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EA cleans Up at Video Game award show

The game also won three other awards, including nods for innovation and online play for Redwood City, California-based EA at the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ 6th Annual Interactive Entertainment Awards in Las Vegas.

Coming in behind EA was Japanese game publisher and hardware maker Nintendo Co. Ltd.7974.OS with seven awards, including three for the game “Animal Crossing” for its GameCube machine.

Although the major Hollywood awards, such as the Oscars, can boost a movie’s take at the box office and in video, there is no evidence yet that the upstart game awards provide a similar lift to sales.

Even so, the $30-billion game industry has been moving itself toward more of a Hollywood model in recent years, signing big deals for games based on movies and recruiting movie industry talent, in part with the promise of more public recognition.

Nintendo’s “Metroid Prime,” which had 10 nominations at the show and was widely ranked as the best video game of 2002 by the trade press, took only one award Thursday, in the category of first-person action games.

The best-selling video game of 2002, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.’s TTWO.O “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City,” had six nominations and won one award, in the category of action-adventure games for consoles.

“Vice City,” a criminal adventure condemned by some for its portrayals of violence against women and others, has sold more than 8.5 million units worldwide since its release late last year, making it one of the industry’s hottest-selling games of recent years.