A new salvo was fired in the sports-game price war today as Electronic Arts announced drastic price reductions for almost all of its flagship EA Sports franchises. Effective immediately, all console versions of Madden NFL 2005 and NHL 2005 will retail for just $29.95, which is $20 less than the original prices for both. NBA Live 2005 and NCAA Football 2005 will be discounted by $10, so the games will now sell for $29.95 and $39.95, respectively. All four games are rated "E" for Everyone.
Frank Gibeau, EAs Senior Vice President of Marketing, naturally had great things to say about the price drop. People who buy sports games late in the season tend to be more casual players. Our pricing strategy will be a big draw during the holidays and will attract new players to EA Sports.
As most industry watchers are aware, EA Sports' price drops are in direct response to ESPN Videogames' aggressive pricing strategy announced earlier this year. Copublished by Take-Two Interactive and Sega, all of the most recent crop of games bearing the ESPN name--ESPN NFL 2K5, ESPN NBA 2K5, ESPN College Hoops 2K5, and ESPN NHL 2K5--only cost $19.99. While the pricing strategy was initially, and publicly, scoffed at by EA executives, subsequent analyst reports and sales information have apparently prompted the company to take a different tack.