EA is ACTIVELY attempting to corner entire sports gaming

All I have to say is Nascar Racing. EA could not compete with Papyrus, who every year put out a WAY better product than EA. The reviews for EA’s Nascar were always lower because everyone had “something better to compare it to”. Now that EA has the exclusive license for Nascar, they still haven’t come close to matching what Papyrus did 3 years ago with realism.

Those of you defending EA and saying it’s the NFLPA’s fault need a reality check. EA has been actively trying to corner all aspects of the sports market for years. There are discussions occurring for the NHL and NBA as I speak.

What many of you don’t know, is that EA has been badgering the NFLPA tog et exclusive rights for years. It just happens to be, EA finally wrote a check big enough for them to bite. What people also don’t consider is that just because EA did not buy exclusive rights, DOES NOT MEAN Sega would have. The NFLPA put a ridiculous price on sole licensing. I doubt they would have lowered it to “just get anyone to solely license them”.

NOTE: EA owns exclusive rights to FIFA and PGA as well.

So, I’d suggest you all take a hard look at the Monopolistic tactics EA is employing and see what a terrible long-term affect this will have on our games. With nothing to compare their mediocre offerings of NHL to, and no competition, things will generally stay status quo. I mean, with GOOD competition for their hockey games, EA still puts out a mediocre hockey game. You think it will magically be different if they have ZERO competition? Every year that game becomes less and less of a true sim of hockey - and that’s with excellent competition.

As far as I can see, the majority of you want a REAL football experience. After all, we spend hundreds of hours trying to “fix” the game only to come up short every single year. Nathan from EA says, “Quality will not suffer”. I’m not worried about “quality per say”. I’m worried about finally getting a game that feels like football. Not like Superhero Bloodbowl (yes I’m exaggerating).

Personally I like Madden, but every year I find it exceptionally lacking in feeling like real football. There are games from a DECADE ago that had a better simulation engine than Madden has ever had. So I’d suggest you all seriously consider signing this petition to reverse the decision to corner the market. If we don’t speak up now, this trend will snowball and will leave us with sports gaming products that year after year fail to innovate due to lack of competition (if you don’t believe me look at Nascar, FIFA, and PGA - and the painful crawl of innovation in those titles the last year).

Here’s the link: http://www.petitiononline.com/nfleacon/petition.html

<edited for typos, and to apologize to those that have already seen this on my other forums>

I once heard a comment – I now utterly forget where – that football video games are becoming less about simulating the experience of playing football than they are about simulating the experience of watching it on TV. I admit that sports games are not really my thing, but the little I have played in recent years seems to support this. Food for thought, I suppose.

Damn that Activision! With their monopoly on Tony Hawk’s license, no one else can make a skateboard video game!

Oh for pity’s sake. None of this means anything if you stop caring about the names of the players.

Is it a game, or a soap opera?

Well, it IS professional football.

EA have had the FIFA licence for as long as i can remember, doesnt stop Konami’s Pro Evo series being far superior and the choice game for most players though …

“Most players”? In what universe?

an online petition? Wouldn’t signing them up for credit cards and then snickering have better results?

I think it’s called “Europe.” They don’t even know what “football” is though, so take that with a grain of salt.

That was in the '90s. Today it’s the other way around.

It’s TV that wants to be a video game.

Yes. But it’s a good way for outraged people to believe they are accomplishing something. Sort of a stress relief measure.

I think it’s called “Europe.” They don’t even know what “football” is though, so take that with a grain of salt.[/quote]
I was referring to Pro Evo being the choice for most football/soccer gamers.

Yes. But it’s a good way for outraged people to believe they are accomplishing something. Sort of a stress relief measure.[/quote]

Hmmm. Good point.

The FIFA thing is really not at all the same as this new NFL deal. The “exclusive” rights to FIFA pretty much just means that only EA can use the official World Cup competition and logo in their games.

Soccer player/team names and likeness rights are negotiated individually at a club/team level in most countries (in some countries it’s done at a league level, it is for the MLS in the US I believe). In fact Pro Evo actually has a ton of real players and teams and the only thing stopping it from getting them all is that Konami aren’t willing to pay the money some of the clubs ask for. There are plenty of other soccer games out there with real teams and players too, FIFA doesn’t have control over such things.

I think it’s called “Europe.” They don’t even know what “football” is though, so take that with a grain of salt.[/quote]

Of course we do, SI’s Football Manager 2005 just sold 100,000 in its first week :) .

These threads are always a bit surreal to me. Somehow the game marketplace is supposed to be different than other marketplaces.

Yeah, I get the same feeling. It’s giving me slashdot flashbacks (especially the petition) to hear all the impotent outrage from folks who are probably going to buy the damn EA football game next year anyway.

I think this was a poor decision from them NFLs standpoint since it’s upsetting some fans but there’s nothing illegal or immoral going on.

I know that I, for one, will be in the shamefully short line to pick up ESPN Pro Football 2k6. Hopefully, by not being under the yoke of the NFL’s license, they’ll even add a little variety, such as Canadian and arena rules in addition to the American Pro rules. I don’t buy EA Sports games until they hit $10.

It also a poor decision because now the NFL will only be represented by one major game, and it won’t even be represented in the title (although I guess EA could call it Madden NFL '06).

But then, it’s a great decision by the NFL because they saw their five licensees (EA, Sega, XSN, 989, Midway) drop to just two in one year, and one of the remaining licensees had to resort to drastic measures to just stay in the game. It’d be hard for the NFL to get premium money for an “exclusive license” when there’s only one licensee in the first place.

I really have a hard time caring about this. EA had the resources to give themselves a competitive advantage, and so they went ahead and did it. That’s just good business.

And for everybody whining about how this creates an uneven playing field and will make EA an effectively uncontested sports franchise - other devs can still make football games. Hell, they will still make great football games.

I’ve never been a sports fan, but I do enjoy a good sports title (hell, even NHL2K still gets whipped out on the Dreamcast for me every once in a while). But the names of the players really make no difference to me. I understand that it might to a football enthusiast. But does it really affect core gameplay? No.

The other issue is that this could give an advantage to some of the other development teams. I’m sure licensing fees had to be paid to the NFLPA and other organizations for the rights to use teams, likenesses, etc. Not having those expenses frees up some resources for other devs, at least.

Basically, I don’t think there are any problems created in this situation that can’t be overcome by great gameplay. And if gameplay means more to you than the names on the jerseys, then pick up whichever football title you think is the best. Maybe it will be EA. Maybe it will be Sega. Maybe it will be another dev’s product.

As always, vote with your dollar. But the sky ain’t falling.

(Does anybody else see parallels to the “It’s not faithful to the universe” arguments that surrounded Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel?)

Apparently, John Madden’s contract is up after next year and EA also took that into consideration for the future of their game. They’re probably going to just drop the Madden name now and you’ll get NFL 2007 or something like that. Madden won’t be on TV forever and once he’s not, I think EA will want to get his likeness off the box both because people will start to forget him and because it saves them money.

This is bullshit. There are a LOT of Sega Sports gamers that won’t buy EA’s game. The general public will still buy it, sure. All the rappers and their posse’s will buy it too. I’m sure the game will sell as well as it ever has (and better than this year when they got scared by a game that’s been better all along but needed a price drop to make people look at it), but there are definitely people who will NOT buy it and are complaining. Me included. I still do not own Half-Life 2 and will not until the Steam requirement is removed completely from the game by the developer. If they never take it out, I’ll never play Half-Life 2.