Madden 13 has record 1.65M sales in first week, 31 percent increase in online play

Virtual Marshawn is a guarantee to play for your team. (EASports.com)

The NFL continues to surge towards record heights in popularity. And, according to EA Sports, so too does the virtual version of football, as Madden 13 sold a record 1.65 million copies in its first week on the shelves.

The latest rendition of Madden, featuring Lions receiver Calvin Johnson on the cover, already set a record for first-day sales, and the one-week sales gives EA a seven-percent increase year-over-year.

"We’re thrilled to see the great momentum continuing on Madden NFL 13,” Andrew Wilson,  of EA Sports Executive VP said. "The overwhelming feedback is that this is the best Madden NFL game in a generation.  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."

Online gameplay is up big too: EA announced a 31-percent increase in online games played over 2011, with fans playing a ridiculous 24 million games during the first week of the game hitting the market.

Per EA, that's the equivalent of 47,000 (!) regular-season NFL games played in just about seven days. And the company says that 3,000 games of Madden were started every minute on Labor Day alone.

That's a ridiculous number of online NFL gaming, and it speaks to the popularity of professional football, real or virtual.

(Ed. Note: This post previously said 1.31 million. That's on me for a lack of comprehensive reading skills. Apologies.)

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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