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Volume 26 No. 181
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Sports Titles Showcase Longevity As Game Developers Grow Engagement

The latest edition of EA Sports' "Madden" franchise was released earlier this month, kicking off the video game industry's annual sports season, and the strong "Madden" sales showcases the "resilience of decades-old franchises as technological strides enable game developers to engage players with new modes and online competitions," according to Sarah Needleman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. "Madden NFL 20" was the "best-selling game in the four weeks that ended Aug. 3, even though it was only released on Aug. 2." The game is now the "eighth-best-selling U.S. title this year," though market-research firm NPD Group "didn't disclose the total number of units sold." Take-Two Interactive Software earlier this month said that its most recent basketball game, "NBA 2K19," sold a "series record of about 12 million units." EA last month said that "net revenue from the Ultimate Team mode in its FIFA franchise rose 11% from a year earlier." NPD noted "Madden" is "typically among the top-10-selling games in the U.S. each year," ranking No. 4 in '18. "NBA 2K19" finished the year at No. 3. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said that the FIFA game and Sony's "MLB: The Show" did not make the top 10 but are "still strong sellers." Sports games are a "key part of videogame makers' portfolios." EA's sports portfolio alone generates roughly $3B in annual revenue, or "about 60% of the company's total." Take-Two's sports games are "on track to make up around 38% of total revenue in the current fiscal year" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/19).