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GC

EA Buys Five Years of Exclusive NFL Rights

by Jonathan Metts - December 13, 2004, 2:14 pm PST
Total comments: 58 Source: EA Press Release

Say goodbye to competition.

Electronics Arts announced today that it has negotiated an exclusive five-year contract with the NFL and the NFL Players Association for "action simulation, arcade-style and manager games" on all platforms except mobile phones. The agreement, whose financial terms were not disclosed, effectively puts an end to competing NFL series such as ESPN Football (Sega/Take Two), NFL Blitz (Midway), NFL Gameday (Sony), and NFL Fever (Microsoft). EA currently produces two NFL series, Madden NFL and NFL Street; the giant publisher is currently the only company still releasing football titles on the GameCube, GBA, and DS, and it looks like that will not change in the near future. The full press release from EA is below.

EA Enters into Exclusive Agreements with NFL and PLAYERS INC to Expand and Integrate Customer Entertainment Experience

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 13, 2004--Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced exclusive licensing relationships with the National Football League and PLAYERS INC to develop, publish and distribute interactive football games. These five-year agreements -- which EA negotiated separately -- give EA the exclusive rights to the NFL teams, stadiums and players for use in its football videogames. Both agreements also include exclusive rights for console online features. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

For the first time, all aspects of the interactive experience -- including console-based fantasy football features and handheld game devices -- will be fully integrated with one EA game. This also provides the opportunity for new games and for EA to access both NFL Films and the NFL Network for use in the games.

"We are pleased to expand our agreement with Electronic Arts, the leading video game manufacturer and a valued NFL partner," said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "We look forward to working with EA to continue to enhance the quality of NFL video games that our fans have enjoyed for many years."

"For more than a decade, EA has produced the most authentic football product for fans of the game," said PLAYERS INC Chairman Gene Upshaw. "This exclusive relationship will maximize the value of NFL players through EA's continued commitment to bring fans closer to the game."

"We are excited about the opportunity to further enhance our relationship with the NFL and PLAYERS INC," said Larry Probst, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Arts. "The five-year agreements will usher NFL fans through the console technology transition with new ideas and innovative game play experiences."

Both agreements are exclusive for action simulation, arcade-style and manager games on the PC, handheld game devices and consoles -- including console online features. The agreements do not include exclusive rights to other types of games or games accessible from the Internet or wireless devices, including cellular phones.

Madden NFL Football from the EA SPORTS(TM) brand has sold more than 42 million copies over the franchise's 15 year history. Madden NFL 2005, the most complete football game ever, is available for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, Xbox(R) videogame system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM), Game Boy(R) Advance, the PlayStation(R) console and PC. NFL STREET 2 for the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox system and Nintendo GameCube will be on store shelves by December 26, 2004. Both games were developed by EA Tiburon, and rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB. The games official websites are www.madden2005.com and www.nflstreet2.com.

Talkback

vuduDecember 13, 2004

I'd be really interested in finding out how much EA paid for this.

I'd also love to see the first year of Madden for Xbox 2 and PS3 retail for $99.99.

PaLaDiNDecember 13, 2004

Poor Sega.

What have they got that even sells anymore now?

Sonic?

foolish03December 13, 2004

Espn did all that for nothing, all they can do now is release patches to nfl 2k5. EA is taking over everything.

Ian SaneDecember 13, 2004

Well on the bright side no one can honestly say I'm too hard on EA now. I mean I've got the ultimate response to all EA defenses.

Ian: "EA is the console equivalent of MS. Their success is ruining the industry."
Some random idiot: "You're wrong. EA makes tons of quality software and have helped bring the industry into the mainstream."
Ian: "EA bought the exclusive rights to the NFL to eliminate their competition."
Some random idiot: "Uh..."

This should also test my theory that EA's "high level of quality" is merely the lowest level of quality they feel they can get away with without losing sales. Madden (and NFL Street which is now Madden's only competitor) will now take a HUGE drop in quality because EA knows that if you're an NFL fan you ain't buying something else. For example observe the quality of the WWE games now that WCW and ECW are out of the picture.

It's interesting to note that EA has now killed off gaming franchises belonging to Sony and MS. I wonder how that's going to affect their relationship with those console makers.

PaLaDiNDecember 13, 2004

You've got to admit their slogan now holds a delicious tinge of irony.

