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OT, EA is the devil

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December 14, 2004 4:35:21 PM

<A HREF="http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/12/13/news_6114977.ht..." target="_new">EA and NFL ink exclusive licensing agreement</A>
This pisses me off.
ESPN football is incredible, now they probably won't even make a game next year. The exclusive license must have cost a fortune, think about it, instead of getting money from EA, Sega and Midway, now only one company is paying for it.

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December 14, 2004 4:56:40 PM

Wow. That's pretty much unprecedented...

Hope they don't do the same with hockey. :( 

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December 14, 2004 5:02:37 PM

That would be the worst. I hate EA Hockey more than I hate EA Football. Long live ESPN Hockey 2K*!!!
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a b U Graphics card
December 14, 2004 6:18:06 PM

It pi$$es me off to, although I've been boycotting them for a little longer thanks to their Mfr specific optimizations in their games. I refuse to buy anymore NHLxxxx and even gave away the free one I got because of this. EA has a history of doing things like this, but I'm surprised that the NFL and their Players Association agreed to it. With the way things are in the NHL, I doubt this could happen in Hockey this year or next even if they wanted to.

Welcome to my world, EA sux!


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
December 14, 2004 6:29:01 PM

First of all, this should be in the games forum. :smile:

I started with Madden NFL, so I'm more used to it, but I agree that ESPN is better, for the little time that I played it.

Overall, it doesn't really bother me. I'm playing Madden 2005 on XBOX right now.

"A delayed game will eventually come out, a bad game is bad forever."
-Shigeru Miyamoto
December 14, 2004 7:26:15 PM

I did not want to start this topic last night because it is OT, but now I can respond: I am very upset, this harms consumers by eliminating choice and stagnating competition, competition that made Madden much better the last 3 years. Btw, in May the NFLPA made magazines RETRACT statements that this was going down; they lied. It has been stated this was in the works since spring. Anyhow, this is horrible news. Why?

1. Competition is good. It forces evolution of the game and development of new features. It keeps games fresh and gives gamers the option to choose games that meet their specific tastes.

2. The Sega ESPN line over the last two years have been just as good as the Madden series and has kept Madden honest. While I like Madden better, I can honestly say I feel Sega had done a great job of pushing the Madden series. Their game was so good I bought NFL2k4 and Madden 2004.

3. The Sega price cuts were GREAT for gamers ($20 for a NEW A+ title?!) and finally allowed a lot of gamers to see that Madden was not the only, or even best, game on the block. This was creating healthy competition and would have surely carried over into the next generation. If anyone remembers how Madden dropped the ball with the PS release (and delay) and how 939 Studios/GameDay really made Madden evolve. EA was happy shoveling more of the same old stuff. Competition and having to fight for market share resulted in a better product for consumers.

4. EA has a history of gutting their Madden franchise with every jump to a new console. E.g. the majority of the gameplay features found outside the actual game were around way back in 1994 with Front Page Sports. The future looks a lot like the PS2 release: Pretty graphics with no substance, with yearly updates selling us features we already had this generation. With no competition there will be no place for NFL fans to turn to get a product they like better.

5. This could spell disaster for certain next gen consoles. It is a fact that sport games are big sellers and "must have" items on consoles. A console without an NFL game is a dead console. Notice how EA not supporting the Dreamcast severely hurt the DC. One of EA's reasons was they did not believe the market could support 3 consoles. What it really meant was they could not support 3 consoles, meaning that this opened doors for the competition. This is where the NFL2k/EPSN series roots are. This deal puts EA in a position to seek a king's ransom to support a platform in an unfair manner because there wont be any competition. If EA chooses to ignore the PS3 Sony wont have the 939/GameDay to fall back on. If EA chooses to ignore the Xbox MS wont have Fever to fall back on. If EA chooses to ignore the Revolution Nintendo wont have Sega(?) to fall back on. EA can essentially black ball any console they choose, and because there is basically a no competition clause there is nothing these companies can do about it.

6. With this deal exclusive features will be a very artificial way to sway support from one platform to another. The ESPN series was pushing new things like the crib and neat drafting features, we wont have these options for development, but also will get stuck in a situation where "Console X has the game, but Console Z has the same game with a ton of features". EA is basically in a position to reap insane amounts of preferential treatment from console companies. So not only have they blackballed their competitors, they are also now in a position to dictate to the console makers.

