research) handheld gaming system. Many analysts think the game could help drive system sales.

And yet another boost could come around the holiday season with the launch of Microsoft's (Research) Xbox 360. A next generation version is in the works and is widely expected to launch with the new video game console - likely in November and likely at a premium price.

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It's a different playing field for Madden this year. Click here.  Top of page

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