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ConsoleSports has posted an article entitled, 2006: The Year When EA & 2K Must Win Back The Fans.
"The past two years have been a tumultuous time for sports video gamers. The EA vs. 2K licensing battle has caused some very popular lines of games to be scrapped, changed, or shelved completely. Last year NFL 2K football fans felt the loss of their beloved franchise. Next month, the loss of MLB MVP Baseball will be fully realized by fans as the new MLB 2K game comes out practically uncontested due to licensing issue. Thankfully, it appears that both the NHL and the NBA are wise enough not to go the “exclusive” route with their licenses- and victimize the fans the way that the NFL and MLB did. Still, enough damage has been done by pro baseball and football leagues to account for lots of hard feelings between fans of now defunct licensed games and those who’s company came out on top."

Member Comments
# 1 Graphik @ 02/14/06 01:51 PM
I cant believe quietcool actually wrote that. From what I remember of him, he was part of the Madden faithfull but now he's even questioning EA's "stagnant" approach when it came to Madden. And me and him disagreed on everything when it came to EA. Funny. I guess Madden 360 changed his mind.

By the way, I agree with his article. Its just that I've been saying the very same things all last year and he was one of the few that flamed me for my stance. Both companies have some fans to win over, I would like to add that I think EA will have a tougher time than 2K. I especially agree with him on the issue of 2K witholding info on a legends game. The Tecmo refrence he made was spot on. Sooner or later, I gotta move on and if 2K is to late to drop something, I may have already moved on.
 
# 2 quietcool72 @ 02/14/06 03:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphik
I cant believe quietcool actually wrote that. From what I remember of him, he was part of the Madden faithfull but now he's even questioning EA's "stagnant" approach when it came to Madden. And me and him disagreed on everything when it came to EA. Funny. I guess Madden 360 changed his mind.

By the way, I agree with his article. Its just that I've been saying the very same things all last year and he was one of the few that flamed me for my stance. Both companies have some fans to win over, I would like to add that I think EA will have a tougher time than 2K. I especially agree with him on the issue of 2K witholding info on a legends game. The Tecmo refrence he made was spot on. Sooner or later, I gotta move on and if 2K is to late to drop something, I may have already moved on.

Quietcool is a jerk!

Graphik, remember- I've usually agreed with you about games you and I have both already played. You and I just tangled about you knowing that Madden 360 would stink, while I was arguing to give it a chance until it was released.

(Needless to say- Once it was released, you turned out to be quite the prophet. If anything I was too darn hopeful.)

If you recall, my line of thinking pre November was "Perhaps EA took it easy on the current gen product and was gonna throw everythng at the next gen one coming out in Nov." I just never expected EA to botch a first release, new gen system game. (I mean, Madden 2001 on PS2 had a huge WOW factor..)

I was WAAAAAY wrong.

So, in the end, your pessimistic approach turned out to be way more "realistic" than what I was hoping for/assuming from EA. I think alot of people are in that boat too.

EA created alot of skeptics last year, even longtime fans of the Madden series.

I know I'm really dissappointed in them.
 
# 3 quietcool72 @ 02/14/06 03:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphik
I cant believe quietcool actually wrote that. From what I remember of him, he was part of the Madden faithfull but now he's even questioning EA's "stagnant" approach when it came to Madden. And me and him disagreed on everything when it came to EA. Funny. I guess Madden 360 changed his mind.

By the way, I agree with his article. Its just that I've been saying the very same things all last year and he was one of the few that flamed me for my stance. Both companies have some fans to win over, I would like to add that I think EA will have a tougher time than 2K. I especially agree with him on the issue of 2K witholding info on a legends game. The Tecmo refrence he made was spot on. Sooner or later, I gotta move on and if 2K is to late to drop something, I may have already moved on.
As for 2K and Legends...

I'm with you Graphik.. I don't know what the heck 2K is thinking. Their no comments and hints lead everyone to believe that "Legends" is in the works, but the cloak and dagger "hush-hush" routine is getting old.

