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EA's Origin for Mac

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Electronic Arts (EA) recently announced that its online digital platform, Origin, is now available for Apple’s (AAPL) Mac devices. The Mac version of the Origin has all the regular features, including cloud storage and social connectivity options.

In addition, the Mac version of Origin has a dual-platform mode wherein gamers can download and play selected EA titles in both PC and Mac devices. This feature will definitely be the USP as gamers will be able to play the games in both PC and Mac with a single purchase.

Some of the popular titles that are currently available for purchase and download via Origin for Mac include LEGO Harry Potter, Dragon Age 2, Batman: Arkham City and The Sims 3.

Origin has registered users in excess of 39 million and another 2 million user additions were reported in Jan 2013. This is due to the fact that consumers continue to buy games that can be downloaded to consoles or computers, digital downloads, used game sales and game rentals are gaining popularity.

Gamers’ preferences have been changing to the digitized format and playing games through smartphones and tablets have gained prominence. Moreover, online social games have been changing the gaming industry rapidly.

We believe that given EA’s variety of titles and massive fan following, it is better equipped to gain traction in the digital format than most of the other new players.

However, the gloomy macroeconomic environment and weak video game sales results over the last 12 months compel us to remain cautious in the near term.

Moreover, we believe that EA also faces weakness in retail sales amid an aging console system lifecycle and lowered guidance remains the concern going forward. Additionally, the cannibalizing effect of free-to-play games and tough competition from Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) are the headwinds going forward.    

Currently, EA has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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