Madden 09 News Post

Videogamer has the scoop.

"US sales figures for August compiled by the NPD group have been released, and it'll be great reading for Electronic Arts. The top three selling games for the month are Madden NFL 09 on 360 (1 million), PS3 (643k) and PS2 (424.5k) respectively. Madden NFL 09 on the Wii took ninth place with 115.8k units sold.

Other games performing well in August included the Wii trio of Wii Fit (394.9K), Mario Kart (328.7K) and Wii Play (200.2K), SoulCalibur IV on Xbox 360 (174K), Xbox 360 exclusive Too Human (168.2K) and Guitar Hero: On Tour for Nintendo DS (111.2K)."

Game: Madden NFL 09Reader Score: 7/10 - Vote Now
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Member Comments
# 1 jbrew2411 @ 09/12/08 11:15 AM
Football is the #1 sport in America so use fans of the game that are gamers have to have a football game. I'm one of thoses guys who have to have NCAA and Madden is a wait and see thing. I held out last year like a top pick in the draft but this year I used some points I had from a credit card and got Madden for free and have played it al of 3 hours. I will just wait on the patch like everyone else while EA gets to count me in there sale numbers. I'm a fool.
# 2 rudyjuly2 @ 09/12/08 12:45 PM
Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
I said it in another thread but it probably deserves repeating here, Madden's sales are up a whopping 2% over last year. That includes guys like me who bought into the hype and thought that this would be the year Madden would be greatly improved. It's an okay game, but they've still got a long ways to go. They won't get my money so easily next year, I can tell you that right now.
A 2% increase probably means a lot more money than last year though. Many more copies have been sold of the next gen variety which get $10 more than the past gen games. Even if the sales stayed the same, EA made more money.

Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
Are you kidding? Another year or two of flat sales, and EA/Tiburon can probably kiss the exclusive NFL license goodbye.
It's far too early to be drinking this heavily. EA has a stranglehold on the NFL license and they won't be losing it any time soon. Who else can guarantee that kind of revenue based on millions of sales of a video game?
# 3 Earl1963 @ 09/12/08 01:43 PM
I traded mine in a couple days ago. I had a hard time staying awake while playing it despite how good it is. There were a lot of used ones there too.
# 4 renojedi @ 09/12/08 01:48 PM
Originally Posted by jbrew2411
I will just wait on the patch like everyone else while EA gets to count me in there sale numbers. I'm a fool.
Don't feel too bad on this one, bud. I made the same comment last year thinking '08 would be the best yet. Then the fumble bug followed by the free agent bug that actually killed franchises last year popped up. We ended up waiting for patches for those into November. This year I promised myself no Madden until the bugs are patched. Hopefully it won't be into November again.
# 5 rudyjuly2 @ 09/12/08 01:50 PM
Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
The NFL used to collect royalties from the sale of at least 3 licensed NFL games (Madden, 2k and Blitz). Many of the folks who used to buy 2k still do not buy Madden, as evidenced by the relatively flat sales. So now, the NFL gets royalties from 1 game. It would seem to me that sooner or later, someone at the NFL is going to figure this out. Unless EA pays soooo much for the exclusive that it makes it worthwhile for the NFL, which we don't know since it's never been publicly revealed (to my knowledge). But if that's the case, the relatively flat sales will catch up to EA sooner or later...and come to think of it, we've already seen EA's profit numbers take a dive the last 2 years.
I think the numbers were released generally speaking ($300 million over 5 years initially - http://money.cnn.com/2004/12/14/comm...column_gaming/). The NFL gets at least $60 million per year from this deal which nobody else could come close to paying. The NFL loves exclusive deals like this for some reason. The 2K games (before the $20 price shocker for 2K5) never sold more than 400,000 copies if I remember correctly. Blitz probably did OK but Madden usually sells over 4,000,000 copies across all of its platforms. Nobody else comes close and since the NFL made almost all of its money off the EA football games, it was an easy decision to go exclusive. Even if it meant pissing off a good amount of hardcore football fans.

Hockey, basketball and baseball aren't like football in that each competitor has a sizeable chunk of the market and the overall money involved isn't nearly as big. I think the NFL is happy to death with this deal while I also think it cut into EA's profit margins pretty well. If anyone walks away from this deal it would be EA. But they will continue to sell 4 million copies across all platforms with no competition. Its doubtful they would walk away from that even if it costs them almost $15 per game. They were probably paying close to $10 a game before the exclusive deal (just a guess on my part) so this deal only cost EA an extra $5 per game to kill its competition. It's still a cash cow no matter what.
# 6 Heelfan71 @ 09/12/08 01:57 PM
Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
Are you kidding? Another year or two of flat sales, and EA/Tiburon can probably kiss the exclusive NFL license goodbye. I'm grateful Ian's around, and it sounds like he might finally have the train on the right track (after 4 wasted years on the next gen consoles), but they need us as much (if not more) than we need them.
THose numbers are not flat sales at all. And most people (including me) that I have talked to think this years is the best Madden to date. EA doesn't need us here either. The people at OS are a small fraction of the total sales.
# 7 rudyjuly2 @ 09/12/08 09:04 PM
Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
Remember, EA just reported a net loss for the first quarter of the 2009 fiscal year of USD $ 95 million. Whether they're happy with the exclusive or not, EA's paying for it through the nose...and sooner or later, the stockholders are gonna be upset. When that happens, the people who negotiated the exclusive are going to be on the street.

