Don't blame EA - it's the NFL that sold exclusive rights. EA just happens to be the lucky recipient.
The only NFL game with real teams and players will be from EA Sports.
Don't blame EA - it's the NFL that sold exclusive rights. EA just happens to be the lucky recipient.
!!!!! Oh wow.... That's so angering! Not that I care much for football games, but it's kind of disturbing to know that was possible. Egads!
From the article:
"We considered a whole variety of factors in making this decision," said Gene Goldberg, the NFL's vice president of consumer products. "We chose EA based on game quality, marketing ability and track record."
... funny I don't see "contract payout" as any one of the reasons, but I somehow expect that was the #1 motivation in their decision. The major networks pay and bid for rights to broadcast the games so I seriously doubt EA isn't paying out major $$ to have rights to the rosters.
Anyways, other football games have always had to pay a fee to lisence the NFL rosters, a fee that became pretty much untouchable by anything less than the Segas, Sonys, and EAs for the world anyways. So from here out I guess it'll be just like the broadcasts-- where every 4-6 years the Big three/four will have bidding wars to see who wins out, with contract payouts possibly going into the hundreds of millions.
It's a win-win for the NFL. By creating a bidding war environment they'll most likely get to cash in on even more money than they ever could selling the rights at a "fair" market value to multiple competitiors. On the other hand, EA gets to be free of competition but in 5 years I expect they'll have to pay through the roof to maintain their contract and probably end up pulling in a lower profit margin than if they had to face off vs. sega & company.
Isn't this how it always went? Only certain companies had the rights to use leagues and players associations, whether it was basketball, football, soccer, etc. I don't understand what's new, unless it is just that it is a five year contract instead of a project by project basis.
I think the only real downside for the gamers in this is that you can pretty much garuntee that the $20 price that the ESPN games had will no longer be seen again. Obviously EA will have to putting these out at $50 - $60 in order to recoup those licensing costs (which I normally pay, as they are worth it, but the cheap options from ESPN were a nice thing to see).
A lot of people will be pissy about this, but I really don't see EA sports dropping quality. If anything, they are now even more committed to this, as they absolutley *have* to make these games good enough that every NFL fan feels compelled to buy each year's version of Madden. If they don't, they can kiss their profits goodbye, even with 100% of the market.
Probably one of the reasons EA went this route is to keep out some of the ridiculous competition from things like the SEGA/ESPN games. SEGA so much as admitted that they lost money on them this year, and were aiming solely to try to gain market share for versions down the road. Now, this isn't all bad on a consumer level, but soon enough those prices would go back up anyway, and its not like we're cheering on an underdog here. I mean, this is Sega afterall, not Reflexive getting pushed out of a game genre. They broke in to the genre playing unfairly, now they got forced out unfairly.
Although I'd bet that the NFL gave Sega the option to bid, and they rightly decided that with poor market share and a game that wasn't quite up to Madden polish, that it wasn't worth it. However, I'm sure the NFL would choose EA over Sega if the bids were roughly equal, in which case this is just sour grapes again on Sega's part. Not EA's fault they have the better franchise, and they've run that franchise for like 15 years now.
I don't understand your anger on this. The NFL is absolutley no different than any major movie, or book, or other entertainment property. In the same way that Sony bought rights to develop Star Wars MMORPGs, EA has purchased game rights to the NFL logo's and properties.
This will not stop other from making football games. They just can't use NFL logo's, team names, or players. Now, they won't necissarily be successful, as most players *want* to have those logos and teams when they play, but it *is* possible.
This just reminds me of the early NES / 486 days when a whole horde of football and baseball games were around, yet very few bothered to pay for rights (some just got rights from a single star player, like Joe Montana or John Elway, and made up all the teams, logos, and players around him). At the time, the games could be successful just as generic football or generic baseball games. That isn't the case now, especially since Madden games have such good fantasy management aspects that gamers are into now, and that don't make as much sense without real teams and players.
No reason we won't be able to fire up ESPN's Pro Football 2k6 next year, and match off the New England Minutemen against the New York Planes. My guess is that the best player in the game will be Mikal Fick
I'm still waiting to see a sports game with dwarves, hobbits, and wizards. I'd love a fantasy football game where Gandalf was the quarterback!Originally Posted by Yossarian
Hmmm... maybe Frodo could be the short stop in a baseball game!
Last edited by Bluecat; 12-14-2004 at 09:33 AM.
