EA Sports scores big...

Point well taken, but I have enough blame for both.

Even though I can see the economic sense in predatory business conduct, I don''t have to approve of it.

I''m sorry but I don''t buy this, ""The NFL out of the blue came up with the idea of exclusive licensing of its sports brand for one video game maker and EA just ''lucked out.''""

EA already had exclusive rights to FIFA, PGA and NASCAR. This is what they have wanted to do. This is what the STILL want to do with the NBA, MLB and (whatever is left of) the NHL.

Yes it is good business sense for EA, but ""good business sense"" doesn''t mean that everyone has to like it. Again to emphasize Swampy''s point on MS, just because they were incorporating Internet Explorer into the Windows Operating System, didn''t mean that no other company could make a Web browser. And as we know, others did. Still, lawsuits were filed because of what the other browser manufacturers saw as an unfair practice by MS.

And yes I know I am comparing apples to oranges but what else is there really to compare this to?

EDITS: Maybe one day I will actually read over what I have written BEFORE I post. But not likely.

"SwampYankee" wrote:

Point well taken, but I have enough blame for both.

Even though I can see the economic sense in predatory business conduct, I don''t have to approve of it.

You don''t. But as a shareholder of EA, I want them to make as much money as possible. If you were in charge of EA, you would have taken this deal.

OK, you win. You''re just saying the same thing over and over now.

"SwampYankee" wrote:

OK, you win. You''re just saying the same thing over and over now.

Everyone is. There is only so much I can say on this issue with what we know. But, we can continue to beat the dead horse.

No, I want the last post! Stupid NFL! Stupid EA!

Part of that is, secretly and mostly privately, I thought 2k5 was mediocre.

I thought we were going to get a detailed reasoning behind your thoughts. At least I remember a post noting something like that...

1) This is bad for all fans of console football. If AMD hadn''t come along, we''d be cheering the holiday release of the 2.0 GHz P4 right now. (It''s a fictitious example but AMD verifiably caused Intel to accelerate their roadmap.) Competition is good.

2) The NFL already has a track history of granting exclusive licenses. EA may have said ""C''mon, you''re doing it for everything else, how about games?"" but I think it might have been inevitable. I blame the NFL for starting the bidding and not EA. The shareholders would have cried foul if EA managed to lose that license.

3) If EA/Madden doesn''t fix all of the things that made me prefer 2k5 this year, I''d just as soon play without the names and stadiums. I bought both. I played both for quite some time. I sold Madden.

4) Assuming incremental improvements (Madden gameplay gets a little better, 2k5''s franchise gets a little better), if both games are priced at $50, I''d probably get Madden. For $20, or maybe even $30, I''d buy the unlicensed product but I don''t hate Madden, I just prefer 2k5.

5) I seriously hope that Sega/Take Two goes the college route. If all they did was fix the bugs from 2k5 and license the NCAA, I''d pay $50 for that game. Of course, I''d still like to see online franchises (or I guess it''s dynasties in the college realm) but that would be a bonus, and not a requirement (to get my money) - as long as they still had leagues like 2k5 (irregardless of how realistic the schedules would turn out). Of course, the research to get the ratings for 117 is a heck of a lot more than for 32.

Edit: Oh, and I didn''t say it because I figured it was obvious but in case it isn''t - the loss of the license will definitely and significantly hurt Sega''s market share (read: sales). While we here at GWJ may be more discerning, 1) most of the market is not and 2) Madden has such significant market share if they only manage to stop people from jumping ship, they will have won... but that won''t be the case. Those people who only tried 2k5 because it was $20 (not the ones who would have bought it at $50 because they already perferred the Sega version) will go right back to paying $50 for Madden because that''s where the ""real"" (read: licensed) players are. Personally, I''ve rented both (or all 3 counting the MS title) versions every year and then bought the one (two this year because I preferred EA''s franchise features) I liked best but while Sega may have made a few converts this year, ""the masses"" are not as picky.

More info on Playmakers.

How ironic. The NFL used their deal with ESPN to strong-arm them into cancelling the TV show. Now that they only do business with EA, this is entirely out of their control. If Midway pulls this off, it could be the GTA of football games. Throw in celebrity voices and licensed music and it could be that. I hope Sega/Take-Two do something similar, now that they''re no longer bound by any restrictions of the licenser.

My star quarterback for the Sharks will be Big Willie Beamen! I know, that''s different... but... shut up.

Too bad it''s still not 11-man football.

Edit: theoretically, it''s still early in the development cycle and this could just be a prototype screenshot but I think Blitz has always been ""small ball"" format. Can anyone confirm this? Thanks.

Aww, sh*t. I didn''t notice that. I was all like ""look, snow! rawk!""

Well, admittedly, this won''t be the arcade version of Blitz. It looks to be more of a football simulator like Madden with a lot of front-office RPG elements thrown in as well.

Wow. I think that sounds pretty cool, actually. It''d certainly be a somewhat fresh take on football games.

Imagine. You could be scouting a kid you are thinking of drafting out of college, and come across some dirt from his past. You could decide to pass him over, to leak the story to the press, to pay some money to bury the story, etc...

I remember there being some talk about how Madden and 2K5 would handle the Ricky Williams debacle. With Blitz Playmakers, you could end up having a whole team of Williams''.

"Rat Boy" wrote:

I remember there being some talk about how Madden and 2K5 would handle the Ricky Williams debacle. With Blitz Playmakers, you could end up having a whole team of Williams''.

