Electronic Arts Developing Six Video-Game Titles for Nintendo's Wii

Published July 17, 2006

| Reuters

Electronic Arts on Thursday said it is developing six games for Nintendo's upcoming Wii video game console, whose selling point is a motion-detecting controller that allows players to simulate swinging a bat, golf club or sword.

EA (ERTS), the world's largest video game publisher, said its Wii development team is working on new versions of its best-selling football franchise "Madden NFL" and racing game "Need for Speed."

Other new game titles will include iterations of "Harry Potter," "Tiger Woods PGA Tour," "SSX" and "The Godfather."

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EA said each of the new titles will take advantage of the technology in the Wii controller that has captured the imagination of both gaming enthusiasts and game makers.

The Silicon Valley-based company, which did not give release dates for the new titles, said additional Wii games are under development and will be announced in the coming months.

"Everyone in the studio is energized by the creative opportunity afforded by both the (Wii) hardware and controller ... creatively, the game play possibilities are staggering and endless," EA General Manager John Schappert said in a statement.

American Technology Research analyst Paul-Jon McNealy said the announcement should be well received by investors in EA — whose shares have lost 26 percent of their value over the last 12 months as the video game industry moves to new console technology.

"We believe this will be considered good news after (EA) had not been aggressive early on the Wii platform," McNealy said in a client note.

On Wednesday, EA said its holiday line-up will include more than 20 game titles for 11 different game systems, including next-generation consoles, personal computers and mobile game devices.

Among other things, EA will integrate real-time content from cable sports network ESPN into its sports games, which will also feature athletes that move more naturally than ever thanks to advances in the company's physics technology.

Nintendo's Wii and Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 3 are expected to be on store shelves by year end. Microsoft's (MSFT) next-generation Xbox 360 has been on the market since November.

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