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EA: Hardly a Generous Corporation

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Old 11-05-2008, 10:34 AM   #9
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This has already happened in Madden, we don't want it to happen to our basketball, hockey, and baseball games as well.


"If EA was the only major third-party sports game developer, it would lose all incentive to continue to produce better games, especially on the Xbox 360 where this is no Sony Sports. Without Take-Two developing games, EA would no longer have an incentive to create better game modes and more realistic gameplay for all of its products. There wouldn’t be a reason for EA to work on NBA Live because it would be the only basketball game around, and unless consumers had a Playstation 3 and could pick up NBA: The Inside, EA’s offering would be the only one to turn to. "
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:16 AM   #10
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Stating that lack of competition would stifle innovation as fact is as retarted a statement as that entire article was. Do the guys at EA Canada sit down and say "It would be so great if we could do no work and just release a ****ty game that not even we would play, but 2k makes a decent game, so I guess we'll actually have to do something" No. Why? Because theses guys are gamers. They play their own games. The guys at EA Canada also clearly take pride in their work. The guys over at Rockstar have ZERO competition for the GTA-style market. None of the games like Saints Row or Just Cause sell even remotely as well. Does Rockstar stop developing great games because there is no competition? Not at all. They make their next game bigger and better. Why? Because they are develoepers that, and this might sound insane, ENJOY DEVELOPING AND CREATING AMAZING VIDEO GAMES. I'm not saying that innovation and competition are not connected at all, because they certainly can be. But to say that EA would completely stop innovating or even stop trying to make good games is ridiculous. Just ask Rockstar.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:23 AM   #11
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NHL 09 is a decent game, but I think its gets too much credit until EA figures out a way to get board play in the game and more animations so the players don't stop moving the moment a goal is scored, etc. FIFA is EA's strongest sports product, but even FIFA could do with Friendlys, Champions, and National game play added into its Manager's mode so we get more than just the regular season and local tournaments. It still bugs me that NCAA 09 doesn't have all of the stadiums in it yet and the ESPN license that 2K did so much with in its ESPN games has been almost a total waste at EA imo.

Dead Space was the first game in awhile that showed EA's full potential. I think Mirror's Edge is going to help further that perception too. EA has made a business out of back-of-the-box annual updates to sports games and buying up franchises. I think people hold EA to a higher standard because they feel like the potential for consistent high level performance is there, but EA has made too many decisions in the past that were good short term to the bottom line at the detriment of the core gaming audience.

The one thing that I am sure of is that EA's bid for Take Two was not based on good will. EA would have been paid back on GTA sales this generation, the value of the MLB license, games like Bioshock, and access to 2K Sports' technology. Not to mention the fact that they would have been able to keep the cream of the crop and cut the excess on jobs. All while putting a top competitor down for good.

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Old 11-05-2008, 11:43 AM   #12
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i think there is something deeper to this than we are seeing. these games have been in production for a while, and yes, while some of them have regressed when coming to the 360 missing features that previously had been on ps2 games such as owner modes and in depth things like that, we have to look at the broad view that EA sees in its consumers. Are they trying to appeal to sim players, arcade players, wii sports players? How can you balance all that into one game, because in the end, they need to appeal to the broadest base of consumers as possible. Its an interesting approach they have to take since they only have one line of games for each sport and then some freestyle games that havn't been too great outside of NBA Street homecourt, which i loved.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:45 AM   #13
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good recap of the nature of EA's business lately tho.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:55 AM   #14
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Those games are DIRECT COMPETITION! The fact that they don't sell well is because Rockstar makes a great game with EVERY GTA. They didn't feel content with the fact that GTA 3 was awesome, they improved it. If Saints Row was as good or better than GTA, the sales would go up.

"The guys over at Rockstar have ZERO competition for the GTA-style market. None of the games like Saints Row or Just Cause sell even remotely as well. Does Rockstar stop developing great games because there is no competition? Not at all. They make their next game bigger and better."

What are you saying then? Look at Madden...no competition has hurt that series more than any other. Competition is human nature, without it some peoples motivation to over-achieve goes away, thus affecting how much a game improves on a yearly basis.

"I'm not saying that innovation and competition are not connected at all, because they certainly can be. But to say that EA would completely stop innovating or even stop trying to make good games is ridiculous. Just ask Rockstar. "
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:59 AM   #15
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Rants against EA maybe "cliched" or "unoriginal" at times, but they aren't "unnecessary." But on the other hand, to suggest that EA doesn't make any good products any more is pretty ridiculous. There's no doubt that some of their sports franchises have had poor gameplay issues on the current-gen consoles, but NHL 08/09 has been a success, FIFA has begun to reclaim the soccer throne (which is a huge deal for international sales), and even a game like NCAA Football 09, which has many flaws, is also responding to consumers with new features like online dynasties and community roster sharing.

Seriously, it's as if you guys get these new features, and forget they were ever there. Can anyone even imagine how hard it would've been for the average football rube to try and fill in roster names for 119 FBS teams using a 360 D-pad? No thanks!

It's good for us (gamers) that the 2k takeover fell through. Grand Theft Auto IV was the best thing that could have happened to sports gamers b/c it provides at least enough cash flow to prevent 2k from completely scrapping their sports department, since practically none of those games are profitable. But we need 3rd parties like 2k Games to step up and provide real competition so that both EA's games and those of their competitors become better. Where is Activision and their barrels of money in this mess?
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:09 PM   #16
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PaulZweber, I understand your point, but sports gaming is an entirely different animal--you can't compare it to consumer habits with something like GTA IV. Your average FPS rube will think nothing of buy 10 shooters that have basically nothing different to offer except different skins on an Unreal 3 or CoD4 engine. Why? Because people like blowing stuff up and killing people in games.

Football gamers do not take the same attitude towards buying a football game--it has to have the NFL license, or they'll say "no thanks." Exclusive licensing exists in all genres of games--there is a James Bond exclusive license that went from Rare to EA to Activision/Treyarch...and at those times, nobody else could make an FPS/Action game featuring James Bond. But that didn't STOP people from playing shooters. The problem is that sports licenses are much more pervasive than other licenses, such that you can't simply make an Arena football game that would honestly compete with Madden, or a CBA game that could compete with NBA 2k/Live.

The argument goes that the strength of the licenses EA has acquired (NFL, NCAA football, NASCAR, FIFA, etc.) gives them an equivalent responsibility to take the additional revenues they're getting from exclusivity and reinvest that money to make constantly improved games. Unfortunately, the business side of exclusivity dictates that they're better off pocketing those revenues for shareholders, instead of spending it on marginal improvements that would go unappreciated, or only result in minimally increased sales.
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