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EA & ESPN

Booyah! ESPN and EA Sign Agreement for Sports Games (thanks Frans) announces another sports signing for EA, as they have inked an exclusive 15-year deal with ESPN for their established sports simulations, as well as "new sports games to be published by EA based on ESPN media properties" (ESPN the magazine - the game?). Here's a bit:

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 17, 2005--Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS - News) and ESPN today announced a long-term agreement for the development and integrated marketing of EA SPORTS games containing ESPN content. The relationship will include established EA SPORTS franchises -- which will be enhanced by ESPN telecast, print and online content -- as well as new sports games to be published by EA based on ESPN media properties. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The agreement gives EA access to ESPN programming, personalities and integrated marketing opportunities on ESPN television programming and other ESPN properties. The ESPN integration will appear in EA SPORTS console, handheld, PC and wireless games beginning in 2006 upon the conclusion of ESPN's existing video game licensing commitments.

On this topic, EA teams up with ESPN, Madden on the way out? on CNN Money speculates that this may mean an end (boom!) to the John Madden Football series.

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22. No subject Jan 18, 2005, 14:42 Kxmode
 
Government needs to step in and do something. This exclusivity with all these sports outlets is bordering on a sports video game monopoly. Once EA achieves that they can charge whatever they want for their games because they know gamers will pay it if they want to play "officially licensed" versions.


This comment was edited on Jan 18, 14:51.
 
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21. Haha Jan 18, 2005, 13:49 venomhed
 
Yea, Robbie Williams is my hero!

Anyways, what I find hard to believe is that EA has a treasure trove of classic games that could EASILY be revamped and made anew.

Wasteland, Starflight, Sentinnel Worlds, M.U.L.E., System Shock (3) and since they own Origin, Autoduel, Moebius, 2049 A.D. etc.

They keep trying to be too mainstream and buddy buddy with Hollywood. Then again they did make the outstanding BF1942 which really is an incredible game.

When I worked there from 1997-99, I couldn't tell you just how pompous and uncarring the higher up folks were. Buying new Dodge Vipers and Porches EVERY year yet not paying overtime? We nearly had a strike back then lead by another guy and myself. We got our overtime, and we got blacklisted.
EA will go down in my memory as the WORST place I have ever worked at. Greedy, pushy, hostile takeovers are still going on even today, with no end in site.

"EA, totally not in the game."

 
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20. Re: when they say it's 'good for consume Jan 18, 2005, 11:41 Rhino
 
For anyone who doubts EA being somehwat on the clueelss side when it comes to what is in the best interests of gamers/consumers, I offer you this:

This quote from a BBC article, located here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4180453.stm during which EA discusses wishing to go toe to toe with mainstream media. Thanks, Bluesnews, as I had grabbed the link from this site, originally.

'Mr Bolz said video game firms had to work more closely with celebrities.

"People will want to play video games if their heroes like Robbie Williams or Christina Aguilera are in them." '

 
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19. when they say it's 'good for consumers' Jan 18, 2005, 07:25 human
 
You KNOW it's a lie.

Anytime you get a big company like this buying out all the competition, and behaving like a bunch of assholes (as EA has), WHO WOULD BELIEVE THEM WHEN THEY SAY CONSOLIDATING THE MARKET IS GOOD FOR CONSUMERS?

Fuck EA!

 
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18. Re: I think ... Jan 18, 2005, 03:39 Warskull
 
One of the best ways to take a chunk out of EA is start refering people to other games. For almost every EA game out there a similar game exists that is far superior.

A lot of the people who play EA games simply don't realize there is anything better. If you have never had a good steak you have nothing to gauge how bad the poor steaks you eat are.

 
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17. I think ... Jan 18, 2005, 02:41 WiillyWonka
 
We should start a world-wide anti-EA assualt. I'm not really a supporter of petitiononline but that would be a good base to start informing the uninformed.

--------
"EA... Buy everything... *cough* I mean. Challenge everthing..."

 
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16. Ugh Jan 18, 2005, 00:49 Creston
 
So now ESPN's production values are going to be added to EA baseball, starting 2006?

Hey, it's probably a great game, I just don't enjoy having to push 17 buttons and watch four gauges to make my shortstop throw to first base. And any game that doesn't carry over stats from season to season isn't a real baseball game to begin with.

Sigh. EA's dominance of the market is beginning to really annoy me. It's time for Microsoft to just fucking buy them, just out of spite. I can just picture Microsoft going to EA and saying "Pick the highest number you can think of", then writing a check for that number.

Creston

 
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15. Re: I don't understand Jan 18, 2005, 00:16 ProdigyXL
 
Shit I better take my soul off the market, I was going to sell it to the Devil, but I hear they are in talks for a hostile take over of Hell.

