EA considering adding 'a couple of new sports franchises,' says CFO

Electronic Arts may add "a couple of new sports franchises" to its portfolio, said chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen during the Wedbush Technology Conference today.

In response to a question about EA's upcoming slate of planned releases, Jorgensen pointed out that the company "didn't necessarily cancel" the NBA Live franchise; instead, EA "didn't deliver [NBA Live 13] on time."

Jorgensen continued, "For us, the big opportunities continue to be the FIFA franchise, the Battlefield franchise and then the core sports [franchises] of Madden [NFL], NCAA [Football], NHL, adding NBA [Live] and possibly a couple of new sports franchises along that way. Clearly, that's a big strength of the company and we want to continue that."

One of the franchises Jorgensen may have been referring to is EA's upcoming UFC series. EA announced during E3 2012 that it had bought the publishing rights for THQ's UFC franchise and signed an agreement with UFC for a "multi-year, multi-product partnership." The first game in EA's UFC series is in development at EA Canada.

As for the other new sports franchise, it's possible that EA is planning on getting back into baseball next year, now that Take-Two's exclusive third-party licensing agreement with Major League Baseball (for its MLB 2K series) has expired. EA's last licensed baseball title was the acclaimed MVP Baseball 2005, which launched on PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Windows PC and PlayStation Portable in February 2005.

EA decided to cancel NBA Live 13's planned October launch in late September when it became clear the game wouldn't be ready for release. At the time, EA Sports executive vice president Andrew Wilson vowed the company would launch an NBA Live title in 2014.

Update: An EA Sports representative has since clarified Jorgensen's comments in a statement to Polygon, saying, "Blake was referring to UFC and the ongoing evolution of our biggest sports titles into new markets and on new platforms (things like FIFA Online 3 in Korea, FIFA on mobile in Japan, Madden on mobile)."

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