This is a totally unhealthy relationship that the NFL and EA have formed. EA must have paid the NFL a whole lot money than EA + Sony/MS/Sega were previously paying. This is a very sad day indeed for gamers. I have disliked many of EA's past policies and how they treat developers and gamers in general. As much as I love the Madden franchise, this may be the straw that breaks the camals back. I may actually begin boycotting EA games.

All I can say is SHAME on the NFL, and double shame on the cowards over at EA. Obviously they were afraid of healthy competition that could hurt their cash cow. Their solution was to form a monopoly and eliminate the compitition instead of innovating and creating a better product. Sad, sad indeed.

Between EA's game development policy, how they treat their employees, their treatment of developers, and now their view toward healthy competition I may boycott all EA titles.

I guess in the end it wont matter because EA has the license now and even in 5 years no one will be in a position to challenge. I guess the reality is big business wins and the consumer loses. Smart move by EA, as Gamespot quotes and analyst, "EA is very smart and very evil". Give them credit for being smart... and also not looking after the consumer. Sad day for us gamers.
December 14, 2004 8:15:30 PM

You must feel better after getting that off your chest!!!

Now that I think about it, it can't be that great of a deal for EA. Why??
Madden is annually one of the best selling games anyways, Is the ROI gonna be that high that it supports paying triple (i'm guessing here) for the NFL license. Seriously, how big is the market that it makes sense to spend this much money.

As for what Acert93 said about the power EA now has with the next gen of consoles, I never even thought about that, and he's right about the unbalanced power EA has. It cannot be good for the gaming industry as a whole.
a b U Graphics card
December 14, 2004 9:36:55 PM

What I saw on CNBC this morning (yes it's that big a deal :eek:  ), was that the sales of Madden to ESPN were just over 5 to 1 (IIRC) in 2003, but now this past year's sale were at a 1.5 : 1 ratio, thus meaning that the competition is heating up. Whether that's simply more people buying ESPN and not at the expense of others (I have friends who have both for Hockey), or whether there wasn't enough motivation to buy 2004 over 2003, I don't know, but it's likely something like that that forced this action.

I'll mention it again so it's 'graphics related' and we can have some not OT content for protection. :wink: I hate EA's putting in effetcts for one graphics card mfr/line over another, and that's why I hate 'em, this is just another reason to be leery of them ontop of that.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
December 14, 2004 9:44:26 PM

From working at EB, most people who bought Madden also bought ESPN. But the pure ESPN fans, only bought ESPN.

To keep this on topic: ESPN has superior graphics!!! Bump Mapped grass is nice
a b U Graphics card
December 14, 2004 9:56:10 PM

Who cares about the Freakin' Grass BOY!

What about the Cheerleaders, Are THEY properly <b>BUMP</b>-mapped?!? :wink:

Speaking of BUMPS....

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
December 14, 2004 10:10:47 PM

Yeah, I feel a little better :) 

I think the deal is good for EA, because as Grape pointed out, EA was losing ground fast to ESPN. Personally I prefer Madden. I have both Madden and ESPN 2004 on the GNC and I liked Madden a lot more. But there is no denying the quality of the ESPN title. The reason Madden had such a lock on the market is that this is their 15 release and have solid name brand support. Madden and Video Game Football are synonymous.

But with the price drop a lot of people got to try out ESPN's game, and I am sure a lot of people liked it. So, from EA's perspective, it would be safer to pay 3x the royalty and keep the entire market to themselves than to lose marketshare.

Just an example of why EA did this: Lets say the royalty is $5 a game. It would be better to pay $15 a game than to lose 30-50% of your sales because that 30-50% cut directly into profits. To offset the $15 they just up their price from $50 to $55, so they are only losing $5 new dollars. And now they have a complete monopoly on professional football so they can afford to spend a little more to ENSURE they have top sales. It really is a no brainer from a business standpoint... but it still is anticompetitive and results in worse products for the consumer.

Btw, did anyone see the next gen madden pics? I always laught when they show new proof of concept art... the new consoles never match up to them. I expect the new games to look good... but the question is how will the depth, AI, and animation be? I think some serious motion blended rag dolls where each tackle is unique would REALLY be great. But will EA do such a risky thing now? The safe route is the easy/cheap route.
a b U Graphics card
December 15, 2004 12:31:26 AM

EA really does suck. They supposedly had a thorough beta cycle on NSFU, yet released it with a bug that prevented it from working on Radeon cards. RADEONS! I'm not even talking about Radeon 8500's or any special series, I'm talking about the plain jain Radeon DDR! It took them 2 weeks to release a patch for the game to run on them. I have to wonder if their "beta" cycle even included testing them on ATI cards at all!