I always preferred the NFL2k series to the Madden ones that EA put out... oh well.
a prisoner of the cause
Anger's maybe not the right word. It's more shock than anything. Yes your right, it's just like any other brand now, but how many brands have had several companies developing games based on them simultateously to compete with each other (not many being the point)? These aren't your one shot movie games we're talking here, cause people are actually gonna care about football next year, unlike Movie X. Also, this isn't just some normal deal, it's historic. Did anyone see that coming? Totally out of left field... heh... oh right, wrong sport.Originally Posted by Yossarian
Historic? Hardly. In the early 90s, Nintendo held an exclusive MLB license for console baseball games. As stated in the article, EA has held exclusive licenses from other leagues for a while now. What makes the NFL so different?
All that said above and this too:
You might be surprised how many people buy the next-gen EA game not for the game's improvements but just to get the new rosters and celebrate the inauguration of a new season. This is the power of a subtle addiction to pro sports and this is what EA will be banking on for the bulk of their profits from here on out.
As for quality, I think it'll stay the same. Frankly Madden's never been the finest piece of gaming quality-- until recently it wasn't even the best of the EA Sports games (its easy to argue that the NHL series has been consistently better as a game over much of the last decade), and feature additions will likely level out a bit. From the standpoint of execs they'll want to maximize profits with their new contract by focusing their efforts on the graphics (nothing new there), in order to have the best quality "visual enticement" to air along with the actual broadcast games, and to focus on the cleanness/responsiveness of the gameplay because that's what helps keep people coming back year after year (which hasn't always been a priority next to new-fangled feature sets intended to give an additional marketing edge). And beyond that they're going to use that contract for what it's going to be most worth: having a solid lock on those millions of people who will spend $50-60 each September for the new rosters, boxart, and maybe a few new touchdown jigs.
Likewise, I don't see what's the big deal, not at all.
Want the names, league tables, official logos and stuff like that? Buy the official game. Want a good football game that plays well? Buy whatever one you like. Or write one. Or play one of the old ones if you prefer. It's not like there's any shortage of games to chose from. It's not like EA bought the rights to "football".
And of course, if you live outside of the US, you are not going to care in the slightest either way.
I think a bigger point is that the simulation experience is ruined when you remove the real world counterparts...
Honestly, there is absolutely no reason to play an unliscensed sports game that had generic teams/players UNLESS it was something drastically different or off the wall (magic, power moves, etc.).
With EA holding the traditional football games now (which *most* sports players enjoy...not many want to play a game like Shaolin Soccer), they have huge market share.
I'm not really sure that I would compare this to a Star Wars liscence...
Technically that is correct, but the implications are far greater when you a liscence built around an entire sport - not just one IP.
The only comparison I can think to draw is with the major tv networks and thir Broadcast Rights. ABC has exclusives on Monday Night Football for example. It's a killer deal for them, but from a consumer point-of-view you could look at it as though we've been deprived the right to competition.
But! There is competition. The competition isn't with other football, it's with other TV shows. Drawing that parallel to EA's Madden, you can say that they're now simply being competitive against other popular games, football, sports, or no. They still have to present a competitive, playable product because if its not fun people aren't going to buy enough copies to merit the value of the exclusive contract... opting instead not for another football game but maybe an RPG or a C&C Expansion pack instead.
That's about the closest parallel I can find.
Unlike the NFL, NBA decided against exclusivity...
Because EA didn't offer enough money yet, just wait
Originally Posted by P-Q4
Fun Free Games
I live outside Us so I don't give a damn about NFL games but EA's domination in sports game start to worry me though. Imagine F1, Soccer League (English, Spain, etc league), NBA.. wow.. those sports are very popular among gamers outside US, some of them are even part of their culture ! You can't exclusively licensed something which is part of ppl lives.. that's wrong
The trouble with the NFL is the success of the sport moreso than the success of EA's version of the game. Not only is football one of EA's top sports producers, it was also the #1 seller of sports games in the US... so an exlcusive contract meant that EA had a lot to gain. The market for basketball and baseball are just a lot smaller across the boards, competition or not.
