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FIFA 13 sells 353,000 on North American release day

Sales of FIFA 13 are up 42 percent from last year's soccer title, with 353,000 Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 copies sold on its Tuesday launch in North America. Electronic Arts also announced fans have played more than 1.4 million online matches so far, with a significant boost expected when the game hits store shelves globally on Friday.

Andrew Wilson, executive vice president of EA Sports, boasted that the game is helping to spread the sport's popularity in traditionally disinterested markets. "North Americans appreciate a great-playing game and their level of engagement with our game is helping to drive the sport’s popularity in the United States,” Wilson said.

EA pointed to an ESPN article published this week, which attributed soccer's climb to second-most-popular sport among the U.S. 12 to 24 age bracket (based on ESPN polls) largely to games like FIFA.

The iOS versions of FIFA 13 enjoyed an even greater climb, with launch-day sales up 62 percent over those of FIFA 12.

Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?