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<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
December 15, 2004 12:54:54 AM

I've always been a fan of Sega games, especially their NFL series... NFL 2k OWNAGE! very sad to see that they wont be making any more games. Ive played both 2k5 and madden 05, and 2k5 was much better and had more features... plus both games represented my home town team as #1 GO PATS!

very sad point in time for console gamers
-Lawler

Plus: I will never forgive Madden, he is a complete retard, you have one of the best QB's since joe montana and an amazing offense, plus the best kicker EVER, and he wants them to waste a minute and 52 seconds so they can try to beat the Rams in overtime, great decision John, lets see what happens when the pats go for it with a minute and 52 seconds or what ever it was left... field goal as time expires <cheer> woooo </cheer> gj john

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ | MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum | 1gb Kingston HyperX PC4000 [2x512] | ATI 9600 Pro [upgrade soon] | Sound Blaster Audigy LS | Samsung 120gb hd<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by alawlz187 on 12/14/04 09:58 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
a b U Graphics card
December 15, 2004 12:56:19 AM

Yeah and you know, if I were to miss playing NHL2004/5 then maybe I'd go that route, but I'm kind pissed at them period!

And truth be known, I prefer playing these games on the consoles with 3 other people and a few wobbley-pops! So, for the consoles there's so many other options now for all the sports that I may never need to play EA again, except this travesty of the NFL franchise (even then, may try to find ESPN NCAA or something, Hey maybe CFL! :lol:  ).


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
December 15, 2004 3:39:42 AM

Maybe Sega can get an NCAA exclusive? Then they could even design in a graduation theme... so eventually all your college players would be playing in the pros.

The only problem is you cannot use college player names :(  Oh well... maybe Sega will allow their game to be open ended where users could important all the names, logos, and team names? Make it an easy DL... that would be possible. Sega make it open ended and have a very dedicated group of players create all the info... the problem would still be this would hurt sales and would probably be best of Sega to stick to NCAA or get out completely.
December 15, 2004 3:48:56 PM

I've been thinking a lot about this, and while I hate it, I've started to think that it is not much different from EA owning the exclusive licenses for LOTR, Harry Potter, Bond, Godfather, etc... Activision has Star Trek, Spiderman, and X-Men.
I'd be really pissed if there was only one developer for Star Wars games, while Lucas Arts does choose some crappy devs for certain games (Rebellion, Episode 1, Obi Wan) at least they employ Raven and BioWare as well to pick up the slack.

I think it's disgusting what EA has done with the Bond games, they are all cookie cutter FPSes, with slightly different baddies and gadgets. The LOTR games are decent, but nothing ground-breaking by any means.
I really wish Godfather was being developed by someone else, I just know it won't live up to the license. If it's have as good as Mafia was, I'd be surprised.

So maybe we shouldn't be so surprised that EA has monopolized pro Football for the next 5 years, that seems to be the trend of the industry anyways.

The question is, what can be done?
December 15, 2004 4:54:53 PM

That's all he looks at is grass. He needs a life.
December 16, 2004 3:28:24 AM

Slightly off topic from the off topic:

Wives now suing EA for mistreating employees with unpaid overtime. Yay!

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<font color=blue>Ede</font color=blue>
December 16, 2004 2:31:08 PM

It's not really the wives, but they've kinda got the ball rolling.
December 16, 2004 3:47:59 PM

blades of steel is the only good sports video game anyway lol.

this is my boomstick!
December 17, 2004 1:08:40 AM

Long live the NES version!!!

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<font color=blue>Ede</font color=blue>
December 17, 2004 1:10:46 AM

Well I read that in an article, that they really wanted to take 'em on. I mean, poor guys are working from 9 to 10PM or so I read, they get a part of the weekend off, and that's it. Not paid for that overtime and never getting time off, all because there's a "poor game"'s deadline coming soon.

Game programmers are the next wave of people not getting paid properly in the industry.

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<font color=blue>Ede</font color=blue>
December 17, 2004 2:55:57 PM

LOL! Wusy, I know plenty of sites that would ban you for statements like that.

However, since you aren't promoting the activity just stating that you've done it you probably won't be banned here.

<b>A mind is a terrible thing</b>
!