EA's Dead Space 3 Goes Vocal

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Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) recently announced that in its upcoming co-operative action game Dead Space 3, players using Kinect with Xbox 360 will be able to interact verbally with their partners by using simple commands. Kinect is Microsoft’s (MSFT) motion sensor add-on for the Xbox 360 gaming console, which identifies individual players through face and voice recognition.

Dead Space 3 is set to release on February 5, 2013 in North America and on February 8, 2013 in Europe. Apart from Microsoft’s Xbox 360, the game will also be available on Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation3 and personal computers.

Developed by Visceral Games and published by EA, Dead Space 3 is the sequel of Dead Space 2. The game follows the adventures of Isaac Clarke (protagonist of the game) and Ellie Langford, who get separated after their spaceship crash lands on the icy planet of Tau Volantis. The new game brings another character John Carver, who partners Isaac during co-operative missions.

Moreover, EA is adding a new drop-in/drop-out co-operative feature that gives players the option to play individually or with a partner. Players who choose to play the co-operative mode (the second player controls John Carver) get to participate in additional missions and enjoy benefits such as sharing of health and ammunition packs.

Dead Space 3 is one of the most anticipated games of 2013. It is one of the most successful franchises of EA (6.7 million copies sold till date) and the publisher is putting all efforts to make the new game a hit with the fans. EA has also offered bonus weapons for gamers who pre-order the game from GameStop (GME) and Amazon.com (AMZN).

Moreover, they will also receive a special Dead Space 3 Limited Edition pack on pre-order. The bonus weapons are an EarthGov-issued sub machinegun (EG-900 SMG) and a Tesla Enervator. We believe that the addition of the new features and bonus items will help the game to capture significant attention over the next few months.

We believe that the marketing strategy to attract gamers with bonus weapons and other game packages prior to the game’s release should definitely work in favor of EA. The company will get a better idea about the title’s popularity and its future performance. Further, EA will be generating revenue from the game even before it is released.

However, we remain cautious on EA due to sluggish consumer spending, dismal video game sales and increasing competition. Considering these factors, we have a Neutral recommendation on EA over the long term.

Currently, EA has a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).

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