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EA Obtains Exclusive NFL Licensing Rights

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the theory-of-lucrativity dept.

The Almighty Buck 597

Grub writes "EA has signed a 5-year agreement with the NFL that gives them exclusive rights to use NFL players, teams, and stadiums in their products. CEO Larry Probst, 'The five-year agreement will usher NFL fans through the console technology transition with new ideas and innovative game play experiences.' This is a crushing blow to competitors and an enormous victory for EA, who will undoubtably make sure everyone knows that only they have NFL players and teams come next year's football game advertising bonanza."

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597 comments

Damn (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078726)

I thought if there was one site I could escape sports talk, it would be Slashdot. Now I get to read endless posts about football being soccer, etc.

Re:Damn (1)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078767)

I feel your pain. Would be nice to hear some about pro video game players though - 'course there would then be countless posts about quake v unreal and starcraft v warcraft v that farming sim game

OK maybe not the farming sim game...

Re:Damn (5, Interesting)

iocat (572367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078884)

It get's worse: Have you seen Sportsdot [sportsdot.org]?

Anyway this is more a videogame monopoly story than a strict sports story...

NOOOO!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078940)

That was a site I could've lived without seeing.

Re:Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078910)

Now I get to read endless posts about football being soccer, etc.

No, no, no. There is no game called soccer, only football and american football.

fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078728)

first poop fuckers!

Nope,... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078946)

You're shit outta luck on that one. Try again, and if that don't work, try once more - you know, the turd time is the charm. And if that doesn't work, maybe you just have crappy luck.

Sorry about the toilet humor. Couldn't help myself.

Haha, Joke's on EA! (0, Redundant)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078730)

The NFL is following in the NHL's example and going on strike for 5 years! I did hear that there was some negotiating with scab linemen who were going to be hired to pummel uppity programers complaining about being exploited, though.

It's about time (4, Funny)

Cecil (37810) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078732)

I've been waiting for a CFL game to come along.

Re:It's about time (2, Funny)

Dufftron 9000 (762001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078751)

It would certainly take less time to play a CFL based game. There are what, 8 teams? How long can a season take?

Repeat matches (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078809)

There are what, 8 teams? How long can a season take?

Why do you imply ruling out repeat matches in a season? There are thirty teams in the National Basketball Association, and a season takes over 80 games. There are thirty teams in Major League Baseball, and a season takes over 160 games. There are nine teams in the Canadian Football League [www.cfl.ca], and its regular season is 20 weeks long [www.cfl.ca].

Re:It's about time (4, Funny)

gatesh8r (182908) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078843)

Wait! We're talking a CANADIAN Football League!? What next -- hockey in the United States?

Re:It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078845)

Never happen. The CFL is to the NFL like single-A baseball is to MLB. People want to want the big boys play in the big league ... not a bunch of maybes and never-will-be's.

Re:It's about time (2, Insightful)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078893)

People want to want the big boys
not a bunch of maybes and never-will-be's
Yeah because people never go to see a minor league or highschool game right...
Oh yeah right your wrong.

Re:It's about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078906)

" Never happen. The CFL is to the NFL like single-A baseball is to MLB. People want to want the big boys play in the big league ... not a bunch of maybes and never-will-be's."


Maybe it would only take off in Canada but I think you'd be surprised at how much talent is in the CFL. For years, they had players like Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia. And Lawrence Phillips was supposed to turn out being the CFL's best player by far. Let's just say he wasn't.

Re:It's about time (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078859)

" I've been waiting for a CFL game to come along."

Well, you know Bob Young, one of the founders of Red Hat, is a CFL fan. He'd have to be, being the owner of the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats. [ticats.ca] Perhaps we could contact him about seeing what he could do about getting a CFL game out there. :)

Re:It's about time (1)

Crimsane (815761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078863)

I don't really know which i'd rather see come out next year, CFL 2006 or XFL 2002. I'm leaning towards XFL 2002, considering the excellent silicon made polygons that were rampant in those games.

cool - madden is the best game ever anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078733)

I love madden... i didn't even know shit about football until that game. I'm glad/

Did the nigger players sell for 3/5 the cost of... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078734)

...a white player?

