Electronic Arts to offer Godfather

Publisher confirms an adaptation of the classic Francis Ford Coppola films, and it will likely be M-rated.

Hoping to cash in on the popularity of the crime genre, Electronic Arts is going to make gamers an offer they (probably) won't be able to refuse--an adult-targeted game based on the classic Godfather film franchise.

News of the Godfather game came from EA's Chief Financial Officer Warren Jensen, who was speaking at the 17th Annual Bear Stearns Media, Entertainment, & Information Conference in Palm Beach, Florida. "I think that many of you know that we are developing The Godfather," he told a crowd at the event. While he did not reveal a release date for the game, Jensen did say it "will likely be an M-rated game."

While Jensen's comments sounded off-the-cuff, EA's move into M-rated games would send shock waves through the industry. Unlike Take-Two, which has made M-rated titles like Grand Theft Auto and Mafia its bread and butter, EA has consistently avoided controversy with more mainstream offerings. Besides its library of E-rated sports best-sellers (Madden NFL 2004, NFL Street, SSX 3), the publisher has long specialized in titles with the "T" for Teen label (Medal of Honor Rising Sun, Battlefield 1942, The Sims, Command & Conquer: Generals).

During a panel at the recent D.I.C.E. summit in Las Vegas, Wedbush Morgan Securities' game analyst Michael Pachter said an EA entry into the M-rated market would further cement its place as the world's top publisher. "God save us if EA wakes up and wants to make mature content," he said. "If that happens, there's only going to be one company [left]."

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather film trilogy traced the violent rise and fall of American mafioso Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino. The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II both won Academy Awards for Best Picture and remain two of the most popular and critically acclaimed films of all time. A Godfather game would join EA's extensive catalog of movie-based games, which includes James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, among others.

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