Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) released a 3 ½ minute long Madden 15 video on August 15, which has now been viewed over 6.5 million times on Youtube. As CNBC reported today, the viral video hit is just one sign pointing towards a banner sales season for the newest installment of the legendary football franchise.
The video, which has a certain Old Spice charm of randomness to it, stars comedian and actor Kevin Hart and actor Dave Franco, and has Hart taunting Franco leading up to the release of the game, eventually pushing Franco to the breaking point of getting his game on and playing “for real”. The video has already been shared four times more often than last year’s Madden video was according to Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA).
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) is seeking a turnaround start for Madden 15 after last year’s version, Madden 25 (essentially Madden 14, but named 25 to celebrate the Madden franchise’s 25 year anniversary) saw a 40% sales drop in its first week compared to Madden 13, partially due to the impending release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and users holding out for those versions.
Madden 25 ended up selling about 4.73 million copies worldwide according to data compiled by VGChartz, more than 1 million copies less than the 6 million of Madden 13, and well below the record 9.99 million copies sold by Madden 07 across all platforms.
The CNBC article reported that Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter is predicting this year’s version will out perform last year’s, with about $275 million in sales, compared to last year’s $250 million, though that likely wouldn’t equal the sales numbers of the 6 million copies sold in 2012. It’s also worth noting that Madden has essentially zero competition this year, now that EA isn’t making an NCAA Football game this year because of a lawsuit over using amateur players’ likenesses in those games.
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) relies on Madden for more than just the game sales themselves. They are also pushing digital sales in the form of fantasy football and other ventures, which are expected to bring in another $100 million this year on top of the game sales.
Israel Englander’s hedge fund Millennium Management is one of the biggest shareholders in the venerable videogame giant, with just over 1,000,000 shares in Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) as of the June 30, 13F filing period.