Re:Did the nigger players sell for 3/5 the cost of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078942)

Good one. Now you better put those white sheets back on the bed before your wife notices they're missing. Oh tell her I had fun last night, bitch.

patent on football games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078736)

What'll they think of next?

Madden 64... (2, Interesting)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078737)

...was vastly better than NFL Quarterback Club '98 on the N64, and it didn't have the team license. I wonder if Sega (NFL2k) or Midway(NFLBlitz!) will be able to pull the same trick off.

Re:Madden 64... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078784)

Considering the whole point of NFL Blitz is that it isn't realistic, I don't think it'll matter if they have the license or not. I honestly can't remember even seeing a player's name in the game anywhere other than the postgame stat summary screen.

Re:Madden 64... (5, Interesting)

D'Arque Bishop (84624) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078802)

I wonder if Sega (NFL2k) or Midway(NFLBlitz!) will be able to pull the same

It wouldn't be the first time Midway pulled off a football game without an NFL license. Back in 1990 or thereabouts (I forget the exact year), they released an arcade game called High Impact Football which used nonexistent teams. Apparently it did well enough to rate a sequel called Super High Impact Football. (Now, if they'd just include either in Midway Arcade Treasures 3...)

Just my $.02...

Re:Madden 64... (1)

chef_raekwon (411401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078904)

I'd have to agree -- game was better than all the others, and most people chose to play it (in my home town anyways). I definately was one of them...I think I spent more on renting the silly game, than the actual cost to purchase...

Lovely. (5, Insightful)

Spleener12 (587422) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078740)

As if EA wasn't enough of an evil, soul-sucking monstrosity.

Well, football fans, I hope you liked Madden 2005, because you're going to get that same game shoved down your throats with updated rosters for the next five years.

EA needs to die.

Re:Lovely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078759)

Is there really that much difference between Madden 2004 and Madden 2005 anyway, other than the rosters? They should already be having enough trouble selling the updated games without completely stopping on new features.

Re:Lovely. (2, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078772)

But this one says 2006!

Unfortunately, people will still buy them. Too bad more people don't realize that it's the same game!

Re:Lovely. (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078821)

The fact that EA basically releases the same game with an updated roster doesn't bother me one bit.

If you could care less about an updated roster, you can get the 2004 or 2005 version for $5.

Re:Lovely. (1)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078844)

The only problem is that you can't play last year's game online. Not on the PS2 or the Xbox. So, you're actually paying for updated rosters and for the online feature.

Yeah, I don't feel any better about spending $50 for that junk either. I'll be keeping my ESPN NFL2K until the next gen systems come out.

Re:Lovely. (5, Interesting)

Necrobruiser (611198) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078778)

As if EA wasn't enough of an evil, soul-sucking monstrosity.

Can we save some time and just repost all of the "M$ is Evil" posts from the last 5 years and just replace Microsoft with EA in each? It really doesn't take much to bring out the knee-jerk reactions here on /. does it?

Re:Lovely. (2, Interesting)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078891)

I really like some of the games that EA produces. I'm not too into their sports division, never have been, but they have a track record of making some badass software. As for the hours, that's the games industry; love it or get out.

And you know, regarding EA Wife, I've never known a worker who got taken advantage of who didn't consent to it, either by their silence or their signiture. The manager who won't let you take a few days off because you're suffering from a nervous breakdown or your marriage is falling apart is a pretty piss-poor manager, and you should go over their head and explain that to their bosses. Hell, even Starbucks, which I assure you is a far greater evil than EA, has an anonymous whistleblower hotline. A lot of people expect their bosses to read their minds - if you work an 80 hour week without giving "feedback," they assume you're OK with working 80 hour weeks.

