Madden NFL 13 News Post

Kotaku's Owen Good has posted an article detailing his thoughts on how EA's "Military Helicopter" lawsuit affects the Madden license.

Of all ironies, it's Electronic Arts now asking a judge to rule that some video game depictions of real-life names and symbols and products don't need a license.

The video games publisher is suing the maker of a military helicopter, plainly hoping to establish a precedent that expands creative freedom for all video game developers. But if EA's notorious for anything involving licenses, it's the ones it holds that prevent others from building similar games.

So is EA going to kill its own golden goose, which makes Madden the sole NFL football game, and Need for Speed the only place where you'll find Porsche? That seems doubtful, even if they win out all the way to the Supreme Court.

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Member Comments
# 1 kjcheezhead @ 01/22/12 02:15 PM
That doesn't mean it's open season for anyone to make a sports video game without league permission. My guess is if Tecmo were to do today what it did in 1989, it could expect a lawsuit from the NFL, if not on legal principle then at least to defend the value of the league's exclusive license. Anyone doing this kind of thing also risks a court order prohibiting even the game's development as the matter is tried.
Further, to build a game without a license would be an act of war that ended not only any hope of future cooperation with the NFL and the NFLPA, but many other sports leagues and unions would likely refuse, too. If not out of solidarity or legal principle, why do business with someone who'd otherwise turn around and use your likenesses, maybe with a few fig-leaf alterations, for free?
That explains why 2k and SCEA haven't made a generic game to all those who are always asking.

But that's not to say that these licenses couldn't become less expensive if another developer actually builds a game with no league permission. It wouldn't have to be a full console disc, either, it could just simply be an independent game that, if the NFL doesn't or can't stop it, diminishes the premium EA Sports pays for exclusivity.
I think Tecmo Throwback missed their chance on this one. If they had used the correct team colors and current player likenesses with fake names, it might have set a precedent.

I still think the lack of a competitor waiting to jump in if EA drops the ball diminishes the value of exclusivity but it doesn't matter if EA contiues to pay it I guess.
# 2 GiantBlue76 @ 01/22/12 04:45 PM
There will never be another NFL game made. There is no sense in worrying about it. EA has already succeeded in ruining video game football. Madden has been a terrible and total fail. The football gameplay is just short of atrocious and it's missing the majority of the things that make NFL football what it is. Every year, we go through this discussion. It's pointless. The only thing you can hope for is that someday EA can get it right, but that's been a lost cause too. EA will spend their last dollar on that license if they have to.

Forget about another football game, forget about the end of the exclusive. If I was 2k, I would make a great generic football game that's 100% customizable. Create an amazing franchise mode that works online and offline and it would be successful. Like Chase said in his review on here, Madden is not a good simulation of the real NFL. It's an ok game that's fun to play for a while, but it falls way short of simulating the NFL. It lacks polish, innovation and is missing too much of the real NFL elements. Nothing will change this generation, the team put in place is mainly for the next generation of consoles. EA has a chance to get it right here, but their track record speaks otherwise. Maybe some day we will see football get to the level of the other sports genres.
# 3 Blzer @ 01/22/12 04:52 PM
What about that thing a year or two back that said the NFLPA is really a union comprised of 32 separate entities? Was that just a rumor?
# 4 scoonie05 @ 01/23/12 10:53 PM
Oh boy, not again "sighs"
# 5 iva-chargers-fan @ 02/12/12 12:05 PM
Its sad that my favorite madden has been Madden 06 for PS2!!! that's just sad EA next gen has been nothing but a fail, you guys worrie, spend a lot of time and make original team entrances when after we see it one time we skip your (who knows how long it took you) work, when you guys could be fixing CB coverage or OL blocking!!! I've bought madden every year since 05-12 but I'm NOT gonna buy 13, rather spend my money in better games!! Not just a 60$ roster update!!!
# 6 PRO318 @ 02/12/12 12:29 PM
2k should try suit like that company did about the deal with the hats being only one company that can make nfl hats

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