Where Was Electronic Arts at Sony's PlayStation 4 Event?
Activision (NASDAQ: ATVI), Capcom and Ubisoft showed off new games, while Square Enix teased attendees with a tech demo for the kinds of gaming experiences it would like to develop. (Square Enix also announced that a new Final Fantasy game would be unveiled at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.)
Namco Bandai, creator of the Tekken series, did not present any new games either. The same was true for Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ: TTWO), which recently delayed the release of its biggest game -- Grand Theft Auto 5.
Not every game publisher can be present for a console unveiling, so this was not too surprising. However, the absence of Electronic Arts -- the company that made some of the biggest franchises in gaming, including NFL Madden and Dead Space -- really stood out.
While the company missed the initial tease of Wii in 2005, Electronic Arts joined Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) for the full unveiling in 2006. EA was a big part of the Xbox 360 unveiling, which included a 30-minute special on MTV (NYSE: VIA). The company was also there for the PlayStation 3 launch.
Electronic Arts is likely to release a game or two (or several) when PlayStation 4 is released this fall. However, that does not explain why the company failed to present at Sony's event.
Michael Pachter, Managing Director of Equity Research at Wedbush Securities, thinks he knows why.
"Pretty much every game announced was a brand new game, with the possible exception of Killzone," Pachter told Benzinga. "That one looked like a re-boot, however."
This could be the source of Electronic Arts' absence. "I don't think that publishers want to showcase sequels to existing franchises, hence no Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed or Battlefield, all of which are going to be on current generation consoles," said Pachter. "The publishers don't want to convince consumers that it's okay to skip this year's version while they wait a year or more to buy a new console.
"EA doesn't have any new IP to announce for the next generation, like Activision did with Destiny. I think the Respawn game is likely going to be their first new IP for next generation, and they weren't ready to announce. It's as simple as that."
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