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Holiday Game Strategies in Works at Electronic Arts

Techstination feature for Tuesday, August 13, 2002

The video game battles rage on. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Here we are in the midst of summer... .but the thoughts of companies that make video games have turned to holiday season sales. Number one video game maker Electronic Arts... has a couple of key strategies in mind. It is taking the best selling PC game ever... The Sims... where you control the lives of virtual people... and bringing it to the Playstation 2. Production and development VP Lucy Bradshaw...

"What we did when we started this was to approach it as if we were designing a console game rather than thinking of it as just moving the PC game over to the Playstation 2. We changed the UI, we've actually been testing that with players... it's incredibly easy to pick up and play. Then by adding two player, we actually have added an entirely new element of game play."

On the PC side... a new Sims expansion pack this fall will bring pets into the picture. Electronic Arts is also hoping to cash in again... by pegging games to big movie sequels that will be out. The Lord of the Rings... .and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.. (sound). Game executive producer Chris Gray... says the game will be out on all of the popular platforms the same day as the movie... November 16th. And he admits... having to meet blockbuster expectations puts a lot of pressure on the game creators...

"It's huge pressure, but that's part of what we enjoy doing. And it wouldn't be as much fun if the game came out a year after the movie came out. So you get the excitement of seeing the movie and then you can go and be Harry Potter."

A franchise that has helped work some magic with Electronic Arts' profits. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.