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46 comments

turd! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11495994)

turd!

Translation (2, Funny)

keiferb (267153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11495995)

"We want the rights, damnit! Waaah!"

Wich really means... (1)

SoTuA (683507) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496027)

"You got rights before WE could sign for the exclusive, you sneaky dogs!"

yeah.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496041)

"they're stupid stupid look at us! we're the best! we'ere __EXCLUSIVE__"

as if football(american or soccer), rugby or tennis ever was exclusive.

they need a bitchslap to remind them what games are about..

Re:yeah.. (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496091)

"as if football(american or soccer), rugby or tennis ever was exclusive."

Erm... do you understand what the deal here is? It's about licensing. Licensing means the game looks like what you see on TV. Wanna make a game featuring the Lakers? Gotta pay up.

So yes, there is very much an exclusive to be had here. Ever play a racing game where the car never gets damaged? That's licensing, believe it or not. The owners don't want their cars looking damaged. Heh.

"they need a bitchslap to remind them what games are about.."

Eh. Sorta. They want to make a game that is authentic to the experience as possible. The result is a better game. (or at least one that provides a more immersive experience.) Im sure there's a bitchslap needed here, but not specifically for the reason you mentioned.

Time for open-source player lists (2, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496266)

"Wanna make a game featuring the Lakers? Gotta pay up"

But what can they do about open-source player rosters? The NBL (National Basketball League)'s "L.A. Fakers" featuring Tactille Surreal and Toby Plyant? The mighty "Washington Lizards" with Mickey Gordon? The "Detroit Pissed-off's" featuring Claney Pullups? The Utah Spazz and Chicago Boo? Go ahead and sue, I dare ya. EA will have to face this soon enough when they have to create hockey players for "NHL 2005-2006"

Re:Time for open-source player lists (3, Funny)

jpu8086 (682572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11497024)

FYI, Tactille Surreal got traded to the Miami Feat this past off season. Maybe you were thinking of Lamer Hoodlum.

Re:Time for open-source player lists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11498660)

"NHL 2005-2006," hehe, good point

NHL 2005-2006 (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11507018)

""NHL 2005-2006," hehe, good point"

With the NHL existing for the foreseeable future as an institution that has everything to do with professional hockey except for playing it, I look forward to seeing the evolution of the future games.

The similucrae of real players that currently fill the EA hockey videogames will likely be removed from the games around the time the real person would have retired had he still been a player. Look for the roster of your favorite NHL team to slowly fill with goaltending ducks, man-sized slapshotting lizards, and other colorful talking animals, aliens, and robots as EA tries to add some "pizzazz" to this dead-end videogame/sport tie-in franchise.

I'm really looking forward to "Brendan Snail-a-han" being introduced to the Red Wings line-up. This scorin' Escargot will be the only player who acts as his own Zamboni.

Re:yeah.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11500990)

the game itself would be just as good _game_ if the team name was Los Angeles Fakers.

Re:yeah.. (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496233)

American football is not exclusive. The NFL is.

Baseball is not exclusibe. The MLB is.

Unfortunately, we have been trained to believe that the NFL is football and that MLB is baseball.

I like watching highschool ball, and minor league baseball (affiliated with MLB). Not the highest level of the sport. But if more people could take or leave the big leagues, we would not have 8 figure contracts and multi-million dollar licensing deals.

You say "they" need the bitchslap. I think the American public does. Paying extreme amounts of money to watch grown men play a game... idolizing criminals and buying their shoes... EA and others are the symptom not the disease.

Correct me if I am wrong (2)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496310)

"Baseball is not exclusibe. The MLB is."

Not sure on this, but I think that professional baseball is ALL controlled by the "MLB" due to a congress-granted monopoly. Every minor-team I know if is affiliated with major-league team. Someone clarify this for me?

If true, then NFL is not all pro football, but MLB is all pro baseball. Outside of MLB, what is there in the U.S.? Maybe, just maybe, you can name your neighbor's kid who is in Little League.

Re:Correct me if I am wrong (1)

PapaBoojum (232247) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496647)

Every minor-team I know if is affiliated with major-league team.

No, there are many independent minor league teams and leagues.

IIRC congress has essentially granted MLB protection from anti-trust lawsuits, not granted them true exculsive monopoly status.

Re:Correct me if I am wrong (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496717)

Congress has granted a monopoly to MLB. The St. Paul Saints [saintsbaseball.com] are AFAIK the only minor league team not affiliated with a major league team. They made a big deal about this when they first started about 10 years ago, but I haven't heard much lately, so there might be more now. I'm pretty sure they are still MLB affiliated somehow though.

Re:Correct me if I am wrong (2, Informative)

PapaBoojum (232247) | more than 9 years ago | (#11497151)

Congress has granted a monopoly to MLB.

No, congress granted MLB exemption from antitrust laws. Not the same thing.

The St. Paul Saints are AFAIK the only minor league team not affiliated with a major league team. They made a big deal about this when they first started about 10 years ago, but I haven't heard much lately, so there might be more now.

