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EA Sports

There's an article on EA Sports in the January 2003 issue of Wired magazine. There's a little side bar that you (or, at least, I) cannot find online but is in the print version. In other words, I effectively paid over $10 for this little bit of information.

It contains a pie chart showing how market share breaks down into companies. According to this chart, EA had a 44% share of some market at some point in time. The companies named here are: EA, Activision, Sega, Acclaim, Midway, Sony, Microsoft, and Other. Is this overall market share? Then where are Take Two, Infogrames and Vivendi Universal? Is it consoles only? Then why does Sony have only 4%? Is it sports games only? Then shouldn't THQ be in there with their wrestling games?

At least the two pie charts showing how total industry revenue breaks down into genres, in 1997 and 2001, make a little bit of sense. A press release by the IDSA talks about a recent poll:

Console game players most often purchased action (25.1%), sports (19.5 %), and racing titles (16.6%), followed by edutainment (7.6%), role-playing games (7.4%), fighting games (6.4%), first person shooters (5.5%), and adventure games (5.1%).

The figures aren't identical to Wired's, but then Wired was using 2001 data, and the IDSA is referring to a recent poll.

Odd numbers aside, the article is interesting, as it discusses the biggest brand in the games industry. It also talks about Sega's attempt to attack this brand: allegedly they are spending $35 million on marketing their 2K3 sports brand.

Peter Moore, president and chief operating officer of Sega of America, resigned in early January, long after Wired's article was written. comments:

What they don't tell us is that Sega of America has already blown through nearly their entire 2003 budget.  Moore decided unwisely to take on sports powerhouse Electronic Arts head to head during the Christmas season, promoting NFL 2K3 to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.  Sales forecasts pegged the game to sell 1.6 million units.  Instead, it has sold barely 300,000.  The company's losses continue to rise, and Moore has taken the fall for the extremely poor business decision.  The marketing group at SOA failed to recognize the power of EA's branding, and SOA is now suffering as a result.

Business 2.0 also featured three articles on EA in their December 2002 issue:

  • one on the company as a whole, which talks about EA's possible expansion into other entertainment media, and why it's not competing with Take Two in the Mature games market,
  • one on The Sims Online, which talks about how EA might make a lot of money (surprise!), and
  • one on EA Sports, which talks a little bit about the development of the Madden series.