I mean, come on- what the heck is there to hide about an unlicensed football game? Are they perhaps worried that EA would start approaching old players too, except with more money than they can offer?

I think, if that is the reason why they are so quiet, that it's preposterous. From what I know of the 2K Football fans, 90% of them could give a darn less about the old players, they just want to be able to edit ALL the players. So if indeed 2K is concerned about mean old EA snagging Franco Harris out fron under them, I think they are insane.

But what else could it be? Could it be that their new football engine in-progress is so mind blowing? Well, that would be nice, but I doubt news of it would make EA change anything about their already-created-but-needing-refined football engine for next gen. They aren't gonna change the direction of that boat with Madden and NCAA coming out in a few months.

So again, we are left wondering what the heck is going on at 2K. Is it a matter of a marketing department that feels its prudent to starve the market of any news about a product that people would normally be very interested in?

The other alternative is that there is really nothing in the works. I sincerely doubt that, but if that was the case, 2K owes its fans to say as much.

Either way, 2K should be saying SOMETHING.

I guess the marketing folks at 2K feel they know better though. Tecmo of America felt the same way about 10 years ago too.
 
# 4 Graphik @ 02/14/06 03:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietcool72
Quietcool is a jerk!

Graphik, remember- I've usually agreed with you about games you and I have both already played. You and I just tangled about you knowing that Madden 360 would stink, while I was arguing to give it a chance until it was released.

(Needless to say- Once it was released, you turned out to be quite the prophet. If anything I was too darn hopeful.)

If you recall, my line of thinking pre November was "Perhaps EA took it easy on the current gen product and was gonna throw everythng at the next gen one coming out in Nov." I just never expected EA to botch a first release, new gen system game. (I mean, Madden 2001 on PS2 had a huge WOW factor..)

I was WAAAAAY wrong.

So, in the end, your pessimistic approach turned out to be way more "realistic" than what I was hoping for/assuming from EA. I think alot of people are in that boat too.

EA created alot of skeptics last year, even longtime fans of the Madden series.

I know I'm really dissappointed in them.

I felt like the old bumbling fool who predicts a catosrophic event in the near future. I know I may have sounded like a broken record most of the time but it was all to assure that EA worked harder next year come the 07 version. I think your article and the huge outpour of negativity EA should have noticed by now will force them on the righ path this year. But I still remain skeptical because I've watched this company rise to where its at and from the looks of it, they're content with their business practices.

As for 2K, they're defitnitely on the clock as far as MLB 2K6 goes. They really will need to pull out a stellar efford in order to take the disgruntled MVP fans. Trust me, the MLB 2K6 forums will look exactly like the Madden forums when the game comes out. There are plenty of ppl who have never tried a 2K game so there will be much confusion, complaining to go along with the already pessimistic crowd that already frequents the forum. Cant blame them though just like nobody should blame the Madden pessimist. Once a company fails to deliver on numerous occasions, then the complaining is warranted. And now that our choices for sports games have been limited to almost nothing, this year is a very crucial year for both EA and 2K.
 
# 5 Graphik @ 02/14/06 03:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietcool72
As for 2K and Legends...

I'm with you Graphik.. I don't know what the heck 2K is thinking. Their no comments and hints lead everyone to believe that "Legends" is in the works, but the cloak and dagger "hush-hush" routine is getting old.

I mean, come on- what the heck is there to hide about an unlicensed football game? Are they perhaps worried that EA would start approaching old players too, except with more money than they can offer?

I think, if that is the reason why they are so quiet, that it's preposterous. From what I know of the 2K Football fans, 90% of them could give a darn less about the old players, they just want to be able to edit ALL the players. So if indeed 2K is concerned about mean old EA snagging Franco Harris out fron under them, I think they are insane.

But what else could it be? Could it be that their new football engine in-progress is so mind blowing? Well, that would be nice, but I doubt news of it would make EA change anything about their already-created-but-needing-refined football engine for next gen. They aren't gonna change the direction of that boat with Madden and NCAA coming out in a few months.