Handle it? Other than making him a free agent in the roster update? Huh? I''d be curious to see this talk and what people thought they might do. Got a link or something?

It was a verbal conversation. Because of the way Williams left and how much it gutted the Dolphins this season, having him in-game definately causes the virtual 2004 season to skew differently than the real 2004 season.

"styx120" wrote:
Part of that is, secretly and mostly privately, I thought 2k5 was mediocre.

I thought we were going to get a detailed reasoning behind your thoughts. At least I remember a post noting something like that...

His reason doesn''t matter, and the reality is that his opinion of ESPN''s football game does not either. The comparative merits of ESPN 2k5 qand Madden 2k5 are not germane to the issue. What matters is that now that EA has bought the license, competion will be smothered and quality will suffer. No matter which company did this, the consumer loses in the end game.

I really don''t want a game of junkie-whore mongering gay basing ball, I want a good playing football game with a league system at least as good as this yer''s by ESPN. Letting me rename my team and players is a plus, but not a necessity.

"Highlander" wrote:

That would rock. My Tennessee Volunteers would own. Oh wait.

Heh. Even funnier than me rattling cages in the GWJFL with the Jaguars would be me doing the same thing in the GWJ college league with Fresno State.

well i guess we''ll be playing the atlanta hawks with vike mick as QB. Or does the nfl hold the rights to ''QB'' too?

Reminds me of Mutant League Football!

The amazing QB Joe Magician! The pounding RB Bones Jackson! Best hands in the league, receiver Scary Ice! And on defense, the brutal Reggie Fright!

Screw Mutant League Football. M.U.D.S. all the way.

Good point. There is a new game that resembles blood bowl out. Wonder if it has an online league component? I''d rather play that than EA.

If ESPn does college, I will buy that, and only that game next year. If they go unlicensed, I will buy a used copy of Madden.

If Madden would just fix their running game, I would enjoy it a lot more.

Either way, this is a bad deal for the fans.

"Spunior" wrote:

Screw Mutant League Football. M.U.D.S. all the way.

The hell you say? The fact that a remake has not given me the chance to throw dynamite at the halftime marching band with Mo and Spew Puke is a godawful blight on mankind.

Of course, that kind of Franchise mode would be great for MLF.

Let''s not forget the instant classic Jerry Glanville''s Pigskin Footbrawl.

Well, It''s In The Real News Now

EA bashed over NFL licensing deal


December 17, 2004

Last year, there were at least a half-dozen NFL-themed video games on the market. Next year, expect there to be just a couple.

Days after video-game maker Electronic Arts signed a five-year deal with the National Football League that gives it exclusive access to the league''s brands, stadiums and players, backlash against the arrangement has swelled, with the California-based company taking a beating in Internet newsgroups and the video-game press.

What the deal means is that beginning next season, only EA will be able to produce mass-market video games bearing the NFL''s trademarks and players. Although the company produces the best-selling Madden NFL series, critics are concerned that with no competition, there will be no innovation, and EA essentially could put out the same football game every year with minor tweaks and updated rosters, and then sell it for full price.

EA has said it will continue to innovate, as it has done with its NASCAR, PGA Golf and FIFA soccer series, all of which it holds exclusive deals with. But the NFL arrangement has raised eyebrows, particularly because NFL-themed games are so popular. While other companies still will be free to produce pro football video games, gamers prefer realism and usually reject games that don''t emulate the NFL.

""I''m really curious to see how EA will defend this, but at the end of the day, the consumer has fewer choices, and that''s bad,"" said Michael Pachter, a video game industry analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles.

The deal also affects Manhattan-based Take-Two Interactive Software, which this year began distributing the ESPN brand of NFL games. The company''s decision to price the game at about $20 - down from the typical cost of about $50 - cut a significant slice out of EA''s market share. Moreover, the ESPN series received overwhelmingly favorable reviews. (In November, EA cut the cost of its Madden NFL game to about $30.)

Although Take-Two said that the ESPN game ""was not a material contributor to our profitability to date,"" it said EA''s arrangement will do ""a tremendous disservice to the consumers and sports fans whose funds ultimately support the NFL.""

In its 15-year history, EA said the Madden NFL series has sold more than 42 million copies. This year''s version has sold about 2.7 million units through November, compared with about 2.1 million of the ESPN-branded game, according to market researcher the NPD Group in Port Washington.

The analyst Pachter also pointed out that once EA''s five-year agreement ends, no other company is likely to bid to produce NFL-themed games because the intensive process of digitizing players'' likenesses costs too much money. Also, the next two years will see the introduction of the next-generation game systems, further increasing the costs. ""I do not blame EA for doing this,"" Pachter said. ""They''re in the business to make money. I blame the NFL. ...Five years from now, who''s out there bidding? Nobody. EA''s got them [the NFL] over a barrel.""

Maybe if all ten thousand or so of the people on PetitionOnline could e-mail a major news organization about demanding EA''s practices be aired, we could actually get a fifteen second sound byte.

dam i didn''t know espn was that close. 2.1 million to 2.7 million for madden''s. that''s pretty good. just makes it all the more sad.

i blame the nfl alot too. they are doing a disservice to the fans.

not sure ea has them over a barrel tho. the nfl can do what it wants. the nfl could go back to allowing more than one company to sell an NFL video game after 5 years. it also will have sales data on how much madden''s sold and EA won''t be able to hide how much money they are raking in. it could just demand a flat fee at whatever price it deems suitable.