So! I would worry about soccer maybe, but not basketball or baseball... yet. The sales of EA basketball and baseball games rank (last I saw anyways) as 4th and 5th on their lines, below their hockey, football, and soccer lines. Basketball and baseball might even be below their PGA golf line now, which also has an exclusive bid. So yeah, they simply can't ante up enough cash to make exclusive bids worth it to the MLB or NBA and still expect to turn a profit. But if those sports become more popular as a whole again, and as a result people are compelled to buy more games, then yeah. Look out! heh
I find this troublesome personally. Having the correct stadiums\kits\teams\players makes a huge difference. Over here where football (soccer) is the most popular sport there's basically 2 games. EA's Fifa and Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer- Fifa has official license and Pro Evo doesn't.
Pro Evolution has been the better football game by a country mile since it's PS1 version. What held it back as not having access to proper team names. It's only now that Pro Evo is really considered the footy game to buy.
Sure, previously people who'd played Pro Evo said it was better but Fifa sold much much more. Not because it was a better game but because it had the license.
It's bad news for other NFL games because the appeal just won't be there. If it really didn't matter do you think EA would have forked out a huge amount of money for the exclusive rights.
It's also not quite like film licenses. I'm sure if I offered enough money I could license a film that already has a game available for it. Just because one game comes out based on a film doesn't always mean they have exclusive rights.
If I ever wrote a game like this, I'd make sure to keep all my data in a nice and accessable place and let (nay, encourage) the community edit it.
It's not anywhere near as good as building it in in the first place, but it's not a bad second and you can cover yourself by not including the 'real' data with the distribution.
I'm pretty sure that once someone does this once (maybe a very very close friend of yours with an aol mail acct) and posts it to your messageboard, players will get the idea. You can even link to the post as part of your "community mods" links page!
We're only talking about players and team names after all. If you can afford to accurattely model 96 different stadiums in the UK football league for example, you wouldn't be an Indie!
But that's all fine though, isn't it? If you want a good game, play Pro Evo. If you want the names and stuff, you get Fifa. People make their choices.Sure, previously people who'd played Pro Evo said it was better but Fifa sold much much more. Not because it was a better game but because it had the license.
Personally, I'd go for the most fun game every time, since I'm not interested in the fantasy element. Sure, getting the official license will sell EA a lot more copies, but then so will a movie license on an action game.
If you're a fan then I can see how you might want the best game to also be the licensed one, but hey - fans of the Matrix were probably really hoping the Matrix game wasn't crap, too.
That's odd, cause I'm pretty sure Star Trek is as solely owned and selectively licensed IP, and judging by the number of green alien concubines and klingon warriors talking Ferangi in the Marriott lobby this weekend, I'd say that's a big part of people's lives as wellYou can't exclusively licensed something which is part of ppl lives.. that's wrong
Once again the trouble here is that the right of the consumer to have a game that is both good and is allowed to use the names of all their favorite sports teams and players, encroaches on the right of the sports teams and players to capitalize on their skill, fame, and owner investments.
Who's right wins? Generally not the consumer's. When it all boils down to the bottom, consumers have a right to... umm... err... ehh... spend money?
Well, no, the consumer doesn't win in this case. Because the sports teams' rights that you mentioned are actually real, while the consumer's right isn't.
Nice try Anthony!
Of course, the republicans are trying to take that away too, wouldn't you know!Originally Posted by US Constitution, section XVII, paragraph 41
Good one. That raises the real dilemma now tho!
If you were to create your own game for private use and manually key in all the names and stats of all your fav players for your own use, and your own use only, is that legal? Or would that still be considered improper use of available public, restricted right-to-use materials (such as tv/web broadcasts and publications), and so would you still be entited to pay a usage fee and/or establish a single-user right-to-use contract?
I doubt thinking about these kind of things does me a lick of good, but I can't help it. Oh! and what if you give this thing to your friends or family members? I really hate all that stuff because I grew up in a small community where sharing and borrowing were just a way of life. Nowdays I feel like the ability to share and borrow is inherently anti-capitalist and that I'd be shunned for my commie ways.
Check out games as old as Ken Griffrey Jr Presents Major League Baseball for the SNES. His name was the only one officially in the game, but the editor allowed you to change names all you wanted. I almost had the entire Chicago Cubs in, except that it was two seasons later when I just kind of stopped playing.Originally Posted by Air
But if the game allows you to edit, it shouldn't be illegal.
Then again, City of Heroes is getting sued by Marvel because people are able to create characters that are too close to Marvel's trademarks. So the most expensive lawyers win, I guess.
Now that kind of situation is something to get angry about.City of Heroes is getting sued by Marvel because people are able to create characters that are too close to Marvel's trademarks.