So again, we are left wondering what the heck is going on at 2K. Is it a matter of a marketing department that feels its prudent to starve the market of any news about a product that people would normally be very interested in?

The other alternative is that there is really nothing in the works. I sincerely doubt that, but if that was the case, 2K owes its fans to say as much.

Either way, 2K should be saying SOMETHING.

I guess the marketing folks at 2K feel they know better though. Tecmo of America felt the same way about 10 years ago too.

I have the slightest idea why 2K is quiet about it. Many have speculated the reasons and many of them sound reasonable including the one you listed. With the way EA and 2K have been literally battling for sports game supremecy, I would'nt be suprised if 2K is holding info for a sneak attact on EA when the Madden 07 marketing blitz occurs. Sort of how MS is sneak attacking Sony with Halo 3 when the PS3 is about to debut. The video game industry is starting to turn into the music industry if you ask me. Where the issue is'nt who makes the best games/music, its who makes the most money. Companies are bankrupting, buying out eachother, playing cut throat. In the end, its sucks for the consumers cause we're the ones on the short end of the stick.
 
# 6 quietcool72 @ 02/14/06 03:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphik
I felt like the old bumbling fool who predicts a catosrophic event in the near future. I know I may have sounded like a broken record most of the time but it was all to assure that EA worked harder next year come the 07 version. I think your article and the huge outpour of negativity EA should have noticed by now will force them on the righ path this year. But I still remain skeptical because I've watched this company rise to where its at and from the looks of it, they're content with their business practices.

As for 2K, they're defitnitely on the clock as far as MLB 2K6 goes. They really will need to pull out a stellar efford in order to take the disgruntled MVP fans. Trust me, the MLB 2K6 forums will look exactly like the Madden forums when the game comes out. There are plenty of ppl who have never tried a 2K game so there will be much confusion, complaining to go along with the already pessimistic crowd that already frequents the forum. Cant blame them though just like nobody should blame the Madden pessimist. Once a company fails to deliver on numerous occasions, then the complaining is warranted. And now that our choices for sports games have been limited to almost nothing, this year is a very crucial year for both EA and 2K.
Graphik,
Its hard to believe EA has fallen the way it has. I don't know if you ever saw that article where the former EA CEO Trip Hawkins was quoted as saying something to the effect that he doesn't even recognize the company anymore or understand their business practices. (I wish I could find that article- it was centered around the EA employees class-action lawsuit subject).

But its really hard to think of EA as the company that used to push really deep sports sims, really deep combat/military simulations (the JANES lineup from the late 90s), and other serious stuff where it was evident that their designers were gamers and were out to really make things with some serious craftsmanship.

Man, they have really taken a dive. It used to be a company run by fellow hobbyists that would employ the best and the brightest. Now they employ the cheapest and those who are willing to put in 16 hr days without question.

EA "seems" indestructable now, but Sierra also seemed that way at one point in the mid to late 90s. (Ironically, in a time when it was a Sierra football sim that was the head of its class in the football sim arena...at least on PC) Sierra fell into the trap of thinking "If we just make it, they will buy". True, that will last a few years, but after a while the fans pick up on that, and move on to something else.

I guess that is where I was wrong this November. I never imagined that EA would ever let such bad products go out the door... on a new next gen platform no-less!

That's just not the EA I grew up with.
 
# 7 Graphik @ 02/14/06 03:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietcool72
Graphik,
Its hard to believe EA has fallen the way it has. I don't know if you ever saw that article where the former EA CEO Trip Hawkins was quoted as saying something to the effect that he doesn't even recognize the company anymore or understand their business practices. (I wish I could find that article- it was centered around the EA employees class-action lawsuit subject).

But its really hard to think of EA as the company that used to push really deep sports sims, really deep combat/military simulations (the JANES lineup from the late 90s), and other serious stuff where it was evident that their designers were gamers and were out to really make things with some serious craftsmanship.

