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EA Sports Active "a fascinating experiment" for publisher

Label president admits nervousness and excitement for fitness title

EA Sports president Peter Moore has told GamesIndustry.biz that he's excited about the forthcoming release of EA Sports Active - but that as an attempt to appeal more to a different demographic it's something that makes him "nervous and uncomfortable as heck".

The "fascinating experiment" is part of a strategy designed, in Moore's words, to make the EA Sports brand less "hardcore" and more accessible, and will add to work already done in that area, such as the All-Play mode in last year's Tiger Woods title - a move which he is confident has helped to increase the company's market share on the Nintendo platform.

"We've made progress, particularly with Tiger on the Wii," said Moore. "Our core franchises, FIFA and Madden, we made progress on last year. We're very excited about Wii Motion Plus, with Tennis and Tiger - because we think it makes the games that much better, because the timing couldn't be better coming out with Motion Plus, and because Nintendo's working with us to bundle Motion Plus with both of our games.

"From that element of it we're very bullish about our presence on the Wii. EA Sports Active could be one of the big hits of the Spring - more than a game, more than a franchise, it's a brand new platform fro Electronic Arts and EA Sports that doesn't cannibalise one consumer. It's talking to a very unique and different consumer - a woman - and bringing our brands to places that previously, two years ago, we wouldn't have dreamt of going to.

"It's a fascinating experiment, it makes us nervous and uncomfortable as heck, but we love it. It's just so different to what we do, and all of us are excited about it. It's been a tough 12-15 months getting this thing right, doing the engineering on the strap and getting that right, working with Nintendo - who have been a great partner - I'm as excited about that as I've been about any game in a long time."

Moore was careful to give credit to Nintendo for the support shown to EA Sports over the Wii Motion Plus launch, contrasting with criticism in some quarters in the past from companies who have found it too difficult to compete with the platform holder's huge marketing spend - something that the label president says they have every right to do.

"You know what? That's their prerogative," said. "They spend a lot of money developing the platform, a lot of money marketing it. We get to take advantage of it, but all I can tell you is that they've been very supportive of what we've done with [EA Sports] Active, very supportive in recognising that we have the best software to achieve their objective - which is to get a strong start for the Wii Motion Plus - and they have the business maturity to say 'We do have a game coming, but you know, your game looks really good and we're going to get behind it for you.'

"Shame on us if we don't take advantage of that, and they've been great partners so far."

The full GamesIndustry.biz interview with Peter Moore is available now as part one and part two.

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