Madden sales up 10 percent over last year

The latest entry in the franchise, Madden NFL 12, is off to a good start, selling 1.4 million copies in its first week of release.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Madden NFL 12 is selling more briskly than last year's version.
Madden NFL 12 is selling more briskly than last year's version. Gamespot

The latest entry in the Madden franchise, Madden NFL 12, has rebounded from a couple years of slower first-week sales.

According to Electronic Arts, the game's publisher, 1.4 million copies of Madden NFL 12 were snapped up in its first week of availability. That figure is 10 percent higher than last year's opening week, the company said today. Although sales are up over the prior year, they are down from previous highs. In 2005, for example, that year's Madden title sold 1.7 million copies in the first week.

Madden NFL 12 launched on August 30. Like the titles that came before it, gamers are offered a full National Football League experience, complete with a franchise mode, online play, and more. However, those looking for something quite different from previous iterations of the title won't find much. At the end of the day, Madden NFL 12 provides the same basic experience as its predecessor.

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But that hasn't stopped the title from fanatic play among online gamers. EA said today that more than 5.4 million online games were played in the first week. What's more, the game's digital revenue, driven mainly by its Madden Ultimate Team digital cards and coin packs, is up 78 percent compared with last year.

Madden, a perennial late-summer favorite, will likely help bolster game sales in September. Over the last several months, industry sales have been down, due mainly to the weak economy. However, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has indicated that sales should start to rise toward the end of the year, leading off with Madden. EA's Battlefield 3 and Activision's Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, which are scheduled to launch this fall, should also help carry industry software sales through the end of 2011.

Madden NFL 12 is available on all major game consoles, as well as on Android and iOS.