EA Games: Challenge Everything.

Quote

Originally posted by: PaLaDiN
You've got to admit their slogan now holds a delicious tinge of irony.

EA Games: Challenge Everything.


You nailed it.

On the bright side, this is the perfect chance for Nintendo to finally introduce Mario Football to a starving market. Hell, get Visual Concepts to co-develop it.

VideoGamerJDecember 13, 2004

Ian: "EA is the console equivalent of MS. Their success is ruining the industry."

I completely agree. I cannot believe EA. They fire more than half of Westwood staff (Command and Conquer team), treat their employees like dirt and now they do this. If this madness does not stop, we will be seeing a EA console soon.

NinGurl69 *hugglesDecember 13, 2004

EA buys Mario, Halo, Olsen Twins, TELEVISION, PSP, IGN, and Harvest Moon.

That's it, we're doomed.

foolish03December 13, 2004

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
Well on the bright side no one can honestly say I'm too hard on EA now. I mean I've got the ultimate response to all EA defenses.

Ian: "EA is the console equivalent of MS. Their success is ruining the industry."
Some random idiot: "You're wrong. EA makes tons of quality software and have helped bring the industry into the mainstream."
Ian: "EA bought the exclusive rights to the NFL to eliminate their competition."
Some random idiot: "Uh..."

This should also test my theory that EA's "high level of quality" is merely the lowest level of quality they feel they can get away with without losing sales. Madden (and NFL Street which is now Madden's only competitor) will now take a HUGE drop in quality because EA knows that if you're an NFL fan you ain't buying something else. For example observe the quality of the WWE games now that WCW and ECW are out of the picture.

It's interesting to note that EA has now killed off gaming franchises belonging to Sony and MS. I wonder how that's going to affect their relationship with those console makers.


I now agree with you 100%. EA is affraid of real competition, and when they get some they go and do something like this. Gamecube exclusive owners will not care as they only had madden to begin with. I liked 2k5(despite its many flaws). I believe if espn would have come out with there next game it very well could have been crowned the best sim football game of 2006.

Sad Sad state of affairs.

vuduDecember 13, 2004

Quote

Originally posted by: Professional 666
EA buys Mario, Halo, Olsen Twins, TELEVISION, PSP, IGN, and Harvest Moon.

That's it, we're doomed.
Wait ... the video games rights to the Olsen twins, or the twins themselves?

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorDecember 13, 2004

Isn't MS the console equivalent of MS?

I'm just saying...

SaviorDecember 13, 2004

Sega just got served i suppose.

RennyDecember 13, 2004

EA have had FIFA locked up for years. If Sega can do what Konami have been doing--making the best soccer/real football game with editable team data in place of proper licensing--then they stand a chance of competing. They still have to get through the casual gamer's ignorance to take notice of their product. If they were to release the game at a budget price without player and team names it would be passed over more than it was this year. The odds are against them.

And now that my last ounce of respect for EA is lost, I guess I won't be picking up Fight Night 2. Of course it'll be a bad port anyway, but I was at least interested. Something I can't say for any other EA series on the market.

joshnickersonDecember 13, 2004

Monopolies are FUN!!!

Seriously, EA has been scaring me since this current generation started. Just the way they've been snapping up companies, releasing poor software, and keeping the actual good games away from Nintendo fans just rubs me the wrong way... almost in a Microsoft way...

I agree with Ian (for once face-icon-small-wink.gif ) that this is pretty much EA's ticket to just produce pure sh!t, knowing it will sell regardless. Madden 2006 could simply be a shower simulator where you have to wash John Madden's ass and idiots will STILL buy it.

Quote

If this madness does not stop, we will be seeing a EA console soon

*cough*3DO*cough*

nickmitchDecember 13, 2004

Quote

For example observe the quality of the WWE games now that WCW and ECW are out of the picture.

Buying out the competition and buying you're way out of having competition are two different things. The WWE expanded while EA is just being a bunch of b*tches.

ssj4_androidDecember 13, 2004

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane

"EA is the console equivalent of MS. Their success is ruining the industry."

EA is kind of ruining the industry, yes. But MS, with xbox and live, is improving video games. Like them of hate them, you have to admit computers wouldn't be what they are today without MS (By that, I mean probably worse). Video gaming probably wouldn't be that much worse off without EA.