I don't know how they can claim that. There have been independent teams, and entire independent leagues around for quite a while. More now, since MLB contracted its minor league affiliations 10-15 years ago, but IIRC there have always been ~some~ independent teams. The Frontier League, Independent League, Northern League are all (at least mostly) independent teams.

Re:Correct me if I am wrong (1)

GloomCover (757640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11500998)

Actually, there is a competing league not affiliated with MLB now, the Northern League. My local team is the Kansas City T-Bones. They did fairly well last season and I even had a chance to go out and support them a few times. The stadium was small, but quite nice given the fact it doesn't have a major league team's resources.

It doesn't have to be exclusive. (3, Insightful)

2Flower (216318) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496077)

All it has to do is lock EA out of a market, and that's what Take Two has done. Without EA as a competitor they have an area of exclusivity, of sorts... they have to compete with first party offerings, but since when has Sony or Nintendo cared that much about baseball? Microsoft is keen due to buying the High Heat franchise, but that's it.

Re:It doesn't have to be exclusive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11496141)

" but since when has Sony or Nintendo cared that much about baseball?"

Speaking of...

"In a surprise move, Nintendo today announced it will release its own baseball title, Nintendo Pennant Chase Baseball. The game is being developed by Exile Interactive, the studio that brought Sega's World Series Baseball 2K3 to the plate. It will be available on April 4 exclusively for the GameCube."

more here: http://www.gametab.com/news/205656/ [gametab.com]

Re:It doesn't have to be exclusive. (1)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496774)

Oh man that's hilarious. Someone at TakeTwo just sat down feeling sick to their stomach...all that money....someone mod the parent up, fantastic.

Re:It doesn't have to be exclusive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11496852)

Oddly enough, I read about that elsewhere immediately before reading this story on Slashdot. It makes me wonder if this game's development was the reason Take-Two's exclusivity deal was crippled with the first-party loophole. To answer the gp's question, Nintendo cared about baseball once before, when they had their own baseball series starring Ken Griffey, Jr.

Re:It doesn't have to be exclusive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11498374)

And you'll notice that said series did not use players' names...

Re:It doesn't have to be exclusive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11498502)

If you're talking about Griffey, I wouldn't know. Either way, it still refutes the insinuation that Nintendo never cared about baseball.

Re:It doesn't have to be exclusive. (1)

Bulln-Bulln (659072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11497268)

since when has Sony or Nintendo cared that much about baseball?

Never [go.com] . I'm [ign.com] sure [ign.com] .

Re:It doesn't have to be exclusive. (1)

Toddarooski (12363) | more than 9 years ago | (#11499347)

I'm not even sure it's done that. What's to stop Sony from publishing MVP Baseball 2006? If I were them, and I had to choose between that and 989's offering, I know what I'd pick...

Re:It doesn't have to be exclusive. (1)

Delphiki (646425) | more than 9 years ago | (#11500334)

It still has to make enuogh money selling their baseball game to pay for the exclusivity deal. Even if they locked everyone else out of the market that still isn't a done deal. EA might have a point. Will this really let Take Two sell enough additional copies to pay for the licensing agreement? I highly doubt it. Baseball games sell about 25% as many copies as football games.

Kettle sees pot - film at 11 (1)

Mirkon (618432) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496241)

EA is paying exclusive prices to be labeled monopolistic and become singlehandedly responsible for the inevitable downfall of the sports game market. That money doesn't sound too smart to me.

Re:Kettle sees pot - film at 11 (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11497696)

While I want to say EA is responsible. It isn't entirely. The U.S court system need to stretch monopolistic practices to cover these cases. And it hasn't. EA can potentially own 90% of the video game industry. If that's not monopoly, I don't know what is.

ARGH! (0)

GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496246)

This is getting pretty annoying. Enough with the EA crap already, this is practically a nonstory.

I wish I could mod Zonk (-1, Troll)

In related news, an EA exec recently left only a 14% tip at a local diner, causing untold outrage and mobs-with-pitchforks action across the county. A resident IT employee and avid video gamer was quoted as saying "SEE! Incontrovertible proof that EA is the devil! Rabble rabble!"

Pfft. /. has actually tempered my own hatred of EA (sizable for years now) to the point where I care less about their actions and more about not wanting to read about it here.

[/rant]

Re:ARGH! (1)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11497473)

Dude, it's NEWS. The ongoing EA-buys-X saga is one of the more interesting things going on in the game industry right now, especially since we're in the post-christmas drought.

Take-Two has only bought MLB players rights. (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496265)

It will be interesting if EA can manage to get exclusive rights to team names and logos.

Re:Take-Two has only bought MLB players rights. (1)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496465)

Take-Two could make Nike brand dream teams similar to the commerical where Michael Vick completes a touchdown pass to Terell Owens.

Re:Take-Two has only bought MLB players rights. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11502793)

Hey, yeah! Here's a slogan for them: "Fantasy Baseball 2006! Why let someone else build Your Dream Team?"

Take-Two responds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11496380)

Oh yeah? Well...well...um.... our employees work overtime *and* regular time for free. So who's the loser now!

License is important (4, Interesting)

tm2b (42473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496729)

A lot of people replying to this seem to think that the only significant allure to a baseball game is to, well, play baseball. That is, to simulate hitting a ball and running around bases, or to catch the ball and throw it to the right person fast enough.