Man, they have really taken a dive. It used to be a company run by fellow hobbyists that would employ the best and the brightest. Now they employ the cheapest and those who are willing to put in 16 hr days without question.

EA "seems" indestructable now, but Sierra also seemed that way at one point in the mid to late 90s. (Ironically, in a time when it was a Sierra football sim that was the head of its class in the football sim arena...at least on PC) Sierra fell into the trap of thinking "If we just make it, they will buy". True, that will last a few years, but after a while the fans pick up on that, and move on to something else.

I guess that is where I was wrong this November. I never imagined that EA would ever let such bad products go out the door... on a new next gen platform no-less!

That's just not the EA I grew up with.
Yea, I grew up with a diffrent EA as well. General Chaos, Urban Strike, Jungle Strike, F-22, Jordan vs Bird as well as all of their sport franchises. They all had a uniquness and certain quality that could'nt be matched on the early consoles. Back then, you could tell they worked harder than the rest of the developers.

Most companies are falling into the same trap the EA created. Everyone is tryna keep up. This spells doom for most companies because there is no way you can outsell EA. You ethier need to create your own identity(Like the 2K series) or go to/be bought out by a already well-known publisher. And even TT is on the brink of elimination.
 
# 8 jfsolo @ 02/14/06 04:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietcool72
Graphik,
Its hard to believe EA has fallen the way it has. I don't know if you ever saw that article where the former EA CEO Trip Hawkins was quoted as saying something to the effect that he doesn't even recognize the company anymore or understand their business practices. (I wish I could find that article- it was centered around the EA employees class-action lawsuit subject).

But its really hard to think of EA as the company that used to push really deep sports sims, really deep combat/military simulations (the JANES lineup from the late 90s), and other serious stuff where it was evident that their designers were gamers and were out to really make things with some serious craftsmanship.

Man, they have really taken a dive. It used to be a company run by fellow hobbyists that would employ the best and the brightest. Now they employ the cheapest and those who are willing to put in 16 hr days without question.

EA "seems" indestructable now, but Sierra also seemed that way at one point in the mid to late 90s. (Ironically, in a time when it was a Sierra football sim that was the head of its class in the football sim arena...at least on PC) Sierra fell into the trap of thinking "If we just make it, they will buy". True, that will last a few years, but after a while the fans pick up on that, and move on to something else.

I guess that is where I was wrong this November. I never imagined that EA would ever let such bad products go out the door... on a new next gen platform no-less!

That's just not the EA I grew up with.

This is it in a nutshell. Although we've had many years now to see how EA's status as the "800-pound gorilla" has clearly caused a radical shift in the way they "create" games, it still hard to believe.

When I first read the back of the box of Earl Weaver Baseball I had to pinch myself and reread the box a few more times. The same with Lakers vs. Celtics and John Madden Football(1989 PC). Other companies were making sports games at the time, but they all were light-years behind in the "sim" aspects of the game.

The Legacy of those great games is what leaves me with a glimmer of hope that EA can someday recapture its Sim heritage, despite the last few years being a herald of a much more bleak future(for the sim gamer-not EA's coffers)
 
# 9 ajaxab @ 02/14/06 06:11 PM
In their desire to make money, EA has boxed itself into a corner with its yearly iterations of sports games. There used to be a day when one bought Earl Weaver Baseball and played it for three years b/c it was such a quality title. Today we get another edition of [insert sports game title here] that hasn't had the time to develop as a quality game under pressure from a parent company. People might be playing present EA games for three weeks or three months, but I doubt they have the longevity of something like Weaver.
 
# 10 bangpow @ 02/14/06 06:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaxab
In their desire to make money, EA has boxed itself into a corner with its yearly iterations of sports games. There used to be a day when one bought Earl Weaver Baseball and played it for three years b/c it was such a quality title. Today we get another edition of [insert sports game title here] that hasn't had the time to develop as a quality game under pressure from a parent company. People might be playing present EA games for three weeks or three months, but I doubt they have the longevity of something like Weaver.
What the companies should do with the nex gen systems is follow what happens on the PC, make games "patchable". I mean, I would think that an EA or a 2K Sports would be able to come up with almost a complete overhaul of the game every 2 years or so. I would figure that during that "off" year, they release a patch with a couple new features to tide people over, or something to that effect. Maybe not a complete overhaul, but a massive upgrade every couple years.

