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A sad day for football gamers

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by AceofSpades, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. AceofSpades

    AceofSpades Member

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    This F***in' sucks.

    Big Deal: EA and NFL ink exclusive licensing agreement

    Five-year contract gives EA sole rights to the NFL, including teams, players, and stadiums. Take-Two reacts, calling it a "tremendous disservice to the consumers."
    Electronic Arts has signed the biggest sports free-agent on the market. In a devastating blow to competitors--and in a deal sure to reshape sports gaming--the software giant signed an exclusive agreement with the National Football League and the NFL Players Inc., a subsidiary of the NFL Players Association.


    The deal, one EA admits to having lobbied for over the past few years, is an exclusive five-year licensing deal granting EA the sole rights to the NFL's teams, stadiums, and players.

    The arrangement encompasses action simulation, arcade style, and manager games made for PCs, consoles, and handhelds (both the DS and PSP, included), giving EA a firm hold on the football gaming market. The deal does not include titles for mobile phones or internet-based games, but does include online features of consoles. With next-generation consoles scheduled for release next holiday season, EA looks to handily dominate the professional football market for the duration of the license.

    EA's current roster of NFL games includes the top-selling Madden franchise and the extreme football NFL Street franchise. Given that EA currently has no "manager games" per se, there is clear writing on the wall that the publisher will announce a new sports management lineup of products, though it refused to comment on when.

    A source close to the negotiations said it was at a spring, 2004, off-site meeting attended by top NFL officials that the league determined it would take the league license exclusive. GameSpot was told the league put the license up for bid and that EA was among as many as five software publishers competing for it. An EA spokesperson said today, "Obviously, exclusives are more expensive. We are most certainly paying a premium."

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

    The deal is obviously bad news for EA's competitors, particularly ESPN Videogames, Sega, and Take-Two who stole a respectable chunk of EA's Madden football market with their NFL 2K series and it's budget price tag this year of $19.99.

    Arguably, the deal will impact consumers negatively as well. With less choice, theories of competition no longer apply. Some industry insiders speculate the exclusive deal was embraced by the NFL after it saw Take-Two lower the price of its 2K5 product earlier this year. No licensor likes to see a price war being fought with its brand value at stake. At the same time, exclusive licenses in the sports world are more the norm than non-exclusive licenses. The NFL's apparel license is a Reebok exclusive, as is its beverage license with Gatorade.

    This afternoon, Take-Two issued the following statement: “While sports games in general are an important part of Take-Two's product diversification strategy, the licensed NFL game we distributed on behalf of Sega this year was not a material contributor to our profitability to date, nor was it expected to be a meaningful contributor in the upcoming year. We remain committed to continued diversification of our product portfolio, including sports.

    "We believe that the decisions of the National Football League and PLAYERS INC to grant an exclusive license for videogames do a tremendous disservice to the consumers and sports fans whose funds ultimately support the NFL, by limiting their choices, curbing creativity and almost certainly leading to higher game prices.”

    "I really respect them, but the consumer really loses," one analyst told GameSpot. "EA is both evil and really smart."

    As for such a deal affecting quality of future football products, EA's vice president of corporate communications Jeff Brown told GameSpot, "The onus is on EA to keep making a better game each year…that's the hurdle you have to clear every year."

    Even before the news was released, trading of EA stock had its value spiking north. On trading nearly three times its usual amount, EA stock was up more than $3 today. The stock closed at $57.57, up $3.38, or 6.24 percent, with 16,574,606 shares trading hands on the NASDAQ. In after hours trading, the stock at press time had jumped another $2.88 to trade at $60.45.

    By Tim Surette, Curt Feldman -- GameSpot
    POSTED: 12/13/04 02:53 PM PST
  2. jacs

    jacs I'd Hit It

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  3. Duane

    Duane Active Member

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    Madden can't compete with NFL 2K5 on either quality or price so they make a monopoly. This is a very sad day. I hope those EA sports execs fry in hell.
  4. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    I'm not much of a gamer... but this will drive prices up on NFL games... that sux...

    Cool sig Ace...
  5. jacs

    jacs I'd Hit It

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    not if you download them [IMG]
  6. Duane

    Duane Active Member

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    Hopefully ESPN will come out with a college football game to compete with EA's NCAA series. I could live with ESPN 2K6 NCAA football alone next year.
  7. AceofSpades

    AceofSpades Member

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  8. jacs

    jacs I'd Hit It

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    i know how the madden haters feel since High Heat Baseball got shut down by microsoft :mad:
  9. Tio

    Tio Armchair QB

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    a sad day indeed...
  10. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

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    EA already did as little as possible to improve their game and still make $$$. Now it's gonna be even worse.


    This sucks.
  11. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Active Member

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    I bought Espn this year the other day just started messing around with it I switch between geek games (mmorpg) and console football depending on my mood.
  12. Duane

    Duane Active Member

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    I don't like MMORPGs but do like single player RPGs. Vampire Bloodlines is a very good game if you're into single player RPGs.
  13. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Active Member

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    i am all about MMorpg's rlmao

    I done UO; DAOC; Tribes; COH; Horizons even done the Diablo and Diablo II series on line beta tested Savage; Anarchy Online Ashorn Call; Guild wars

    I currently playing COH and have my Eye on Dark and Light

    http://www.darkandlight.com/eng/index.php

    http://www.darkandlight.net/

    Yes i am trying to get in beta of this and wish
  14. KINGBRICE_28

    KINGBRICE_28 New Member

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    I like madden 2005 over all the other fb games.......esp for xbox.......
  15. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

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    I like different types of games, I'm not really "Married" to any one type of game.

    I like Madden (although this year's game sucked. What a huge disappointment).

    Lately I've been playing Half Life 2. OMG that game f'in rocks. I've also played a little bit of Doom 3 (need to finish that game), and I've played some Tribes: Vengeance. I like the new Tribes a lot, except there isn't enough different types of vehicles. I've mostly just played the single player part of the game. Haven't got online much with it.

    Oh and NCAA Football 2005 was the best video football game this year. Better then Madden. The atmosphere in NCAA is just amazing. You really feel like your in a football game, and they've just hit the tip of the iceberg as far as that goes. That game can get so much better. Madden needs to add more realistic crowds, crowd noise, and homefield advantage.

    The ONLY thing I didn't like about NCAA this year is the defense is too good and too bad at the same time. Plus there's way too many dropped passes (by your team and the cpu team). CBs jump routes way too good in NCAA. It's like every CB you face is Deion Sanders, regardless of their rating.

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