Sims 2 and Pacific Assault delayed

Electronic Arts says both games won't be out until Summer 2004 … at the earliest.

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During a conference call announcing its Q4 2003 earnings, Electronic Arts executives revealed that two of the publisher's most anticipated PC games, The Sims 2 and Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault, have been delayed. According to EA chief financial officer Warren Jenson, both games will not be out until the company's "fiscal year 2005, not until the second or third quarter." Seeing how calendar Q4 2003 was EA's financial third quarter of 2004, in layman's terms, the announcement means that neither game will hit the market until calendar July 2004...at the earliest.

When prompted by an analyst--who reminded EA officials that they had said The Sims 2 and Pacific Assault were "on the cusp of being finished" at the company's previous conference call--Jenson said the delays were to ensure the game's quality. "It's really about polishing the product," said the executive. "It's about the entertainment experience, critic meta-rating, and, ultimately, sales."

Given the amount of anticipation surrounding the games, news of the delay hit EA's stock hard, even though the call came after US markets had closed. Rumors of the delay drove EA shares down 89 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $48.53 before end-of-trading. In after-hours trading, EA's stock fell a further 6 percent to $45.50.

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