What I do know is that it's not that great having only one option if i want to play simulation football. I know there's Blitz and all, but I couldn't get into it, I guess I can't play sports games strictly "for fun". I gotta have my stats, real players, the whole nine. And while I do enjoy a good game of Madden against people, I still need a change of pace or my "third down back" type of football game, so to speak, and right now we have nothing.
 
# 11 quietcool72 @ 02/14/06 07:22 PM
I think what Bangpow is referring to is like a "subscription" game update/roster/patch service. Probably like what goes on with content updates with MMORPG games.

It makes a ton of sense, but the problem is that the hardware (particularly the XBOX and XBOX 360) haven't been utilized to the full potential for something like this.

But the other factor is EA and 2K are even slow with the roster updates. (Why they take five weeks to do what Struttdaddy does in a week with Madden rosters is beyond me..)

So I think what we should say is that we want a FREQUENTLY updated, dynamic sports sim with content updates, patches, etc.

The catch is the investment in infrastructure, manpower, and tech support for something like that. Blizzard (the makers of WoW) did their homework and are practically printing money with their product, but the initial investment was alot bigger than just building a static product.

And we all know how EA loves to staff (cough cough..)

(And fire hundreds of people at a time after a bad earnings report.)
 
# 12 bangpow @ 02/14/06 07:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietcool72
I think what Bangpow is referring to is like a "subscription" game update/roster/patch service. Probably like what goes on with content updates with MMORPG games.

It makes a ton of sense, but the problem is that the hardware (particularly the XBOX and XBOX 360) haven't been utilized to the full potential for something like this.

But the other factor is EA and 2K are even slow with the roster updates. (Why they take five weeks to do what Struttdaddy does in a week with Madden rosters is beyond me..)

So I think what we should say is that we want a FREQUENTLY updated, dynamic sports sim with content updates, patches, etc.

The catch is the investment in infrastructure, manpower, and tech support for something like that. Blizzard (the makers of WoW) did their homework and are practically printing money with their product, but the initial investment was alot bigger than just building a static product.

And we all know how EA loves to staff (cough cough..)

(And fire hundreds of people at a time after a bad earnings report.)
Well, sort of. It's more or less what companies do with music software.

They release a product and somewhere down the road, they have a low cost upgrade that adds a few features and what not. Then a bit after that, they come out with a whole new version rich with features.

I don't see why the developers can't work on a bi-annual basis for major updates in their sports games while during the "off" year. Give us some new features and some AI tweaks at a discounted price, then come out with a brand new guy every second year, or something. Maybe if the person doesn't already have the game, they have to pay full price for the "update".

It's like they don't want to do that because they aren't sure if Sony is actually going to have some kind of mass storage device available for it. To which i say, "get with the program, Sony!"
 
# 13 quietcool72 @ 02/14/06 07:40 PM
I remember back when EA was a "hungry" young company who's products were superb. Nowadays, I'm trying to think who puts the game craftsmanship ahead of the "Quick Buck"

Here's my list (and most of it is on PC)

Obsidian Entertainment (Knights of the Old Republic/Jade Empire)

Blizzard (Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft series)

Id Software (Doom, etc- I admire the "We'll release it when its DONE philosophy)

Bungie (Halo, etc.)

Infinity Ward (the Call of Duty folks...)

Pandemic Studios (SW Battlefront 1 & 2)

And I hope to add a new one to this list after Thursday- A little developer by the name of Petroglyph Studios- they are made up of a bunch of guys formerly of Westwood (command & conquer fame) who refused to stay when EA bought out Westwood. They wanted to make games on their own terms. Their first big game is Star Wars:Empire At War, which they took over 2 years to make (EA would NOT have allowed a 2 year dev cycle, that's for darn sure.)

