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AHL featured in EA’s NHL 08

The American Hockey League will be featured in the new NHL® 08 game from EA Sports, with all 29 teams from the primary development league for the NHL fully playable.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that Carolina Hurricanes center and former AHL All-Star Eric Staal will be the cover athlete and spokesman for NHL 08. At the age of 23 with just four NHL seasons under his belt, this promising young player has scored a combined 75 goals over the past two seasons, notched 100 points in 2006, and was voted into his first NHL All-Star game in 2007. Already a core member of the Hurricanes, Staal led the team in points (28) during their successful 2006 Stanley Cup Playoff run that resulted in a championship.

Aside from his exceptional talent on the ice, Staal is also known as an avid gamer. “I am a huge fan of the NHL franchise and played NHL 07 fanatically,” said Staal. “I am honored to be named to the EA SPORTS™ family and the NHL 08 team.”

Eric is the trailblazer in a family rich with hockey legacy; His brothers Marc (NY Rangers, 2005) and Jordan (Pittsburgh, 2006) were also first-round draft picks. His youngest brother, Jared, was drafted in the first round of the 2006 OHL Draft by Sudbury. The Thunder Bay, Ontario natives grew up playing together on an outdoor rink built for them by their father in their backyard. Eric played with his brother Jordan on the 2007 Canadian IIHF World Championship team that won gold against Finland in Moscow. Younger brothers Marc and Jared are teammates with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves.

Staal joins a long list of highly decorated athletes as the North American cover athlete of an EA SPORTS NHL videogame.
 

NHL FranchiseCover Athlete
NHL 08Eric Staal
NHL 07Alexander Ovechkin
NHL 06Vincent Lecavalier
NHL 2005Markus Naslund
NHL 2004Joe Sakic
NHL 2003Jarome Iginla
NHL 2002Mario Lemieux
NHL 2001Owen Nolan
NHL 2000Chris Pronger
NHL 99Eric Lindros
NHL 98Peter Forsberg
NHL 97*John Vanbiesbrouck
*NHL 97 was the first iteration of the franchise to feature single cover athletes

EA SPORTS – pioneers in the Golden Age of hockey videogames – continues to lead the charge in the next gen era with advancements in AI intelligence, innovative controls, online depth and an unmatched level of authenticity to the sport.

The revolutionary Skill Stick System evolves in NHL 08 and delivers an unparalleled level of control. An all-new deking system enables you to move the puck off your stick, to walk around a defender and give you space in front to challenge the goalie. Enhanced analog speed control and a new skating engine give you the precision and fluidity to play like you would on the ice.

NHL 08 will feature an exclusive AHL license for the first time, with all 29 teams from the primary development league for the NHL fully playable in game.

The EA SPORTS NHL franchise is the #1 selling hockey game and the #1 selling sports game in Canada*. NHL 08 is being developed under the EA SPORTS by EA Canada in Vancouver, B.C. The game will be available for the PLAYSTATION®3 system, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360™ video game system from Microsoft, and PC. For more information, log onto www.nhl08.com. Media can find screenshots and video of the game at http://info.ea.com.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS™, EA™, EA SPORTS BIG™ and POGO™. In fiscal 2007, EA posted revenue of $3.09 billion and had 24 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA’s homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA’s products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.

*Based on total franchise sales in 2006 according to the NPD.

Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG, and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. NHL and National Hockey League are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. Officially Licensed Product of the National Hockey League. National Hockey League Players’ Association and NHLPA are trademarks of the NHLPA and are used under license by Electronic Arts Inc. Officially licensed product of the NHLPA. AHL and American Hockey League are registered trademarks of the American Hockey League. Officially Licensed Product of the American Hockey League and the Professional Hockey Players Association. “PlayStation” and “PLAYSTATION” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, and Xbox 360 are trademarks or the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.