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A fun fact on EA and Visual Concepts

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Old 04-22-2009, 02:56 PM   #1
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A fun fact on EA and Visual Concepts

I was just reading this very good article (http://retro.ign.com/articles/974/974695p1.html) on IGN about Sega's history and this was an interesting little tidbit that I saw on EA and Visual Concepts. This was when the Dreamcast was being put together:

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Courting developers would not be easy, but this was a field of expertise for Bernie. With attractive hardware, Namco, Capcom, and Midway soon got on board all arcade game developers, who would bolster the system's reputation as a true arcade experience. But there was at least one company that would not sign on. To this day, many credit Electronic Arts' lack of support as the Dreamcast's undoing, and much mystery and speculation has surrounded the falling out. Stolar has been kind enough to illuminate the situation, once and for all:
"[Former Electronic Arts CEO] Larry Probst is a dear friend of mine. Larry came to me and said, 'Bernie, we'll do Dreamcast games, but we want sports exclusivity.' I said, 'You want to be on the system with no other third-party sports games?'

"I looked at him and said, 'You know what? I'll do it, but there's one caveat here: I just bought a company called Visual Concepts for $10 million, so you'll have to compete with them.' Larry says, 'No, you can't even put them on the system.' I said 'Then Larry, you and I are not going to be partners on this system.'"
-- Bernie Stolar
Despite later smack talk from EA against SEGA and the Dreamcast, Stolar always respected tough negotiation. "I have to applaud EA for asking for that," he admits, before fondly recalling another audacious EA negotiation. The deal fell through, but SEGA was confident that Visual Concepts could outdo even the great Madden franchise, and according to some critics, they were right.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:01 PM   #2
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Re: A fun fact on EA and Visual Concepts

damn.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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Re: A fun fact on EA and Visual Concepts

I heard about this before, but I didn't know about the exclusivity thing.

The Dreamcast didn't fail because it didn't have Madden or other EA Sports titles. The support overall just wasn't consistent, and I'd have to think that with the demise of the poorly supported 32X, the Saturn and the completely idiotic way the Sega CD was handled, I tend to believe that poor planning in Sega had a lot to do with the Dreamcast's early fall.

On a similar note, I suppose that when Probst found out that VC (the now famous company that produced the turd known as Madden 96, which got canceled because it was so awful) was on board it was a deal killer. I'd bet if you put a few guys from VC and a few from EA from back then, you'd still have to seperate them over what happened with Madden '96.

Imagine a Madden being canceled today? It would never happen. But I'll tell you one thing, if any Madden should have been since then it was Madden 08.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:21 PM   #4
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Re: A fun fact on EA and Visual Concepts

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Originally Posted by TheWatcher
I heard about this before, but I didn't know about the exclusivity thing.

The Dreamcast didn't fail because it didn't have Madden or other EA Sports titles. The support overall just wasn't consistent, and I'd have to think that with the demise of the poorly supported 32X, the Saturn and the completely idiotic way the Sega CD was handled, I tend to believe that poor planning in Sega had a lot to do with the Dreamcast's early fall.

On a similar note, I suppose that when Probst found out that VC (the now famous company that produced the turd known as Madden 96, which got canceled because it was so awful) was on board it was a deal killer. I'd bet if you put a few guys from VC and a few from EA from back then, you'd still have to seperate them over what happened with Madden '96.

Imagine a Madden being canceled today? It would never happen. But I'll tell you one thing, if any Madden should have been since then it was Madden 08.
If you read the entire article it basically goes from the very beginning of Sega to the very end and it talks about all the little mistakes that htey made.

Did you know that Sega had first crack at the N64 chip and also the Playstation chip?

In fact, Sony was already on board to work with Sega and make the Sega PlayStation but the Japanese branch of Sega refused and wanted to go with their clunky, expensive and poorly designed Sega Saturn instead (although that was the best 6 button controller ever made).

Finally Microsoft wanted to buy Sega when the Dreamcast came out, can you imagine the Dreamcast if backed by Microsoft?

Oh well, lots of "what Ifs" that spelled Segas doom, but when they were on top, they certainly made some of the best games ever.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:22 PM   #5
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Re: A fun fact on EA and Visual Concepts

Madden 08 and every other madden before it on next gen.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:29 PM   #6
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Re: A fun fact on EA and Visual Concepts

Has EA ever not been scared by competition??? Its like they are aware they produce sub par titles.

Gah i hope Madden changes things this yr.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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Re: A fun fact on EA and Visual Concepts

And Visual Concepts only out did Madden one year...

NFL 2K5

so in this 10 year range, his decision went 1 for 10...

Good choice?
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:53 PM   #8
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Re: A fun fact on EA and Visual Concepts

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Originally Posted by FootballSchemer
And Visual Concepts only out did Madden one year...

NFL 2K5

so in this 10 year range, his decision went 1 for 10...

Good choice?
I don't agree, I felt that 2k was always the superior football game since it was first created, and many feel the same.... but that's not why I'm posting this... I just found it interesting, how a simple back and forth can decide the faith of big corporations.... I mean, without SEGA, EA would probably never have arrived to where they are now. The Genesis gave EA a nice platform to build their sports titles on... and those Sports Titles are a big reason why the Genesis ruled the gaming market during that time.

While Visual Concepts made the better football game IMO, it probably would've been wiser to go with EA, since it was the more established name... however, it would be hard to write off $11 million after buying VC.
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