For Big Game Maker, Online

For Big Game Maker, Online Play Is a Big Gamble: A profile of Electronic Arts, the biggest video-game maker in the business–potentially weak retail sales in the Christmas season could affect revenues for its online gaming division.

“Electronic Arts has spent some $300 million on, the Web site and related technology that will support The Sims Online [the company’s Internet version of the Sims series, which is one of the most successful video games of all time]– an investment that some industry analysts have criticized as too large and too risky. For the Internet operation to break even, analysts say, will need to attract 250,000 subscribers at a fee that analysts expect to be around $10 a month.

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