CaillanDecember 13, 2004

I'm guessing that sooner or later EA will enter the console market, probably in partnership with someone else to do the hardware, and keep all their games exclusive. The North American market would be in shambles; the XBox would suffer the most, relegated to Europe and Australia, while Sony would have to retreat to Japan and Europe. Nintendo could just stay where they are.

Monocultures always promote stagnation, in any medium. For all that Windows is, there are far more user-friendly and innovative window managers out there; and none of them come from megacorporations. If it weren't for Microsoft Windows, I'm sure there would be another "standard" OS, likely of a similar quality. The thing that pisses people off is MS's tactics: spreading their range of products, they'll eventually aim to integrate them all, forcing people to use all of their products. Windows is the only OS that gets bitchy when you try to network it with a different one; all the others play nice.

The only way to approach MS's market is to catch them unawares, like Firefox is with IE. The best sort of monoculture is the one most easily challenged.

Quote

Like them of hate them, you have to admit computers wouldn't be what they are today without MS (By that, I mean probably worse)


Five years ahead, if 90% of the sales come from EA, people will look at Madden, see nothing else better, and think exactly the same thing.

bubicusDecember 13, 2004

I don't understand why so many people believe it's important to have real players. I loved Cyberball, Speedball 2, SNK Baseball Stars, and TV Sports Basketball way more than any licensed sports product because of the fantasy/role-playing aspect of them. If Mario Football is announced, I'd probably get it because of the unrealistic gameplay. I'm probably getting Mario Baseball, in the hope that it's like SNK Baseball Stars. Look at EA's own history: Archon is way better than normal chess, MULE is more fun than real business, Wasteland is more fun than a real post-apocalypse... I'm sure somebody will make a better sports game somewhere. How about a Speedball 3, Bitmap Brothers!?!



anubis6789December 13, 2004

I bet Sega is having a mixed reaction to this news, on one hand they can't use the NFL liscense anymore and thats bad, but they also (in a way) made a sucsessful challenge to EA. Look at it this way if Sega and the ESPN line hadn't made as big an impact then EA would not have done this. EA did this out of fear, fear that they might not be number one.

While most see this as the beginings of a monopoly I see this move, coupled with the news of EA's treatment of its employees and other bad news as a sign that EA might be crumbling, well I hope at least.

Maybe this will usher in an age of sports games not having to be liscensed to sale, which has been a dream of mine for a long time.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 13, 2004

Well I guess Itagaki's ambitions to revive Tecmo Bowl are now in shambles.

BranDonk KongDecember 13, 2004

The post about WWE games without the competition of WCW and ECW is way off if you ask me. Look what happened when THQ dropped WCW for WWF - Acclaim (RIP) took over the ECW games, and EA took over WCW...and both products were horrendous.

I do hate EA for this though.

Nile BoogieDecember 13, 2004

This is bad.

Nile BoogieDecember 13, 2004

This is bad.
Mario Football is looking better and better and it hasn't even been unvailed.

The dark cloud of the Sith has fallen...

Wait, can't developers still make college football games? Sure, the rules are a little different, but it's still football! Or am I just uninformed on these matters?

Let's have a look at the Federal Trade Commission's website to see what antitrust law says about something like this:

- Section 2 of the Sherman Act makes it unlawful for a company to "monopolize, or attempt to monopolize," trade or commerce. As that law has been interpreted, it is not necessarily illegal for a company to have a monopoly or to try to achieve a monopoly position. The law is violated only if the company tries to maintain or acquire a monopoly position through unreasonable methods. For the courts, a key factor in determining what is unreasonable is whether the practice has a legitimate business justification.

So I guess the question would be, does Electronic Arts have a legitimate business justification for securing this license? You could argue both ways, but it doesn't take a graduate of Harvard Law to understand that EA has effectively prevented anybody from making another pro football game for the next 5 years. Oh, but "competitors" could still get an Arena Football League license, right? Who cares? And a game in which you create your own rosters will sell ONLY to the ultra-hardcore; anybody that's employed isn't going to have the time to input all of that information, and if they can get a comparable game with all of that information already included they'll most certainly buy that.