 
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14. Sigh... Jan 17, 2005, 20:52 nier
 
I remember when EA stood for at least a semblance of quality, back in the days of Undying and Alice. Once I heard that they'd stop making M-rated games for the time being due to low market appeal, I knew the company would gone downhill. Lo and belold, it has.

I haven't bought an EA product for four years.

 
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13. Re: hmmm Jan 17, 2005, 20:14 Warskull
 
You know what? Depending on how this goes, it could be a minor boon (at least madden-wise). It would at least potentially improve the in-game info pop-ups and whatnot; show better stats or something; if the graphics for the stats & info will get espn-ized, which could be a bit of an improvement. The ticker too. The online experience could be spiced up a bit too - some ESPN-style highlights of games 'around the league' could be nice while you're waiting to begin a match...

I highly doubt EA will do anything other than rebrand the Madden series. They are buying the name not the quality that sega would provide in their games.

As for pirating EA games, seriously the stuff they make isn't worth the bandwidth you waste pirating it. Just let your friends know that everything EA makes is crap. Educating the ignorant hurts EAs bottom line a lot more than pirating a game you would never buy and will probably end up playing for no more than an hour.

 
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12. Re: madden gone... Jan 17, 2005, 19:38 Parallax Abstraction
 
Nothing like slapping new Jerseys and names on players and doing a year+ attribute. And $-50 to your bank account.

Yeah, but if people keep buying the games, EA will never learn. People bitch about EA and then buy their stuff. Amazing.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
StateOfGaming.org Coming Soon
 
Parallax Abstraction
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11. Stop Piracy Jan 17, 2005, 18:57 venomhed
 
You guys better not pirate any EA games! It is really hurting their bottom dollar, and with prices going up to $60 a game, due to world wide piracy, I wouldn't be surprised if EA went out of business next year!

Gosh darn you piraters!

(Right as I flick on Bit Torrent and grab all the EA games I can)

Fuck EA man. I worked their, and the top people are the biggest fucking pricks of all time. Some even buy a new porsche every year! And here they can't even pay over time to their workers.

I would feel bad for NOT pirating EA games.

 
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10. hmmm Jan 17, 2005, 18:37 Devster
 
You know what? Depending on how this goes, it could be a minor boon (at least madden-wise). It would at least potentially improve the in-game info pop-ups and whatnot; show better stats or something; if the graphics for the stats & info will get espn-ized, which could be a bit of an improvement. The ticker too. The online experience could be spiced up a bit too - some ESPN-style highlights of games 'around the league' could be nice while you're waiting to begin a match...

Just for the love of pete, don't abandon the PC. There are no real sports games options for us other than EA.

Use your head, don't lose it - Don't feed the trolls!
 
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Use your head, don't lose it - Don't feed the trolls!
Boycott Belligerent Boycotters!
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9. What a bunch of shit. Jan 17, 2005, 18:32 mrniceguy
 
"This relationship was created to benefit consumers who are passionate about sports games," said Larry Probst, Electronic Arts Chairman and CEO. "EA SPORTS recreates the real life experience fans enjoy while watching or playing their favorite sport; while ESPN programming captures the look, sound and excitement of the sports they follow. Together, we believe we can significantly grow the interactive sports category."

i.e. We believe the ESPN product is a real competitor, being that it is better than ours and costs less than half as much. Our agreement will create the supply bottleneck we're so interested in having... shitty games, high cost, AND no competition. (I'm still with you ESPN.)

 
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8. Re: What the--?? Jan 17, 2005, 18:29 S_DOG34
 
But who can ever forget the EA slogan, "Always low prices, always."

Oh...I guess I got EA and Walmart confused.

 
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7. What the--?? Jan 17, 2005, 18:03 KezClone
 
You've GOT to be kidding me.

*flips the bird to EA just on principle*

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6. Re: No subject Jan 17, 2005, 17:41 Pete
 
Yeah but the part that sucks (coming from a hockey fan) is that Sega ESPN hockey series has been blowing the doors of the EA crap franchise...this SUCKS!


I think Sega is calling it gretzky something or other now.

swg free and loving it
 
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5. Re: No subject Jan 17, 2005, 17:35 Ruffiana
 
You stop buying their games and they just lay off their overworked employees and retire to their own private island.

Who really wins in that situation...that's right, the terrorists!

 
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4. Re: No subject Jan 17, 2005, 17:25 human
 
Hurray for EA! Overwork your people, put out shitty games, monopolize the market!

They're never going to see another dime of my money ever again.

 
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3. No subject Jan 17, 2005, 17:23 Robitaille20
 
Yeah but the part that sucks (coming from a hockey fan) is that Sega ESPN hockey series has been blowing the doors of the EA crap franchise...this SUCKS!

 
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