Re:Lovely. (5, Informative)

MEGAMAID (791988) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078813)

you're going to get that same game shoved down your throats

Not quite, how is selling a video game shoving it down people's throats? You do realise you don't HAVE to buy it right?
Anyways, the same type of people who buy this re-hashed crap are the same type of people I don't care much for when they are ripped off.

Re:Lovely. (2, Interesting)

sladelink (536962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078826)

If EA gets their way, the NFL won't be the only sports license that they have exclusive rights to; they're also trying to get their hands on exclusive rights to the NBA and MLB (baseball). I think we can rationally guess that EA's attempt to buy up all the rights to ESPN (Visual Concepts) extremely strong sales this year due to the $19.99 price tag and excellent reviews on their games.

So basically, what's EA's response to a better product being produced for less money? Force their competition out by buying all the licensing for their particular brand of games.

Ahhh. . . innovation (5, Insightful)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078742)

"The five-year agreement will usher NFL fans through the console technology transition with new ideas and innovative game play experiences."

Because monopolies (this is a monopoly of sorts) always lead to innovation.

Re:Ahhh. . . innovation (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078783)

Oh who cares, when was the last time you played a truly innovative sports game? By their very nature they can't go beyond the rules of the game they're based on.

Re:Ahhh. . . innovation (1)

nolife (233813) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078873)

Ever played the NFL Blitz series from Midway? I don't know about innovative but it was fun to play.
Getting offtopic here but although the game was fun, it had a very annoying catchup mode or level playing mode. You could hardly ever get more then a 7 point lead without the game providing the losing player some very obvious advantage or big play so they could catch up. One in every three games seemed to go into overtime.

Arcade style sport sims (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078950)

By [sport simulations'] very nature they can't go beyond the rules of the game they're based on.

That sentence makes me believe that you never played NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, or any EA Sports BIG title.

NFL, Players Inc, CFL, and MLS (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078878)

The point of copyright is that monopoly in expression creates diversity in expression.

NFL doesn't have a monopoly on football, just on its team nicknames and logos. Imagine the possibilities if NFL licenses exclusively to one developer and NFL Players Inc [nflplayers.com] licenses exclusively to another: you'd get situations like the early 1990s where one company's game would have real players and fake team logos, while the other had fake players and real team logos. So we have one NFL game, one NFL Players Inc game, one CFL [www.cfl.ca] game, and one of the other kind of football [mlsnet.com].

Heh... (1, Offtopic)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078743)

Good thing I don't like sports.

Re:Heh... (1)

gleepskip (647848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078814)

I see this as a beneficial agreement. It makes room on the shelves for more games that don't have anything to do with the NFL. Plus, Sega can now spend resources on something other than competing with Madden.

Re:Heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078887)

Plus, Sega can now spend resources on something other than competing with Madden.

Like what, that dog turd of an MMORPG based on those shitty Matrix movies?

Re:Heh... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078824)

Most gay men don't. Get back to the bedroom...your boyfriend is waiting.

Re:Heh... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078956)

Gee, I thought football fans were gay. Afterall, what gay man can resist watching men in tights bend over and chase each other?

College? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078744)

I predict a huge upswing in the popularity of NCAA-based games. Or maybe arena league ;)

Re:College? (3, Interesting)

prockcore (543967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078860)

I predict a huge upswing in the popularity of NCAA-based games.

Are you kidding? College is even worse. We at least can display the NFL logo on our *news* site. Not so with college.

The worst offender is college basketball. They've trademarked "Sweet 16" and "Final Four", and you aren't allowed to use those terms as section headings without paying licensing fees. Same goes for team logos.

Re:College? (1)

DanteKy (18566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078864)

Don't hold your breath on this. EA has the only NCAA football game.

Re:College? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078955)

I bet you could get some High School teams :)

Great, now NFL games will run 16 quarters (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078749)

...and play six days per week.

Whatever (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078754)

Oh well, I will just be the SF 48ers the computer can be the GB Hackers. Oh Bred Feasly you SOB run!