The worst thing about all this is that EA is guaranteed to jack future editions of Madden back up to $49.95 instead of the $29.95 it was at before this deal went through. Who's going to stop them? They're the only game in town, pardon the pun. Somebody (aside from EA's propaganda machine) tell me how this is good for consumers.

silks

edgeblade69December 13, 2004

So basically, all Sega really needs to do is just match EA's offer. Do this like the NFL teams do. The NFL is a restricted free agent, so Sega should match the offer and be able to keep their rights too, well you would think anyways. Knowing EA they will just throw more and more money at the NFL until Sega can't afford to match it.
And for the record, Johnny's (I think it was his) comment about the Microsoft/IE/Netscape situation, that is different. See, people are stupid in general. Just because IE comes with your computer does not mean you have to use it. Sure, you might have to use it once if it's a brand new computer and you don't have the install file for a different browser on another computer or storage medium, but you can then just go download another browser (like Mozilla Firefox, cough cough) and use it exclusively from then on. Why use my post is a train wreck's crap? It's bad enough we're forced to use Windows if we want decent compatability.
Just remember: Monpolies breed crappy products (Windows). Competition breeds better products. Granted, Madden has always blown 2K away . I used to be a fan of 2K until I played Madden 04. Madden has replay challenges and was easier to pick defenses too. NFL 2K3 (the last one I played) didn't have this, which is stupid. But then Sega pulled the 2K line from GCN (even though at the time it wasn't selling on ANY console). So oh well.

Michael_82December 13, 2004

The NFL is allowed to market their product however they like. If you're mad, be mad at the NFL not EA, it's their decision. Visa has exclusive rights with the NFL too ya know.

edgeblade69December 13, 2004

Not sure if you referring to me or not. I'm not really mad. I just don't want crappy products to flood the market more so than they already do.

foolish03December 13, 2004

Quote

Originally posted by: anubis6789
I bet Sega is having a mixed reaction to this news, on one hand they can't use the NFL liscense anymore and thats bad, but they also (in a way) made a sucsessful challenge to EA. Look at it this way if Sega and the ESPN line hadn't made as big an impact then EA would not have done this. EA did this out of fear, fear that they might not be number one.

While most see this as the beginings of a monopoly I see this move, coupled with the news of EA's treatment of its employees and other bad news as a sign that EA might be crumbling, well I hope at least.

Maybe this will usher in an age of sports games not having to be liscensed to sale, which has been a dream of mine for a long time.


Im sorry but the only none licensed football game ill ever get is mutant league. Other then that its gonna have to be madden for the next five years(sadly). I could just play my outdated 2k5 though.....

Edit: college football hmmm, sounds good. Is espn going to make another college football game????

"its gonna have to be madden for the next five years"

That's exactly what everybody else is going to say as well.

I'm not mad at EA. This deal is a masterstroke for them. What I don't like is the fact that this has eliminated any semblance of competition for EA in the NFL football game market. Madden isn't crap by any means, but it was nice having two games to choose from instead of one.

silks

ruby_onixDecember 13, 2004

Quote

Originally posted by: The NFL two years from now

Well, you have to understand our position. We changed our minds and sold NFL licences to Sega, Midway, Sony, and Microsoft because we're poor and we like money. You're a stupid nobody who doesn't understand economics. We're a business. Money is important to us. We're not just here to entertain people.

Also, we know that we said it would be exclusive for 5 years, but the term "exclusive" only ever applies to one console generation, and we've entered a new one now, so the deal is void.

Also, we weren't lying when we said it was going to be exclusive, because we believed 100% that it would end up being true back when we said it, therefore it wasn't a lie.

Oh and by the way, I'm just as upset about this as you are. The NFL has turned me into a liar. Which is why I'm quitting the NFL in protest and joining the NFLPA.


Edit: Oh and, I don't see what you're complaining about. EA still has an NFL licence. We haven't taken that away yet. There will still be NFL games from EA. So when you think about it, this development doesn't even really affect EA at all. I'm thinking that you don't even have a right to complain about it. If you're upset about this, well... that's your problem, not mine.

God SpeaksDecember 13, 2004

I guess EA decided it would be cheaper to pay for exclusive name rights for five years than to compete with a $20 product.

AsterixDecember 13, 2004

Maybe we can finally get a real CFL game? There was only ever one licenced game, and it came out for the PC in like '96 or something.. Too bad it stunk up the joint..

