EA delays "Army of Two" to early 2008

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Electronic Arts Inc ERTS.O, the world's biggest video game publisher, said on Monday it will delay "Army of Two" to early next year, saying it needed more time to polish the military combat game.

"Army of Two", in which players play as one of a pair of mercenaries carrying out missions, was originally slated to be released on November 13 for Microsoft Corp's MSFT.O Xbox 360 and Sony Corp's 6758.T PlayStation 3 consoles.

“‘Army of Two’ has potential to become a lasting EA franchise -- so getting the first title right is essential,” Frank Gibeau, head of EA Games, said in a statement.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said he had expected the game to do about $54 million in revenue in EA’s fiscal third quarter, which runs through December and was expected to bring the company revenue of $1.6 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

“It’s an important game for them if they hope to establish it as a franchise,” Pachter said. “It shouldn’t have much of an impact, but the market always seems to assume the worst about the company.”

EA shares were up about 1 percent to $58.16 in late afternoon trading on Nasdaq.