Competition goes bye bye (5, Insightful)

rinks (641298) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078756)

I'm sure this has nothing to do with Sega's almost superior (and 30 dollars cheaper) ESPN football debuting this year... I see someone's posted that since Madden's the best game anyway, it doesn't matter. Well, it does matter, since being the only game in town doesn't exactly provide incentive to improve- or do anything but offer gamers the same thing every year with barely cosmetic changes.

Continues Slashdot's anti-capitalist agenda. (1, Insightful)

Meor (711208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078762)

I want to know if there's a single for profit business out there that is cast in a positive light by Slashdot.

Go back to Russia you socialists.

Re:Continues Slashdot's anti-capitalist agenda. (1)

Belsical (238668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078785)

Google. Red Hat. Sun. IBM. Blizzard. Texas Instruments. Intel. AMD. Jeez, the list could go on and on. Essentially, people around here seem to want a balance between capitalism and social responsibility towards progress. Me? I work for Microsoft.

Re:Continues Slashdot's anti-capitalist agenda. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078801)

Think Geek? But really, what do you expect? Are people supposed to be happy for the next five years because the only football game with real players/real teams will be made by one company with no insentive for change?

Rivalry, Monopoly, First-person play (1)

scaryjohn (120394) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078779)

The five-year agreement will usher NFL fans through the console technology transition with new ideas and innovative game play experiences.'

Maybe it's just the Econ major in me, but I thought rivalry inspired innovation. I mean it's not like EA rolled-out first-person play this year.

Disclaimer: I own Madden '04, but I won't be in the market for another console football game in the foreseeable future.

If you can't beat them... (1)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078787)

They just killed all the competition. Good for them, bad for us. Sega's football this year was $30 cheaper and as good or better. It was nice to finally see some real competition in that market. Just shows what competition will do. I'm sure they paid a LOT for this deal.

ea has always been a dirty player with sega (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078792)

first they refused to put out any sports games on the dreamcast, now they're threatened by the very franchise born out of that refusal... so what do they do? grab a monopoly.

i guess i won't be buying any more ea games until the day i die, same with microsoft products.

bastards.

That's great... (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078797)

...because we didn't had enough awful EA sport games!

I need my new football game to replace last years', i hate the cover on that one.

Re:That's great... (1)

swimin (828756) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078862)

Personally I prefer the Madden 2002 cover over all the rest. However, the startup screen is far superior on the 2003. So I keep the 2003 in a 2002 case.

monoply status of the MFL (2, Interesting)

stubear (130454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078798)

Does the monopoly status of the NFL allow it to exclusively grant rights to its brand like that?

Mod Parent Up (1, Insightful)

arashiakari (633150) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078847)

This is NOT a Troll! The NFL is granted a right to have a monopoly by congress, like MLB (Major League Baseball)... and the trade off is that the U.S. congress can sometimes step in and regulate it. This is fair because congress is a proportional representation of the population of the nation according to election - and the NFL did choose to derive their monopoly rights from congress.

SO... if the NFL is granted exclusive rights, are they allowed to themselves grant exclusive rights? It's a fair question, and important considering the ramifications.

Re:Mod Parent Up (3, Informative)

iocat (572367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078911)

Actually, only MLB has an exemption to the anti-trust laws. The NFL does not. In fact, the USFL won an anti-trust suit against the NFL, although the damages awarded were small ($1, increased by statute to $3). You can read more, fan-written details here [thisistheusfl.com].

Re:monoply status of the MFL (4, Informative)

servognome (738846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078919)

The NFL does not have anti-trust exemption like Baseball. From ESPN.COM article [go.com]
Q: Why don't other sports have the antitrust exemption?
A: For 18 years after Toolson, in case after case, judges admitted that the baseball exemption was flawed, but it was never overruled. Exemptions for boxing, football and basketball were denied in the higher courts, while hockey and golf antitrust exemptions were also denied in the lower courts

In fact baseball's anti trust exemption keeps being dwindled away by congress
In 1972, Curt Flood's case -- which also challenged baseball's reserve system -- reached the Supreme Court and although it was again acknowledged that baseball's antitrust exemption was "an anomaly," the Court ruled that it is up to Congress to change baseball's antitrust exemption.
Further reduction of the anti-trust exemption could be coming up soon with the issue of steroids becoming an item on political agendas. Congress will look to pass regulations and possibly remove the exemption if baseball does not police itself steroid use.