But seriously, why not? Granted, we only have nine teams, but it's still pro football, we supply half of the future NFLers anyways, and the only major rule differences are three downs instead of four, you can score single points on punts and missed field goals, and the field size is different. (Oh, and you get a penalty for objectionable conduct if you take your helmet off on the field face-icon-small-tongue.gif) And it's not like it would be that hard to throw in an option that changes the three downs to four and removes all single point possibilites for you Americans that insist on your NFL rules.

I just think it would be nice to finally have a real CFL game. It's not like companies can't afford it - the CFL can use all the publicity it can get, and it would be more moolah in the teams' pockets at no expense to them.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 14, 2004

Quote

Originally posted by: Silks
So I guess the question would be, does Electronic Arts have a legitimate business justification for securing this license?


Yes. That's like saying because Nintendo gave Capcom exclusive rights to make Zelda games, they're giving Capcom a monopoly and Sony should be allowed to make Zelda games as well.

Quote

Originally posted by: Asterix
And it's not like it would be that hard to throw in an option that changes the three downs to four and removes all single point possibilites for you Americans that insist on your NFL rules.


Just thought I'd note that those aren't just NFL rules, but the rules by which all football is played in America...college, high school, middle school, etc.

Ian SaneDecember 14, 2004

The CFL doesn't have that big of an audience but at the very least it would sell better than an unlicenced football game. Perhaps they should instead combine multiple leagues so that they have CFL teams, arena football teams, some major college teams, and maybe even defunct XFL teams. Hell throw in some rugby teams just to spice things up. Then you give players the option to customize the rules. It wouldn't exactly be the NFL but it would allow for a game with real (or formerly real) teams. It's like the Legends of Wrestling concept applied to football.

KDR_11kDecember 14, 2004

And besides, they didn't license the rules, just the characters.

Quote

Originally posted by: UncleBob
Quote

Originally posted by: Silks
So I guess the question would be, does Electronic Arts have a legitimate business justification for securing this license?



Yes. That's like saying because Nintendo gave Capcom exclusive rights to make Zelda games, they're giving Capcom a monopoly and Sony should be allowed to make Zelda games as well.


No. The difference is that Sony never WAS making Zelda games, and has and never WILL be able to make Zelda games, so nothing is being revoked. The customer isn't getting shortchanged because there wasn't competition in the first place. In the case of the EA/NFL, any real possibility of fair competition is being removed.

I think "legitimate business justification" doesn't necessarily mean, "They did what was good for their company" either. They obviously did the right and smart thing from their perspective, but that doesn't mean they aren't screwing the consumer over.

silks

vuduDecember 14, 2004

I seem to remember hearing back in the day of NBA Jam that Midway didn't have the rights to put Michael Jordan in its games, so instead a fictional character was used that looked the same and had the same stats.

Is there anything stopping Sega from using real player/team information only changing the names? Hell, why not make the player/team names editable, so hardcore fans can change the names back to what they're supposed to be? Sega could even create a patch that would update everything to the correct information and then deny that they created it.


BTW, does anyone know if all this was in direct response to Sega dropping the price of it's sports games to $19.99, or if this deal was put into motion long before the price change?

SgtShiversBenDecember 14, 2004

That's what happened when Madden 64 first came out. They didn't get the rights to use the teams so they just had the names with teams like "Dallas." Stuff like this has been happening a long time, it's just now they bought out the rights. Then it was because EA was just too lazy. Oh well, this doesn't effect me. NFL 2K3 still tides me over and I was never interested in Madden games.

couchmonkeyDecember 14, 2004

I wonder if having a monopoly on football games really counts as a monopoly? Besides the fact that Sega and other competitors can still make football games minus the NFL liscence, they can still make a zillion other kinds of videogames. At any rate, I do hope some other game companies will take action against this if it's at all possible.

God SpeaksDecember 14, 2004

Quote

Originally posted by: kingvudu
I seem to remember hearing back in the day of NBA Jam that Midway didn't have the rights to put Michael Jordan in its games, so instead a fictional character was used that looked the same and had the same stats.


Only because MJ handled his own stuff outside of the player's association umbrella.

The OmenDecember 14, 2004

Poor Sega.

