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Analyst Blog

Electronic Arts (EA - Analyst Report) recently announced that its massively popular racing title, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, is now available for Nintendo’s Wii U. The exclusive Wii U version named Need for Speed: Most Wanted U is priced $59.99 in North America and €69.99 in Europe (available from Mar 21).

Developed by Criterion Games, Need for Speed: Most Wanted U has all the regular features from its previous version. It has Autolog 2, which will help gamers to challenge friends across social networks for single player or multi-player racing.

Additionally, Need for Speed: Most Wanted U is laden with an Ultimate Speed Pack that allows gamers to drive insanely fast cars such as McLaren’s F1 LM, Lamborghini’s Aventador J, Pagani Zonda R, Bugatti’s Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse and Hennessey’s Venom GT Spyder during the game play.

Going forward, we believe that the new game from the Need for Speed franchise will incrementally benefit EA. The metacritic rating received by Need for Speed: Most Wanted U is 87 out of 100. Moreover, reviews from gamers also have been encouraging.

We believe that EA is diversifying its revenue generating base. With rising consumer spending on digital gaming (social, mobile, casual), we remain optimistic regarding EA’s growth trends over the long term. The company is opening up new fronts in social, mobile and online gaming based on its well-known franchises, which is expected to boost its customer base going forward.

However, the highly-fragmented video game market continues to witness increased competition from Activision (ATVI - Snapshot Report), Zynga (ZNGA - Snapshot Report) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO - Snapshot Report), which is a possible headwind. We believe that soft video game industry performance, particularly due to weakness in retail sales, remains a concern in the near term.

Currently, EA has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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