SSX On Tour, FIFA, NBA Live, March Madness, Imperfects confirmed for Q4

[UPDATE] EA CEO Larry Probst confirms the next installments in four EA sports series will arrive in time for the holidays, alongside new comic book tie-in.

Today's Electronic Arts earnings announcement contained few surprises. One of the announcements, though, was the confirmation of a quartet of popular EA Sports games that will be released this year, along with an all-new property.

While discussing his company's outlook for the coming fiscal year, which will end on March 31, 2006, Probst discussed the lineup for the "December" quarter, which runs from October to December 2005. Besides mentioning Need for Speed: Most Wanted, he also said the holidays will see the release of new installments in several popular EA Sports series.

"We are planning to ship FIFA 2006 in that quarter, [as well as] NBA Live 2006 [and] March Madness 2006," said Probst. Traditionally, EA Canada has developed all three franchises. All three games were expected to be released during that time period, so Probst's comments were reassuring, if not especially shocking.

However, more surprising was Probst's confirmation that the "next version of SSX" will be released in the October-December quarter as well. The game, which Probst referred to as "SSX 4," is the first installment in the series since 2003's SSX 3. GameSpot heard more details about the game in our exclusive Q&A with EA Canada producer Steve Anthony.

[UPDATE] The following morning, EA officially announced that the next SSX game is now using the working title "SSX On Tour." The release confirmed the game will introduce skiing for the first time and let players' custom-created characters compete against regular SSX cast members. "Building on the core speed and trick gameplay that has been so successful in the past, you can now choose your way to become a black diamond rock star," said senior producer Steve Barcia.

Last but not least, Probst confirmed that Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects will also see a holiday release. EA is codeveloping the new 3D fighting game with Marvel Comics. Marvel will also publish a comic book that will feature the original EA-owned characters, as well as classic Marvel characters, such as the X-Men, both of which will appear in the game.

Also in development at EA Canada, Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects is planned for release on the PSP, Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2. For more, check out GameSpot's Q&A with its producer, Dan Ayoub.

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