news\ Sep 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Analyst: 'Madden NFL 25 sales should not imply weakness for GTA 5 or Battlefield'


Yesterday, EA Sports revealed Madden NFL 25 had sold over one million copies in its first week of release. While the company spun it in a positive manner, this year's sales are actually lower than that of the 1.65 million Madden NFL 13 sold in the year prior.

Although EA Sports had already acknowledged soft pre-order numbers for Madden NFL 25 on current-gen systems, Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst Colin Sebastian reiterated the wait for next-gen consoles likely contributed to lackluster sales, while also noting a higher ASP and strong digital sales as contributing factors. Despite Madden's alleged struggles, Sebastian assures it's no cause for concern over Grand Theft Auto 5 or Battlefield 4, two games which will also release on current-gen consoles.

“With both NCAA and Madden now demonstrating declining sales over the summer, we continue to expect soft sell-through trends for all but the most popular video game franchises,” Sebastian said in an industry note. “As such, Madden issues should not imply any weakness in sales for Take Two’s upcoming GTA 5 or EA’s Battlefield, in our view. For GameStop, our checks suggest Madden issues were not as severe at specialty retailer.

“While Madden sales are another ‘yellow flag,’ at this point we would use sector weakness as a buying opportunity ahead of stronger sales trends likely beginning later this month," he added. Elsewhere in the note, Sebastian pointed out that the firm expects FIFA 14 sales to triple that of Madden NFL 25.

The launch of Madden NFL 25 comes at an unfortunate transition. The game release on August 27th kicking off the NFL season, but next-gen consoles don't launch until November. It's even more painful considering the next-gen version of the game is built with a completely different engine (the Ignite Engine) that is far superior to the Infinity Engine 2 that powers the current-gen version.

Battlefield 4 lands in a similar boat, releasing on current-gen just a few weeks before the PS4 and Xbox One release. Like Madden though, EA and various retailers are offering a promotion that lets you upgrade from current- to next-gen versions of the game for just $10. FIFA 14 is also included on that list of select games. Unfortunately for Grand Theft Auto 5, the game is only being released on Xbox 360 and PS3.

Has the impending arrival of next-gen consoles prevented you from purchasing Madden NFL 25? Will it dissuade you from getting Battlefield 4 at launch or Grand Theft Auto 5?


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