But that report doesn't say why they lost money. You can't assume Madden lost them money. It could have been for a bunch of other projects while Madden kept them from losing more. Who knows?
# 8 NYyankz225 @ 09/12/08 11:49 PM
There are a lot of reasons for EAs net loss. I can list a few off the top of my head.

Merger of Activision/Blizzard

Lower than expected sales of HD consoles (Primarily the flop of the PS3)

Underestimated success of the Wii

They've been scrambling to reallocate their development studios and it's taken a toll on them. Madden has been the least of their worries. I like when people assume things without any knowledge on the subject.
# 9 GamingJones @ 09/13/08 12:05 AM
A 2% growth when consumer spending is way down is a plus for EA.

Their losses this year have been tied to quite a few acquisitions, not the hardcore fans displeasure with Madden.
# 10 NYyankz225 @ 09/13/08 12:11 AM
Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
How would lower than expected sales of next gen consoles or the underestimated success of the Wii result in reduced profits for EA?
It does when you put all your eggs in the "next gen basket" and totally disregard the Wii. You've got a finite amount of resources ($, labor, time, etc). Every dollar you spend on next gen console development is a dollar you could have spent on Wii development (aka opportunity costs). Companies like Ubisoft played their cards right and had moderate hits on the Wii when it released. EA had to scramble AFTER the fact to get up to speed on Wii development and reorganize their development studios (including the creation of an entirely new Wii only studio). These things cost money, especially when you need it done expeditiously. But these decisions obviously aren't able be changed at the drop of a hat. Game budgets and timelines are made over months and often years, so it takes AT LEAST a year to turn the ship around (or at least add another ship that's going the Wii's way ). EA got caught napping and now they've paid the price in lost profits.

Madden with the NFL is the only sure shot they've got YOY. They'd be idiotic to let it go.
# 11 MikeRo72 @ 09/13/08 12:44 AM
EA hasn't gotten $1 from me in 3 years and counting. Not until they completely rebuild the Madden engine. It's trash, they simply get their sales off of brand name alone and that will only last so long.
# 12 xV3L0CiTY @ 09/13/08 09:00 AM
Originally Posted by MikeRo72
EA hasn't gotten $1 from me in 3 years and counting. Not until they completely rebuild the Madden engine. It's trash, they simply get their sales off of brand name alone and that will only last so long.
Just wait until John Madden refuses, or passes away. EA will be f'd.
# 13 rudyjuly2 @ 09/13/08 11:58 AM
Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
Think about it, Rudy. Madden used to sell 5 million copies before they had the exclusive. According to the numbers you posted (I haven't verified), they paid $300 million for the exclusive. Their development costs haven't decreased...if anything, they've increased on next gen. And they're not really making any more sales...they've pretty much stayed flat since they've gotten the exclusive. So, they're paying a bunch more money now (development costs PLUS the exclusive license fees) than they used to, and they're not really bringing that much more in. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how Madden could NOT be a big cause of their falling profits these last couple of years. To me it seems like a matter of simple math. Again, maybe I'm missing something.
I completely agree that EA will be making less money than they were on Madden. But less money doesn't mean losing money on Madden necessarily. EA chose to make less money to make sure the competition was gone. I'm sure Madden still rakes in the cash.
# 14 Ian_Cummings @ 09/13/08 04:45 PM
Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
I don't disagree with anything you're saying here. But you're talking about profits (from the Wii) that EA never had. You can't lose profits from Wii sales that weren't there to begin with. I'm just saying that, if EA is paying $60 million a year more now to make Madden (using Rudy's numbers), and sales are relatively flat from where they were 4 years ago, it would seem that some part of that $95 million loss is due to the exclusive. Again, maybe I'm wrong.
Yep, you're wrong.

Just think about it - to post a loss, there has to be more money spent than is earned. Madden obviously doesn't fit in that category...the game is made for less money than is earned. As NYYanks said - it's one of the safest "bets" in EA.
# 15 O-Zoan @ 09/14/08 12:02 AM
As much as I hate EA for not caring or listening whatsoever to the customers and fans complaint about the glitches and all the bs in the game I still love football and will continue to buy the Madden games
# 16 Jitters_1981 @ 09/14/08 06:00 AM
Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
I appreciate your presence on this board so no disrespect intended, but therein lies the problem. If Madden wasn't such a safe "bet," then maybe we'd have more than 1 playable camera angle by now (perhaps we'd even have a good behind the Defensive Line cam or even a playable Broadcast view). Maybe suction blocking and in-game saves and the ridiculous OL/DL interaction and other well-known deficiencies wouldn't still be part of the discussion when talking about Madden.