That's not what this is about. Many, many people (I believe probably the majority of these games' customer base) are interested not in the game as an abstract activity, but as competition among the teams and players they know so well.

They're already personally involved with the characters, both sympathetically and antagonistically- viewing this as about the game of baseball is like ignoring the difference between a random space opera shooter with some new characters and a licensed Star Wars game where you can play Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, or Boba Fett and where you can kill Jar Jar Binks. It's providing interaction with the characters they know.

Plus if you're a cubs fan (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11496953)

You can actually see an approximation of them winning a Pennant. *rimshot*

Re:License is important (1)

guybrush876 (766715) | more than 9 years ago | (#11502725)

I agree character recognition is a strong sell point, but initial Pro evolution soccer games proved in Europe that if your game is better you can sell it.
Other way to go is allowing costume teams and have the fans develop the teams.
Also you can go the Nintendo way and use other characters like game, or even cinema, if you have the license.
Other solution could be to ask the people to join the put up a website and people would submit their photo and name, at least does that made the cut would buy the game :)

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11496925)

This is ballzy granted BUT, they can use there GTA name and make a game like Baseball: the real game. You know have players pick up prostitutes, getting busted by the cops, dug scandals and what not. Makes for one heck of a game when your managing



Seriously, they can do a lot with this game that EA cannot/ will not. if thy focused on decent graphics with good playability they will beat EA, but probably not quite as bad as EA beats there employees. (rim shot)

The rest of the quote (1)

superultra (670002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11497261)

After saying "As far as we're concerned, this looks like stupid money. They are paying an exclusive price for a nonexclusive agreement" Brown continued by laughing and stating "I bet Take-Two actually pays their employees for working overtime. Suckers."

Fantasy leagues, too? (1)

Geckoman (44653) | more than 9 years ago | (#11498862)

It's not clear from text of the agreement that I've seen published so far exactly what the scope is. From Gamespot:
"Take-Two will have exclusive rights among third-party publishers to develop and market simulation, arcade and manager-style baseball video games on the current and next-generation PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, personal computer and hand-held video game systems."
"Manager-style" and "personal computer" could easily be construed as also applying to fantasy baseball leagues, which are a pretty significant business. If that's the case, this wouldn't just affect EA, but an entire ecosystem of fantasy league services, websites, and applications.

Re:Fantasy leagues, too? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 9 years ago | (#11499286)

I imagine it only applies if you are using the player names, team names, logos and such that are owned by/licenced by the major league baseball people.

Re:Fantasy leagues, too? (1)

Geckoman (44653) | more than 9 years ago | (#11500087)

Which is pretty much how fantasy leagues work, isn't it?

This is not a suprising corporate response. (1)

PocketPick (798123) | more than 9 years ago | (#11500164)

EA's response is not due to the fact that the MLB deal was worthless, but rather was caused by the need to save face in front of shareholders. If EA were to have returned fire with a 'We are disappointed with the current arrangement between Take-2 and MLB ...' or 'We regret blah blah blah', thier stock would no doubt take some form of a hit. Capital from investors is largely based on trust in corporate governance and predictions of future revenue. If an executive were to indicate that the outlook had been hurt from this deal, the market would of pounced on it quickly. Investors are just that way.

Was there some air of 'over-confidence' in it the statement though? Probably, but if there was, it was hot-air. EA's MVB Baseball is about a $40 to $45 million dollar revenue stream according to recent sales figures, meaning that EA will likely lose a nice chunk of earnings. That is, of course, provided that they don't find a really creative way to market newer iterations of thier MVP Baseball games that compensates for a lack of player licenses. That or they'll layoff employees.

Sidestepping the license (1)

Intellectual Elitist (706889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501706)

I believe that all you have to do to circumvent the license is avoid the use of team names, team logos, player names, and player likenesses. That means that you can still refer to the teams by their city or state, still use their team colors, and still use the players' numbers without getting sued. IIRC, the original John Madden Football did this very thing because it didn't have an NFL license.

Sure, this would be less appealing than the real deal -- but many people would find it to be a reasonable substitute for a lower price, especially if they could input player names and edit team rosters themselves.

Allow me to applaud (1)

Drantin (569921) | more than 9 years ago | (#11500302)

Take Two for ensuring that EA cannot get an exclusive rights deal with yet another sport conglomeration while still allowing EA and others the ability to contract and use the names of the players in a healthy competition. May the maker of the best MLB-licensed game win.

Disclaimer: I hate sports games.

adverbs, please (1)

FuroTheRed (724505) | more than 9 years ago | (#11501602)

Apparently grammar is NOT something they "take real serious" at EA.

Fantasy Baseball likely not a part of the deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11504953)

MLB.com has exclusive rights to fantasy baseball [sportsbusinessnews.com] and online content involving the MLBPA and it's logos. I would curious to know if this will affect any of the online play of future MLB games.

All this "exclusive licensing rights" stuff is going become a pain in the ass. I never liked the Sega-produced or 989-produced NFL games, but having the option was never a bad thing. These CEOs are nuttier than squirrel turds.
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