EA’s Madden NFL 13 Rushes to Record Sales on Day One

Electronic Arts has sold 900,000 units of Madden NFL 13 in its first 24 hours, equivalent to about 13 Super Bowl stadiums’ worth of fans.

The huge first day marked the best start ever for the franchise on this generation of hardware, with sales up 7 percent compared to last year. EA said the franchise also set a day-one online record, with a 28 percent jump in the number of users logging in to play simultaneously.

At launch, the game was available in North America for four systems: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3, for $40 to $60.

Critics are raving about the new technical innovations that allow tackles and other movements to look more realistic — and more painful. The game received high rankings on Metacritic.com, including a score of 82 out of 100 on the Xbox and a score of 85 on the PlayStation 3.

Of course, the hilarious YouTube videos that EA is using to market the game probably helped, too. The clips feature Paul Rudd, perhaps better known as the brother-in-law from “Knocked Up,” and Ray Lewis, the 240-pound linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, pretending to be best friends and poking fun at each other while playing Madden.

Those viral efforts among others probably helped to generate the estimated 665,464 social interactions on Facebook and Twitter combined during the launch.

For kicks and tackles, here’s the video of Rudd dancing to Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” in Lewis’s face to honor the Ravens’ big rival, the Steelers.

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