Historically, tumultuous times offer some of the best opportunities to buy stocks, and the market's recent mess surely qualifies. In the case of Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), the video game maker's stock still sits well below pre-recession highs, though many investors expect better times ahead.

In our Motley Fool CAPS community, 89% of the 2,205 investors rating the company are bullish, so there's no shortage of reasons why Electronic Arts will thrive. I've highlighted three below.

But here at The Motley Fool, we're all about looking at both the good and bad sides of an investment. After this article, you can read the case against the stock, weigh in with your own comments below, or rate Electronic Arts yourself in CAPS.

1. Branching out
Console games provided about two-thirds of Electronic Arts' revenue in the fiscal third quarter of 2009. In fact, console games for Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Sony (NYSE: SNE) contributed more than half of total sales, at $348 million and $280 million, respectively. But some CAPS members see more growth potential in alternative platforms.

Electronic Arts already had five games for the launch of the latest platform from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), the iPad, which EA considers a potentially major gaming platform. In addition, its partnership with GigaMedia (Nasdaq: GIGM) to offer Warhammer Online in traditional Chinese has raised its exposure to the Asian gaming market.

2. Improving industry
EA rival Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) recently raised its outlook, foreseeing strong demand for its top games. The gaming industry overall began to improve in March as well, with titles like Electronic Arts' Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Sony's God of War III contributing significantly to the 6% industrywide rise in video game sales. Some investors believe the improvement marks a new trend that bodes well for Electronic Arts' business.

3. Balance sheet strength
While smaller competitor THQ (Nasdaq: THQI) chose to load more debt onto its books last year amid a dearth of new fall releases, many CAPS members like Electronic Arts' debt-free balance sheet. The company commands more than $1.7 billion in cash and short-term investments. Taken together, those good financials, plus some solid franchises and brands, put Electronic Arts in a strong position.

To see what CAPS members are saying now about Electronic Arts, just click on over to Motley Fool CAPS -- or add your own thoughts directly to this story in the comments box below.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock has more than three reasons why alcohol and games of skill should never be mixed. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Microsoft is an Inside Value recommendation. Apple, Activision Blizzard, and Electronic Arts are Stock Advisor selections. Motley Fool Options has recommended a synthetic long position on Activision Blizzard and a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard. The Fool's disclosure policy has a flawless record playing "telephone."