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Video-Game Publishers See Another Blockbuster Year

As the title nears its release date, analysts will be watching closely for signs of any weakness or a surge in interest, factors that could significantly affect Take-Two's stock.

The game will also be important for other publishers. "Its success can take away sales from the others," says Ahrens. "I think everyone is going to be watching it to see how strong the game will be."

Spore: Few of EA's recent games have received as much buzz as this upcoming release. Created by Will Wright, the game designer behind EA's blockbuster The Sims and SimCity titles, Spore is eagerly awaited by gamers.

A PC game, it is built on the idea that a player can participate in the various levels of evolution -- from a single cell to a creature to an ecosystem around it.

The simExchange expects 5.4 million copies of the game to be sold through its lifetime. "That has come down from 6.5 million units earlier because there is some skepticism out there about the game," says Divnich. " Spore will have to prove itself in the market unlike a Halo which will sell well irrespective of what the reviews are."

Because of the mixed opinions on Spore, the game has the potential to be a huge hit or a miss. EA has already delayed the release of the game once, pushing it back from 2007 to late 2008.

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