Electronic Arts Sells 1.5 Million Copies of 'Madden NFL 13' in First Five Days

Electronic Arts

Gamers were ready for some football in record numbers this year, with "Madden" sales up 7 percent over a year ago.

Before the Dallas Cowboys defeated the New York Giants to kick off the NFL season on NBC, EA Sports let armchair quarterbacks get back into the game. And with no lockout this year, gamers were more eager to play Madden.

Electronic Arts sold 1.5 million copies of Madden NFL 13 in its first five days since launching Aug. 28. That’s the game franchise’s best start ever on this console generation (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3). Madden also set a record by selling 900,000 copies of the game in its first day at retail. Overall, sales of the perennial football game are up 7 percent year-over-year.

VIDEO: NFL Great Ray Lewis Teams Up With Actor Paul Rudd in 'Madden NFL 13' Viral Clips

“Fans are competing in record numbers, and we expect those numbers to only grow as fans connect with their favorite NFL teams and players through our game,” said Andrew Wilson, executive vp at EA Sports.

Fans also continued to play Madden NFL 13 in record numbers. In the first week following retail launch, there was a 31 percent increase in the number of online games played year over year with more than 24 million contests recorded. That’s the equivalent of a staggering 47,000 NFL regular seasons in just seven days, and, on Labor Day alone, an average of 3,000 Madden NFL 13 games were started every minute.

In addition, Daily Average User rates on HD consoles have increased 14 percent over last year, shattering previous franchise records.

“We have seen strong demand for Madden NFL 13 leading up to launch and through its first week on store shelves,” said Bob McKenzie, senior vp merchandising at GameStop. “Critic reviews are strong and the buzz from the Madden fan base is more robust than I’ve ever seen. We’ve seen this consumer momentum sustain throughout week one, and we expect it to continue into the fall and holiday season.”

STORY: Judge Refuses to Sack Potential Billion-Dollar 'Madden NFL' Game Lawsuit

There were more than 1.4 million fans who connected and competed online last week, many of them exploring the new "Connected Careers" mode that features NFL Hall of Famers like John Madden, Jerry Rice and Michael Irving.

Gamers also connected with Madden virally. There were more than 1.3 million unique visitors to the Madden NFL 13 Facebook page and 450,000 Madden mentions on Twitter.