On a personal level, good luck turning this franchise around...I was one of the guys who bought the very first Madden on the Sega Genesis (turning many of my college friends away from Tecmo back in the day) and I'd really like to feel good about spending money on a Madden game again. I feel suckered for having bought it this year, when I fell for the hype but cannot make it through a game on 10 minute quarters without being bored to tears. Getting the thread back on topic, I do feel that if you guys can show some of the innovation and improvements that we're seeing out of NHL, FIFA or even Live, you'll see much more than the 2% increase in sales that you got this year. I was one of the 2% this year...but I won't be next year if MAJOR changes aren't made, no matter how badly I want to play a game using the Steelers.
What I'm wondering, after playing nhl 09, is how much more they are spending on nhl than madden in terms of development costs. Madden has seemed to just wade on the surface for the past 3 years while nhl has made huge jumps in both creativity and new features and modes (that actually work). It has left me scratching my head why they can do it with nhl and fifa and not seem to do it with Madden. Is madden harder to program than nhl? Is it the competition factor? Is it because NHL isn't as "safe a bet" as madden? I'm not trying to troll or be disrespectful to Ian or anyone else but I would love to get an answer on this?
# 17 Lumalu @ 09/14/08 06:10 AM
Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
Many of the folks who used to buy 2k still do not buy Madden, as evidenced by the relatively flat sales.
Even if they did buy Madden, sales would of only increased an extra 0.5%.
# 18 GamingJones @ 09/14/08 05:49 PM
Originally Posted by GTheorenHobbes
I'd bet a bag of donuts that NHL, FIFA and probably even Live will have greater than 2% increases in sales numbers this year. Make a great game, even in a poor economy, and the numbers will be there.

Quick marketing lesson. Madden is in it's mature stage and has already saturated the market. Their isn't going to be great growth by leaps and bounds.

Now what EA did was eliminate competition and has created the ability to dictate its pricing.
# 19 SoxFan01605 @ 09/14/08 06:08 PM
Originally Posted by Nintari
Actually, the 2k series has become bigger in death then it was in life. As great as the game was with 2k5, and as big as it's sales were (more than 2 million across the Xbox and PS2), it's only INCREASED in rep since then. It's become sort of a legend among the gaming community like the Dreamcast. If the NFL decided to shock the world and open the doors up to anyone again, I would guarantee you that NFL 2k10 would outsell Madden 2010 unless Madden managed to really bring it.

Whether it's warranted or not, people view 2k as the Jedi to EA's Empire. If it were to rise again, there would be so much hype and talk about them being "saviors" that it would over take Madden, maybe for good unless EA went back to the way they were last gen when they had to compete.
You are seeming to forget or are ignoring a couple of things. Many of the sales can be attributed to 2K dropping the price to 19.99 in 05. As I recall, Madden still outsold it. Also, as someone already alluded to, while 2K has reached "legend" status in the gaming community it's largely ignored in the mainstream (to at least some small degree this is reflected in sales of APF 2K8). Madden is a sales machine, even in "down" years. It's mass appeal is what causes it to do well. While the "hardcore" market could certainly put a dent big enough for Madden execs to notice as far as sales are concerned, it would be hard to override the following Madden has garnered over the years.

As for the 2% being flat argument, it's tenuous at best. The fact is Madden has a much more established market than the games people are using for comparison. Not all profits are created equal. In addition to raw sales stats, there are two powerful factors that many keep overlooking: loyalty and familiarity...the latter likely being the most influencial. There have been several short term threats to the Madden "throne" but Madden has outlasted primarily for this reason (and while I agree that 2K would have been a more stable long term threat, it's presence would have only pushed a resource heavy EA into having to work harder to keep it's following...I highly doubt 2K would take over, particularly when they would have to raise their price point back up). People tend to be easy. Many fall into what's familiar as it makes them comfortable. 2K probably had the best idea to bypass that to an extent with it's 05 price drop. It's a fair assumption that it would have made EA work, but now all that's moot. EA is doing just fine.
# 20 mva5580 @ 09/15/08 05:51 PM
Originally Posted by dickdalewood
Exactly. Halo 2 DIDN'T sell because it's the greatest game in history... it sold on name and reputation. Just like Madden does every year, and will continue to do as long as it is on the market.
I agree with this guy entirely. Sure, an NFL2K 10 would be highly anticipated, but not by enough people for it to matter. Madden would outsell it 2 to 1, easily. Maybe even 3 to 1.

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