Here's a thought, instead of bashing E.A. for what is a very logical move, how about bashing Sega? Can you all see if Sega obtained the rights, they would now have the best selling football game for the next 5 years? Yet another in a long line of business blunders. This was Segas chance, and they missed it. Who is running the show over there anyway, Sammy Corp? Had Sega pulled this off, you guys would be parading in the streets. Why? Because their football games don't sell as well? As far as I can tell , this changes one thing-having the real players. Most of you don't care about that anyway, right? Remember all the arguments stating "I don't understand why people buy a new Madden every year, I'll just play 2002. It's the same game." Well, now you have your chance with 2k4.

I say good riddance.

matt ozDecember 14, 2004

This is in no way a monopoly, for those of you who say it is. They have a monopoly on NFL games, that's it. They didn't license NCAA, arena football, or even the NBA, NHL, or any other professional sports league. Unless EA had bought the licensing rights to every video game ever created, they do not have a monopoly.

Anyway, a few years ago, I would have thought this was an awful and unfair business move. But ever since I started business school, I see things a lot differently, and I think this is an ingenious move. If you have an advantage over your competitor(s), then use it.

Besides, the reviews for Madden games are always extremely favorable, despite the fact that each rendition is essentially an expansion pack. Once the quality starts to seriously deteriorate, or once the price goes up by a large amount, then you can start complaining.

And I'm sure Sega, Sony, and Microsoft will continue to make football games, just not NFL games.

Ian SaneDecember 14, 2004

"Anyway, a few years ago, I would have thought this was an awful and unfair business move. But ever since I started business school, I see things a lot differently, and I think this is an ingenious move."

Translation: A few years ago I would have thought this was an awful and unfair business move... but then I started my supervillian training. face-icon-small-wink.gif

I don't think any of us are debating whether or not this is a good business move. Of course it is. That's not the point. Microsoft and Wal-Mart make good business moves all of the time but you don't see too many people proclaiming that as a good thing. I don't care how much money a corporation makes. Once I, the consumer, get f*cked by a business decision I have every right to complain. And we are being f*cked here because we used to have a choice regarding NFL games and now we don't. This development doesn't benefit consumers in ANY WAY so therefore it's a load of bullsh!t.

RennyDecember 14, 2004

Quote

Originally conceived by: Silks
And a game in which you create your own rosters will sell ONLY to the ultra-hardcore; anybody that's employed isn't going to have the time to input all of that information...


A patch will be released for the community by someone. You only need to be hardcore enough to buy a USB memory card.

Quote

This was recently said by: matt oz
Anyway, a few years ago, I would have thought this was an awful and unfair business move. But ever since I started business school, I see things a lot differently, and I think this is an ingenious move. If you have an advantage over your competitor(s), then use it.


Bold mine. Of course that logic makes business sense. That doesn't mean it isn't unfair. Microsoft had every reason to want to prevent BeOS from being preloaded on OEM PCs, but that doesn't mean they should have gotten away with it. This was mentioned in the thread, but apparently it needs reiterating.

Hostile CreationDecember 14, 2004

Yeah, I don't play football games.
But EA still sucks.

DjunknownDecember 14, 2004

Quote

This was Segas chance, and they missed it. Who is running the show over there anyway, Sammy Corp? Had Sega pulled this off, you guys would be parading in the streets


Omen beat me to the punch. I was going to say the same thing. Basically, Sega is Sammy's bitch, who in turn, doesn't give a rat's ass about the North American market; despite being ridiculously lucrative compared to Japan. But that's another story....

Since I'm not a fan of football games, I can't say I'm very emotional about it. But I'm going to predict that the next console cycle will have less than innovative Madden titles, until their deal is up in 2009.

As far as a American Football Legends title goes; I can't see why the hell not. To set an example, Winning Eleven>>FiFA 2k whatever. Its got potential....

While I'm playing Nostradamus here, I don't expect EA to start scooping up sports licenses left and right. Even though the amount is undisclosed, it sure isn't chump change. *Takes off wierd,pointy hat.*

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 14, 2004

Quote

Originally posted by: Silks
No. The difference is that Sony never WAS making Zelda games, and has and never WILL be able to make Zelda games, so nothing is being revoked. The customer isn't getting shortchanged because there wasn't competition in the first place. In the case of the EA/NFL, any real possibility of fair competition is being removed.


