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EA's latest  Madden  release displays retail decline
EA's latest Madden release displays retail decline
September 6, 2013 | By Mike Rose

September 6, 2013 | By Mike Rose
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The latest addition to Electronic Arts' Madden football series sold more than 1 million units in its first week on sale at retail, signalling a decline for the franchise -- although it's unclear by how much digital sales are offsetting this decline.

Last year's Madden installment sold 1.65 million units in its comparable launch period, a significant number more than Madden NFL 25 managed last week -- although EA already noted in its latest financial guidance that it expected Madden unit sales to decline.

Colin Sebastian at analyst firm Baird Equity Research believes a number of factors played into the lower sales, including a higher average price point for the title, and retail delays due to the upcoming hardware refresh.

He notes, however, that the game's online Ultimate Team features made record revenues last week, suggesting that EA's digital transition is playing a key role in filling that retail decline.


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Comments


Ahmad Daniels
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As a professional Madden hater I want to believe it's just people buying less madden because they want a football game that strides to make more changes than roster updates finally, but knowing madden fans this is probably not true.

Mike Higbee
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I'd wager it's due to it being the transition phase between console generations.

Sean Sang
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I agree with you Mike, I think a lot of this is people waiting on the side lines for the new systems.

Sean Sang
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I don't play Madden but I do play other sports games from time to time and see this comment of the games being a roster update as a common misconception. Most of those games make updates that change the game play significantly as they attempt to simulate all aspects of the real sports. Sometimes I feel they leave certain aspects of the sports out so they can add them later making it seem like the new version worth purchasing.

Ahmad Daniels
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I think you can say that for other sports games, but not madden. the 2k basketball series does a ton from year to year. As a person who has bought many maddens and is a huge football fan. Madden itself isn't a terrible game exactly, but is pretty much the same in most ways from year to year. They tend to add features and take them out the next year without ever developing the new additions. The big motivators to each game are usually done in the pre and post game cutscenes, HUD elements, etc. I'm not going to lie I would pick up the games from the previous years as soon as they get dirt cheap but as a football fan I want to play with the current players and play parallel to this current season.

Kevin Clough
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I never buy Madden and I bought it this year just for the NFL Ticket from Amazon. I know one other person who did the same thing, so you would need to subtract out those sales when making a year-over-year comparison. I have been pleasantly surprised by the Ultimate team mode. I wish the matchmaking was better though because I am being paired up against much better players than me and also players who have much better teams (I assume they bought a lot of add-on packs).

Harry Fields
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same boat on purchase reason. Haven't popped it in the Xbox once, but I can now watch my Packers play every week with the Sunday Ticket. That was worth the price alone. Sad that the only way you get some people to buy your product is with the non-game pack-ins. I'll end up trying it. Go through a season and then trade it in because there's never enough substance to warrant mastering the game.

A W
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Metacritic: Madden 25th
Xbox360: Critic reviews 81 | User reviews 60
PS3: Critic reviews 75 | User reviews 50

Seems out of sink to me. Either critics are being very generous, or user are being extremely picky. No Wii U presents didn't help the franchise out. So shrink base to core players and make money off of digital items and add-ons. The new business model of many AAA companies.

Sean Sang
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User reviews on meta-critic can't be trusted. There are people who don't own or never played the game who will rate a game low for various reasons, sometimes it's based on Ea policies they disagree with, sometimes it's from hating things popular or paying for DLC, etc.

DanielThomas MacInnes
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This is encouraging news. More people are realizing that it's cheaper to just buy a marker pen and scribble the number "25" on their existing copy of John Madden Football than pay the $60. As for the "next gen," if history is any judge, EA will strip out all the existing features for the PS4/Xbone versions, and then slowly reinstate them over the next 3-4 years.

It's very hard to not feel cynical when it comes to modern EA, which is unfortunate. I miss the glorious days of Electronic Arts in the 1980s and 1990s.


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