With EA going the way it is, I predict the teams that work on exclusive licenses like Madden, FIFA, NHL, etc will be undermanned to a crisis and the product quality and the per-year improvements will become even more scarce. Maybe EA will do the right thing and do the opposite, bringing us amazing new experiences and expanding their development teams… but if you look at what they did with FIFA on Wii - I don’t think EA really cares about it’s sports fans beyond the dollars they can drain out of us.
To be fair, FIFA is actually a really good game now (on lead platforms), despite the exclusive licence. Mainly because it’s competing with Pro Evo in a way that Madden isn’t competing with anything much. While Konami has somewhat dropped the ball on Pro Evo recently (though ironically the Wii versions are great), the lack of a comprehensive licence (it has some team-by-team licences) hasn’t stopped it from putting commercial pressure on EA to make better games.
I know FIFA and NHL have been excellent (if you’re not on a Nintendo system), but I see the writing on the wall. It’s the same thing Larry Probst has done time and time again. When things get rough, buy up all the licensing you possibly can. They spend all their money on exclusive licenses which will leave a lot less for the teams doing the actual work.
I hope I’m utterly and totally wrong.
I don’t think the FIFA license is that big a deal. It gets you international football(the world cup and continental competitions) but you still need to license all the domestic leagues for club football, which is more important. If EA locked up exclusive rights to the EPL/La Liga/Serie A/Bundesliga and the champions league that would be a bigger thing
You can’t blame EA. Blame the leagues. They’re the one selling exclusive licenses. Not even sure it would be much better if Take Two was making the games if their MLB series is any indication. As the only thing they updated from last year’s game is literally just the roster.
How about the J-League (Japan)? Last I heard it wasn’t in FIFA because of an agreement with the Pro Evolution people. And that deal is apparently more comprehensive than EA’s, because the J-League isn’t even in Football Manager (to my chagrin).
But 2K football was great. Take2 scrapped most of the team working on the baseball series and I was appalled they released what they did for $60. I thought for sure they would not be able to release another iteration. I wish I had a PS3 for their baseball.
That was a lifetime ago now back when the original Sega team was still working on it wasn’t it? Either way yea Madden is a pretty good example of what can happen with an exclusive license and no competition. FIFA and their NHL game seems to be pretty good and there is really no competition for those games either. I wonder what the deal is.
FIFA did have a strong and steady competitor since the early 90ies when Konami got into the soccer business with ISS/Perfect Eleven. Konami’s PES doesn’t even remotely sell as well as FIFA does these days because EA really turned their stuff into a true juggernaut while Konami lost the technological lead they once had (especially ball physics) while also delivering a shitty online implementation. Also, they can’t spend as much money on licensing and marketing as EA does. That said, FIFA wouldn’t be in the shape it is today if it wasn’t for PES constantly pushing it. This really isn’t a secret because EA actually keeps saying that. PC gamers were grateful for PES, too, because until two years ago EA simply ported the PS2 version of the game whereas Konami put some effort into their work.
In terms of sales, FIFA is really crushing PES now, but I think EA Canada keeps delivering good work because they that know the competition is still around and ready to bounce back should they screw up.
FIFA 2013 is stunning game. We play it every day at work, and even the soccer “haters” have to admit that it is one of the best (if not the best) sports games ever made. I’d hate to see that change.
I’m pretty sure you are. Short-shrifting the Wii version of something in the last three years is hardly evidence of a tendency to neglect customers. FIFA has been good for several years and I see no reason that would change. It’s one of their biggest worldwide moneymakers. EA Sports has been a reliable source of income for the company for far too long for any new CEO to suddenly start screwing that department over. If anything, EA Sports would be the last branch of EA to see cutbacks, I would think.
True enough about Konami. I played Winning Eleven when that was the top soccer game and FIFA was playing second fiddle to them. What is my point? Oh that FIFA was good without competition? I guess I stand corrected since without the push Konami gave EA they wouldn’t have worked to improved so much on that front. But I still blame the NFL and FIFA more for the exclusive license than EA it was their decision to make it exclusive and not the other way around.