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Boom! EA Scores with Madden

Electronic Arts (ERTS) looks like it's scored a touchdown in the early going with the latest version of its flagship Madden NFL football game.

Retailers sold a record 2 million copies of the title in its first week on store shelves, EA said on Thursday. That's up 12% from last year and translates into retail sales of about $100 million, a company representative said.

The total includes sales for all game platforms for which EA released Madden, including Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360 and Xbox consoles and Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.

EA didn't break out sales for individual platforms, but sales of Madden were likely boosted by the Xbox 360 version of the game. Microsoft didn't launch the Xbox 360 until a couple of months after EA released last year's version of Madden for other platforms.

The results may be an encouraging sign that the video-game software industry is finally nearing the end of its difficult transition to new hardware. That transition has caused industry sales to slump overall and has generally cut into the bottom lines at the video game-software publishers such as EA.

However, it remains to be seen how the Madden sales will affect EA's bottom line. The company reportedly signed hefty licensing deals with John Madden, Disney's (DIS) ESPN network and the National Football League, all of which will cut into the company's profit from the title.

Shares of EA were off 7 cents, or less than 1%, to $50.96 in after-hours trading on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the company's stock closed regular trading up 33 cents, or 0.7%, to $51.03.

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