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EA's Plants vs. Zombies 2 on Jul 18

Zacks Equity Research

Electronic Arts’ (EA) PopCap Games is set to release the new installment of its popular Plants vs. Zombies franchise, Plants vs. Zombies 2, on Jul 18. The free-to-play game will be exclusively available for Apple’s (AAPL) devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch). The trailer of the game has already been uploaded on YouTube.

Though the game, Plants vs. Zombies 2, can be played for free, the gamers will have the option to buy upgrades and in-game items. The game consists of all the regular features of the previous version along with new levels and innovative gameplay. The game features the come back of Crazy Dave, the character who guides players with new plant upgrades for defeating the zombies.

To make the Plants vs. Zombies franchise omnipresent, PopCap Games recently released the social version of the game, Plants vs. Zombies Adventures which can be played exclusively on Facebook (FB).

The original game, Plants vs. Zombies, can be played on all possible platforms and consoles. The additional platform (social) as well as the increase in consumer preferences to play casual and social games will likely prove to be catalysts for the game, going forward. Moreover, the new installment of the game will likely boost the games’ popularity and provide EA a better position in the social and casual gaming market.

PopCap Games has expanded EA’s reach in the Mobile and Social Gaming segments. Apart from Plants vs. Zombies, PopCap Games boasts other popular titles such as Bejeweled, Bookworm and Zuma that can be played on different platforms.

Additionally, we believe that EA’s high-quality titles and a robust product pipeline along with increasing online exposure and traction in the social and mobile gaming market will boost its top line over the long term.

However, we remain cautious on EA due to sluggish consumer spending on packaged video games, dismal video game sales and increasing competition from Activision (ATVI) in the main stream games sector and Zynga in the social and casual games sector.

Currently, EA has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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