Recollections of my past (4, Interesting)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078808)

Back in the 80s I taught myself a new programming language by creating a football game. This was still in the DOS era, so it was very simple graphics of a football field and a football icon that moved forward or back depending on the outcome of the play. It had a scoreboard, running clock, the usual stuff. It was just for fun. But guys at work (where I was doing this -- hey, remember, I was learning a new language for work's sake) saw my program and wanted to play it. So I let them.

I had no intention of sharing it beyond that, but something about using actual NFL teams made me wonder about licensing rights. So I wrote to the NFL and asked them if I wanted to create a private, not-for-profit, not to be spread around game, could I use actual NFL team names? I figured it was a silly question, for why would they object. Probably you are thinking I was an idiot for writing under the universal principle of it's better to be ask forgiveness than to ask permission. Well, I was, but there you are. Anyway, I got a nice letter from NFL headquarters saying, "Thank you for asking, but no, you may not use actual NFL team names since we have entered into exclusive licensing arrangements with game companies." I have no idea which game company (probably early Atari stuff or some nonsense), but the idea of exclusive licensing of NFL names is hardly new. They've been raking in free money on that concept for at least twenty years now.

And no, I didn't change my program. Oh, I tried to make up names like the Comets and the Tigers, but it sounded too hokey, so I left in the real names anyway. NFL lawyers, you may arrest me now.

NFL? WFD! (0, Flamebait)

Chmarr (18662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078815)

So EA has the exclisive rights to produce NFL branded games for 5 years. Who cares? Who the hell plays sports games anyway... I'd much rather play the SPORT than either watch the sport, or play a game based on a sport.

Now, if you can dress me up in a real varia suit and let me go rolling around San Jose blowing up parking meters, then you can get me off this console :)

Commercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078817)

I guess EA will put in five minutes of commercials, mostly for beer and trucks, for every ten minutes of gameplay now that they have monopoly. Ahh just like the real NFL. Double the commericals during the superbowl.

how about Microsoft do a Halo Football game? (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078819)

I think there's room for online sports that doesn't require the consent of Pro Sports Orgs... there are pleny of concepts out there for doing innovative sport games and some of them include using traditional rules from popular sports... some of them don't.

I'd like to see football with fireballs and sleeping spells or baseball with alternative physics at play... why limit sports games to what you can see on TV?

Re:how about Microsoft do a Halo Football game? (1)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078872)

I'd like to see football with fireballs and sleeping spells

This is not exactly untrodden ground. I seem to recall a Sega Genesis game that covered this kind of territory, and there was the Games Workshops Blood Bowl [specialist-games.com] tabletop game, now semi-retired. Someone should pick that license up and run with it.

Re:how about Microsoft do a Halo Football game? (1)

King_of_Crunk (763543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078920)

This is true but lets face it people want to play as their favorite sports figure not someone named Player #00 who plays for the Dallas Cowpolks.

Is it me or does anyone see how EA has taken the MS buisness model now that some competition has challenged their inovation lacking mainstay sports title?

Heck if you cant develop and improve a game or heck even drop the price a bit why not snuff out the competition.

It doesn't stop here. (0, Redundant)

OmgTEHMATRICKS (836103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078823)

I've also heard that EA is now trying to acquire exlusives rights to NBA and MLB teams/players as well. (Serious.) I don't think EA is going to stop until all sports out there, including outerspace horseshoes and water rugby beachball hockey, have their names attached to EA having exclusive rights. (Halfway silly, but you don't need me to tell you that.) -Grub

Who plays NFL games anyway? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078829)

Football is boring.

