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FIFA outselling PES by 4-to-1

New Battlefield to compete with Call of Duty, Criterion developing new Need for Speed, say EA execs

Electronic Arts' John Schappert has said that FIFA 10 is outselling rival Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 by 4-to-1.

Speaking during a conference call to investors last night, the EA executive team also confidently predicted that its Battlefield franchise can take on Activision's Call of Duty, and that UK studio Criterion is currently developing a new Need for Speed title for 2010.

Comparing sales of its market-leading football franchise, Schappert said that "the sell through at retail in Europe is 31 per cent ahead of last year’s FIFA 09 on a comparable period basis and we are outselling Pro Evolution Soccer 4 to 1."

EA Games label president Frank Gibeau said that the publisher was successfully revitalising its blockbusters, pointing to 2.5 million sales of the recently-released Need for Speed: Shift as evidence of improved quality.

"In recent years, we failed to put adequate resources behind this franchise and as a result, quality suffered. I’m happy to say we fixed that," offered Gibeau. "This year’s game, Need for Speed Shift, launched six weeks earlier and posted a quality rating 22 points higher. We have already shipped 2.5 million units in the quarter. In September, it was the number one title in Europe and in the top ten in North America."

He also revealed that "next year’s Need For Speed has been under development now for some time at our award-winning Criterion Studio," the team behind the successful Burnout franchise.

With the release of Dragon Age: Origins, EA was getting a foothold in the RPG market, said Gibeau, and there are plans to breathe new life into older IP.

"In the months ahead, you will hear more about our plans to revitalise core IP, including the Medal of Honor franchise," he said.

"DICE will release Battlefield Bad Company 2... we believe this will put Battlefield in head to head competition with Call of Duty for quality and online game play."

Schappert also added that after a slow start, sales of the latest Madden release were up. "We sold 3.9 million copies in the [second] quarter. After a disappointing August that had Madden down 19per cent, sell through in September grew 8 per cent year-over-year, with more than 60 per cent growth on the PS3 according to NPD.

"Madden sales are now up 5 per cent year-over-year on the Xbox 360 and PS3 combined".

Electronic Arts announced yesterday that it plans to streamline its product portfolio going forward, and cut 1500 jobs across the business.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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