Retail sales for the game industry have been grim of late, but digital revenue streams are helping to pick up the slack for publishers in a big way. Electronic Arts provided the latest example of this today, announcing that Madden NFL 12 has sold through 1.4 million copies in its first week on store shelves.
In the process, the game posted revenues that were up 10 percent over those of its predecessor, Madden NFL 11. In turn, that game's revenues were already up 5 percent over Madden NFL 10.
However, Madden NFL 10 sold 1.9 million copies in its first week on shelves, a total that EA called "discouraging" at the time. Putting the numbers together, Madden NFL 12 sold 26 percent fewer copies than Madden NFL 10, but it brought in nearly 16 percent more in revenues.
The publisher did not directly address that swing, but it did say that digital revenues for Madden NFL 12 were up 78 percent over its immediate predecessor. Last year, Madden NFL 11 saw first-week digital revenues jump 200 percent over the prior year's edition of the game. As for what gamers were buying to drive that digital growth, EA said they combined to purchase 200,000 Madden Ultimate Team card and coin packs in Madden NFL 12's first week on sale.
For more on the game, check out GameSpot's review of Madden NFL 12.