Boring but profitable. (1)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078954)

It is boring I won't argue but if EA continue to release sport titles every year, it's because there is a large market out there formed of pigeons who will buy every sport title of every year which makes EA richer with these titles that seem all the same other than some player changes and "graphic improvements".

Am I the only one who noticed that in many cases, the games that come with a console from ebay sellers are sport titles?

Have they told the NFL players... (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078830)

...that they will now be required to work 90 hours a week without overtime pay on game systems all over the country?

Re:Have they told the NFL players... (1)

Dekke (829772) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078914)

Unlike coders at EA, the big time players make millions of dollars a year. It might not be worth it to some but I'd almost consider it.

This is just an opportunity (4, Interesting)

Vaystrem (761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078839)

Sega and other football game makers have a unique opportunity at this time to make really amazing College Football Games. There have been a few on the market but they don't generally have the features or support that the NFL games do.

There is a large playerbase that is actively followed. Gamers will still go where the best game implementation is.

Can you imagine how rich the online play would be with leagues composed of every college team would be? It would be fantastic!

Even if they don't go with colleges they could setup entire virtual leagues. Track stats of a 'fake' league online have a team for every state so that you can have large online leagues. Have web based fantasy games setup for when your at work. It could work and be compelling.

They could even stream nightly gaming updates to your xbox (ala machinma) using the ingame engine.

Maybe people will continue to buy EA's games but if Sega does it right, most football gamers will end up buying both, and perhaps spend more time theirs.

Time for CFL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078840)

I think we could use a CFL game for a change.

Canadian Football is clearly superior to all forms
of other football...

I mean, all those american teams in the CFL folded
because the game is too extreme for you guys.

And then, when you tried to start your OWN
extreme football league, what happened? oh yeah,
IT FOLDED.

(Not a football fan, just a Canadian)

How much did it cost? (1)

RotJ (771744) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078841)

At least the cost of licenses that would have gone to the other games in addition to EA's seems like the most sensible answer.

EA Now Rivals M$ and SCO in Scumminess? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078842)

As if we didn't already have a reason to be anti-EA. With the way they are looking to monopolize this market, they appear to be catching up to Microsft and SCO in the "Slashdot Hates Us" category.

EA keeps Madden prices high (1)

doctor_no (214917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078849)

Sad considering this year was one of the most competitive years in football video games with Sega/Take-two releasing ESPN NFL 2K-series at $19.99.

Guess EA would rather spend the extra cash in getting an exclusive license (which I'm sure they paid an arm and a leg for) rather than spending all that money improving Madden in a competive market, or reducing the price of the Madden series to fend off well-made-$20 football games.

When you buy ESPN NFL you support Sonny Bono (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078897)

Of every dollar that goes to a movie-license game or another game licensed by a major movie studio, some cents go to lobbying for anti-consumer copyright legislation. For instance, the $20 MSRP of ESPN NFL 2Kx includes a royalty paid to ESPN and thus to its majority owner, The Walt Disney Company. Disney was behind the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act [losingnemo.com].

Solution for competitors (5, Interesting)

schnitzi (243781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078855)

Competitors should design their products to accept any properly formatted database file of players and stats.

This would allow you to enter in your child's own Pop Warner teams to play against each other.

Of course, there's always a chance that some naughty person might start spreading around a database listing all the real NFL players.

That would certainly be tragic. But it's a risk we might have to take.

It's like Microsoft Office (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078932)

Competitors should design their products to accept any properly formatted database file of players and stats.

Microsoft Word 97 can accept any propeRTFly formatted word processing DOCument. Because Word 97 and later will read .doc and .rtf files saved by newer versions, just skipping over new features that it doesn't recognize, the existing Office 97 and 2000 install base competes with Microsoft's effort to sell copies of Office 2003. Likewise, supporting XML databases of players in one year's tackle football sim would kill the market for next year's product.

Besides, there's often no console-maker-approved way to get data off a PC and onto a game console.