Well, we could use the same example but throw in Disney lisences and any of the various companies who made Disney games over the years... or *may* other lisenced titles.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusDecember 15, 2004

Sega did the only thing it could. There is no way that Sega could have out bid EA for such a property. It is far too important to EA and a bidding war would not have done anybody favor. If Sega had obtained the said propety, it would have been more than likely they would have be in a extreamly weak position to use it considering the cost.

Sega should capitalise on EAs stiffness and create a football game that goes beyond simple player stats.

I get the feeling that EA is the most powerful videogame company in the world. I get the sense that EA ever felt inclined (they obviously don't, but hypothetically), they decimate the combined forces of Sony, Microsoft AND Nintendo combined.

Currently though, EA seems to like keeping even Nintendo in the console races, they've even stated that they feel that the competition between the consoles keeps the market healthy. Of course, they're raking in the dough...so why fix what ain't broken?

Carmine M. Red
Kairon@aol.com

*note: I actually haven't read any of the posts in this thread. I know! I'm bad....*

Ian SaneDecember 15, 2004

"I get the feeling that EA is the most powerful videogame company in the world. I get the sense that EA ever felt inclined (they obviously don't, but hypothetically), they decimate the combined forces of Sony, Microsoft AND Nintendo combined."

Maybe MS but never Sony or Nintendo. EA is huge here in North America but they're nothing in Japan so no matter what Sony and Nintendo could always succeed in the Japanese market. And if they're successful in Japan then they're going to have some success in North America because there will always be a market for American gamers who like Japanese games. EA's powerful but they're not that powerful.

Though I would love to see them overestimate their own power and try to do something like that. Overconfidence is the sort of thing that could kill them off.

MattVDBDecember 15, 2004

EA could never (ok, that is a strong word, but for a long time I will stick to) release their own console, and stick to releasing only for it. They feed off of the combined user base of everything. They got lucky with some games (Madden, The Sims, producing for Westwood) and that gave them a foot they, in many peoples eyes, shouldn't have gotten. If they released their own system though, their large userbase goes down, and they wouldn't be nearly as succesful. I doubt EA would ever try anything like that. (The only reason Microsoft tried it was to _gain_ market share, not loose it)

vuduDecember 15, 2004

MattVDB - EA's goal isn't to maximize market share; it's to maximize revenue. If the exec's EA thought they could sell enough games on their own system (and therefore avoid paying lisencing fees) to make up for the lost market share, they would do it in a heartbeat. (Personally, judging from the current numbers I don't think this is possible, but it is an option.)

MattVDBDecember 15, 2004

All I was saying, was that currently, EA could create their own system. They are big enough to be able to sink the money into it, and make it float. The problem with it though, is that they would alienate the PC market (how many people here use a computer of any sort? That's what I thought), the 3 consoles, as well as the 3 portables. They currently are just becoming as big as they can, feeding off of the console makers investments. Avoiding royalties isn't going to make up for the millions upon millions of systems that are out there. Period. EA could release their own system (and gosh, I would like for them to. Not having to hear about the next Madden and it's "huge list of new features" would be sweet.) and in a sense, it would be a possitive thing. It would give opportunity back to the smaller publishers.

It's not going to happen though. 3 consoles is enough, anyway. (I remember when that was "2 consoles is enough." Gosh I miss those days)

KirbySStarDecember 15, 2004

While I don't like what EA is doing, at least we'll finally get some original football games around here. I'm hoping for a revival of Mutant Legue.

Ian SaneDecember 15, 2004

"While I don't like what EA is doing, at least we'll finally get some original football games around here. I'm hoping for a revival of Mutant Legue."

I've heard a few Mutant League suggestions thrown around on different forums. Do you know who made Mutant League Football? Electronic Arts.

PKFCDecember 18, 2004

Teehee. Yes! Gimme a CFL mode! First game to offer one I will buy. Oh how I love people who give love to Canadians. We got bigger balls too. So different physics face-icon-small-tongue.gif And we have nine teams? face-icon-small-tongue.gif I haven't been paying real close attention since Doug Flutie left the Stampeders ;P Ah good times...

And another thing, Renny mentioned BeOS... Funny face-icon-small-tongue.gif I lurve you... *poof*

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