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Competition Creates Better Games is Baloney

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Old 09-01-2009, 10:29 AM   #105
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Fair. But I think we're really pushing up against the ceiling of how much more you can improve these games from a graphical standpoint, and the types of innovations that were needed to make a game "realistic" in the mid-90's made up a much larger laundry list than the things we complain about now. And given the cost of everything, I think this was the direction we were heading anyway.

Let's not forget that if not for Grand Theft Auto IV, 2k Games may very well have been BOUGHT by Electronic Arts, and this whole 2k vs. Madden debate would've become moot anyway. With the exception of SCEA's excellent baseball game (The Show), 2k is the only company even bothering to try and make games that compete with EA, and they're losing money on all of them.

Everything is bigger now. It's analagous to the movie industry--something like Star Wars could never happen now, becuase people would never tolerate an action film on a bare bones budget. Throw in a copy of some of these 1990's football games you're talking about, and you'll realize just how bad they are. So, it's tough to look back on those "glory days" and pretend like it's realistic for 2-5 different game developers to split up all their sales making NFL football games--it just can't happen anymore.

As long as we see improvements in Madden like we saw this year (FINALLY), I'm fine with EA having the only game in town, so long as they continue to improve their product and hire the creative minds that would've gone to make rival games at 2k and the like.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:05 AM   #106
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Re: Competition Creates Better Games is Baloney

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Originally Posted by StormJH1

Let's not forget that if not for Grand Theft Auto IV, 2k Games may very well have been BOUGHT by Electronic Arts, and this whole 2k vs. Madden debate would've become moot anyway. With the exception of SCEA's excellent baseball game (The Show), 2k is the only company even bothering to try and make games that compete with EA, and they're losing money on all of them.
And this is not because exclusive licensing? It is a commonly known fact that a solid pro football game can support an entire sports gaming division. That's why there were so many competitors in the market. Hell, we have companies still making unlicensed football games. That's how much pro football is valued in the sports gaming market. I find it hard....impossible to believe that companies would've just stopped making football games if the license was available.

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Everything is bigger now. It's analagous to the movie industry--something like Star Wars could never happen now, becuase people would never tolerate an action film on a bare bones budget. Throw in a copy of some of these 1990's football games you're talking about, and you'll realize just how bad they are. So, it's tough to look back on those "glory days" and pretend like it's realistic for 2-5 different game developers to split up all their sales making NFL football games--it just can't happen anymore.

As long as we see improvements in Madden like we saw this year (FINALLY), I'm fine with EA having the only game in town, so long as they continue to improve their product and hire the creative minds that would've gone to make rival games at 2k and the like.
This would be true if there weren't companies out there willing to develop a NFL game. Again, I just find that hard to believe. In 2002, NFL Fever pushed the graphical limits. We are seeing the same thing with The Show. You wouldn't think that these first party companies wouldn't develop a NFL game to show off there hardware?
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:51 PM   #107
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Rocky, where is Microsoft's baseball game for 360, then? If every developer is just so eager to throw another sports title into the fire and get their clocks cleaned by an established competitor, then why don't they just do it?

You say that a "solid" pro football game can anchor an entire sports gaming division, but how many "solid" pro football games do you think there can be? Fever, Blitz, High Heat, Triple Play, 989 Sports...these weren't products and divisions that ceased to exist because of exclusive licensing...they either sucked or didn't sell. So, they were discontinued or re-branded.

Even NFL 2k5 didn't attempt to compete with Madden on equal footing. They released a $20 game 3 weeks in advance of Madden. If you read pretty much any review of 2k5 at that time, not only did they still score Madden higher, but they figured in the low cost into their score. Do you really think that charging $20 for your lead football title (which 1/5 as many people will buy as your competitor) is a sustainable business model for "anchoring a sports gaming department?" Hell no! It was a desparate move on their part to cut into EA's sales, it didn't work, and it prompted the nuclear option on the part of EA, which was to buy the exclusive license so they could keep selling their product at $49.99, just like practically every other major video game release at the time was.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:00 PM   #108
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jhawkmike, agreed with your analysis and your point (which I also made earlier), which is that Madden's biggest competitor is and has always been last year's version of Madden. In 2004, nobody really asked the question "Should I buy Madden or 2k?" because for an additional $19.99, you could have them both. Madden is an institution, not merely a video game that comes out once every August. You can't compare it to something like NBA 2k10 because that game actually has a chance of being outsold by a competitor. Madden never had that risk, not even when 2k5 was trying to undercut their sales.

And review scores will tell you nothing because sports reviewers treat every sports game like a "sequel". For example, the score for Gears of War 2 had much more to do with what that game offered over Gears of War 1, versus how something like Gears compared to other shooters or titles from other genres. Likewise, the "87" score for Madden 10 isn't some objective number you can use as a standard of quality for all times...but rather, it's basically saying that Madden 10 is 0.3 points better than Madden 09.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:43 PM   #109
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:31 PM   #110
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Re: Competition Creates Better Games is Baloney

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Originally Posted by StormJH1
Rocky, where is Microsoft's baseball game for 360, then? If every developer is just so eager to throw another sports title into the fire and get their clocks cleaned by an established competitor, then why don't they just do it?

You say that a "solid" pro football game can anchor an entire sports gaming division, but how many "solid" pro football games do you think there can be? Fever, Blitz, High Heat, Triple Play, 989 Sports...these weren't products and divisions that ceased to exist because of exclusive licensing...they either sucked or didn't sell. So, they were discontinued or re-branded.

Even NFL 2k5 didn't attempt to compete with Madden on equal footing. They released a $20 game 3 weeks in advance of Madden. If you read pretty much any review of 2k5 at that time, not only did they still score Madden higher, but they figured in the low cost into their score. Do you really think that charging $20 for your lead football title (which 1/5 as many people will buy as your competitor) is a sustainable business model for "anchoring a sports gaming department?" Hell no! It was a desparate move on their part to cut into EA's sales, it didn't work, and it prompted the nuclear option on the part of EA, which was to buy the exclusive license so they could keep selling their product at $49.99, just like practically every other major video game release at the time was.

I'm pretty sure ALL those games cease to exist because of licensing. You could've used some better examples.

And clearly 2K's strategy with NFL2K5 worked. They outsold Madden on the XBOX and severely cut into their market...which could've paid huge dividends with the jump to next gen consoles looming.
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:56 PM   #111
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Re: Competition Creates Better Games is Baloney

College Hoops is the saddest example. Absolutely no competition (EA's college basketball games were unplayable garbage until '09) yet they created the best sports game to date on next-gen platforms and still the series was killed off.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:53 AM   #112
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Re: Competition Creates Better Games is Baloney

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College Hoops is the saddest example. Absolutely no competition (EA's college basketball games were unplayable garbage until '09) yet they created the best sports game to date on next-gen platforms and still the series was killed off.
EA's game was garbage, but it was still an "EA" game. It sold 210,000 copies and College Hoops 2k8 sold 170,000 copies.
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