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Electronic Arts' (EA) Need For Speed: Unbound Goes Live

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Electronic Arts (EA - Free Report) announced that it released Need For Speed: Unbound, which is the latest expansion of its racing franchise, Need For Speed (NFS), in collaboration with Criterion Games.

The story of the game revolves around two friends who were unable to stop a robbery at a family auto shop and are now on a journey, uncovering the world of Lakeshore City to win the ultimate street race as they wish to reclaim their stolen car.

Criterion Games’ last NFS game was Need For Speed: Most Wanted back in 2012, which received good reviews and sold 16 million copies globally, per Video Game Statistics.

In 2020, Criterion took the franchise rights of NFS once again from Ghost Games after the great success of Need for Speed Heat in 2019, which sold 2.3 million units, generating gross revenues of $73.1 million per VG Insights.

The comeback of Criterion with NFS: Unbound has brought to players more realistic graphics, a soundtrack that personifies street art and a lot of accessibility options that one can change, such as difficulty, heads-up display (HUD) settings and more.

This is expected to bring a better and more appealing gaming experience for players, bolstering EA’s active players. The game has been made available for players from Dec 2 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

EA Strengthens its Gaming Pipeline

Electronic Arts has been focusing on creating indulging games and has been investing in disrupting themes to draw Gen Z and Gen Alpha towards it.

It released some of its upcoming games for 2023, including the horror genre game Dead Space releasing on Jan 27 and the action, adventure and role-playing game Wild Hearts, which comes out on Feb 17.

It recently partnered with Walt Disney’s (DIS - Free Report) Marvel Entertainment to develop at least three new action-adventure games, one of which will be an Iron Man game featuring an original narrative elaborating the rich history of the character and enabling players to feel what it’s like to truly play as Iron Man.

These exciting launches are anticipated to drive third-quarter fiscal 2023 net bookings to around $2.425-$2.525 billion. Shares of Electronic Arts have gained 0.3% year to date against the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector, which lost 31.3% in the same time frame.
 

However, Electronic Arts has been facing headwinds on a macro level as well due to the COVID restrictions being lifted, as people are shifting their preferences from online gaming to outdoor activities. According to Ampere Analysis, the combined sales of games, consoles and subscriptions are due to drop by 1.2% to $188 billion in 2022.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company also faces stiff competition from Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Free Report) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO - Free Report) .

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shares of Activision have gained 13.9% year to date. Its upcoming slate of releases in 2023 includes Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile, which already has 20 million pre-registered players on Google Play.

Shares of Take-Two have declined 38.8%. However, the company’s recent launch of Marvel's Midnight Suns is expected to boost its top line. It expects its fiscal 2023 revenues to jump 73.3% year over year.

 

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