Consumers Lose (1)

ATN (630862) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078858)

As if it wasn't bad enough that sports games get released year after year with incremental changes that are hardly noticable for $60 CDN. Now there's only one choice for NFL football. So EA can release exactly the same game year after year with nothing more than updated rosters (some would argue that that's exactly what they do now).

A sad for consumers indeed.

:) I never buy football games I just feel bad for Joe Six Pack.

I say Sega makes a different kinda game. (1)

OmgTEHMATRICKS (836103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078865)

Called ESPN NadeTheEAHeads 2k6. It's just like football - except you're quarterback, the wide receivers are on the other team(they are EA executives,) and lawyers act as the defensive and offensive line. If you can't succesfully get your grenades to the executives before going past the fourth trial down and they reach the endzone, they win - forever! The game sends out a radio signal to your local EA "re-education" center, self destructs, and CIA officers in "sponsored by EA" bust through the front door of your digital house and kick your ass. Bombs away!

why blast EA?... go after then NFL.. (5, Insightful)

Moustache N Tits (828608) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078885)

you know.. so far there are about 30 (level 1+) comments and I don't see anyone bad mouthing the NFL for this. I can't say I blame EA for going after this agreement. It's in their best interest and will give them a huge edge come next season. Who wants to play an NFL football game where you can't be Michael Vick and the rest of the Atlanta Falcons (or whoever). But what about the NFL for even LETTING this agreement happen?! If you are going to blast EA for going after a monopoly why not blast the NFL for supporting it?! I'd think it would be in their best interest to let more companies get licenses. How many people out there own both NFL 2k5 and Madden 2005?! I know my friend does... I know many people who did. So the NFL got double license fees from one customer. That's GOOD for the NFL. Also, what about all those people who are anti-Madden, either out of principle (for EA's employer practices) or because they just don't like the gameplay as much as NFL 2k5 (or others) like myself. I own 2k5 because I don't like Madden.. the graphics aren't as good, the gameplay is weak. If this deal had been in place last year the NFL wouldn't have gotten ANY of my money, whereas this year they got some from me purchasing NFL 2k5. This just seems like a bad choice for the NFL. It's a shame too because I get some serious football feaver in Aug and Sept and now next year I'll be back playing my old 2k5. Next year the NFL won't be getting any of my money from licensing deals.

Yayyy!!! (1)

kance (681065) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078900)

Another reason not to spend any money on crap EA games that can't even support HDTV 480p and they cost more than the ESPN games?!? Even $20 online poker games can support it and EA doesn't?!? Good thing I'm not a hardcore football video game fan.

at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078909)

there is no exclusive right to the 4th down rule. Oh Canada, how your football pales in comparison...

Stupid me! (3, Interesting)

joeldixon66 (808412) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078912)

I actually thought that the fact that ESPN (Visual Concepts) dropped their prices to $19.95 would cause the competitors (EA) to follow suit. "Pretty good for the consumers - what could go wrong?" I asked.

I guess I've just been answered...

Now we have only once game with the offical licence - which will probably retain the same selling price to make up for the licensing fees.

Damn you EA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078931)

I for one cannot stand EA sports.
This is an evil move, and I will pirate this game out of principle.

This could not be entirely EA's fault... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11078935)

It appears from the article that the NFL were the ones who decided to make their licenses exclusive and that upwards of five different companies bid for said license... I wonder if the other competitors would be shouting foul play if they had taken Madden away from EA...

For the record, I downloaded this years version of Madden and plan on doing it again next year...

Wall Street (4, Informative)

jnguy (683993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078943)

Electronic Arts (ERTS) traded up 3.38 during regular hours trading and went up an additional 3.07 during after hours trading. This is a 6.24% and 5.33% change in a single day. I guess wallstreet really cares who gets to hold on to the francise name.

This is great news! (2, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11078949)

Perhaps I can live to see Cyberball 2072 come to the PC (& Mac).

Cyberball 2072 was the only football-type game I ever found to be fun.

C'mon! Giant robots? Playing football? My pals and I spent many a quarter on that, beating each other senseless.

Screw EA and the NFL. No giant robots, no care.

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