But you'll notice the common denominator with all of these "game craftsman" type companies...

They make about 1 game per year, concentrate on that. Heck, Blizzard releases a new game MAYBE once every 2 years. (but they make darn sure its of the highest quality imagineable- same with ID Software.)

Meanwhile, EA puts a gun to the head of its teams and makes them churn out 30 games per year.

Which way works best in terms of game quality? I think we all know.
 
# 14 bangpow @ 02/14/06 07:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietcool72
Which way works best in terms of game quality? I think we all know.
Yes, but which way works best in terms of the mighty dollar??
 
# 15 quietcool72 @ 02/14/06 07:54 PM
In the short term, yes- prolific releasing of many games works.

Sierra was like that at one time. But when 8 out of 10 releases was rehashed crap, eventually people opted out.

So in the long-term, I think quality will win.
 
# 16 bangpow @ 02/14/06 08:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietcool72
So in the long-term, I think quality will win.
At least, we hope.
 
# 17 jmood88 @ 02/14/06 08:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietcool72

Obsidian Entertainment (Knights of the Old Republic/Jade Empire)
Just fyi, it's bioware that made KOTOR and Jade Empire. Obsidian made the sequel to KOTOR.
 
# 18 quietcool72 @ 02/14/06 09:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmood88
Just fyi, it's bioware that made KOTOR and Jade Empire. Obsidian made the sequel to KOTOR.
You are correct mood.
 
# 19 PAPERNUT @ 02/15/06 02:39 AM
I like the ideas you guys have been posting, but im sure EA does not, as this is their ideas for their next version. Why can't they do roster update on a regular basis? Because that is one of their biggest feature for the next game. Why do it now when it can be done in 11 months and charge people for it. Patches to solve bugs and AI problems? That sounds like that "new" "innovative" smart AI that will be truely realistic this time around
(just like last year!) Fixing the bugs would be too easy and make the game more enjoyable for possible longer than a year (Which we just cannot have!) Have a bi-annual edition of each game? Are you crazy, and miss out on the guaranteed $$$ they make each year for a game with a new year in the title. New game modes and animations each year? Well they actually do this already, as this years game allows you to sell hotdogs offline, next years game will allow you to sell hotdogs online! This years game will allow you to do 25 new dunks jumping off 1 foot, next years game will allow you to do 25 "new"("same") dunks jumping off 2 feet!.............so on and so on...............


Until we get competition back into the picture from more than 2 companies this cycle will continue to repeat and they won't care what remarks you make on the forums or what reviews they get from the press, because each year they exceed their sales for the year past and to them that is success, even if the game is not.
 
# 20 Graphik @ 02/15/06 10:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by papernut
I like the ideas you guys have been posting, but im sure EA does not, as this is their ideas for their next version. Why can't they do roster update on a regular basis? Because that is one of their biggest feature for the next game. Why do it now when it can be done in 11 months and charge people for it. Patches to solve bugs and AI problems? That sounds like that "new" "innovative" smart AI that will be truely realistic this time around
(just like last year!) Fixing the bugs would be too easy and make the game more enjoyable for possible longer than a year (Which we just cannot have!) Have a bi-annual edition of each game? Are you crazy, and miss out on the guaranteed $$$ they make each year for a game with a new year in the title. New game modes and animations each year? Well they actually do this already, as this years game allows you to sell hotdogs offline, next years game will allow you to sell hotdogs online! This years game will allow you to do 25 new dunks jumping off 1 foot, next years game will allow you to do 25 "new"("same") dunks jumping off 2 feet!.............so on and so on...............


Until we get competition back into the picture from more than 2 companies this cycle will continue to repeat and they won't care what remarks you make on the forums or what reviews they get from the press, because each year they exceed their sales for the year past and to them that is success, even if the game is not.

I agree. EA ruined everything when they started adding the year number to their sports games. It made ppl expect a new game each year and it turned out to work to EAs advantage. People were willing to buy a rehashed, slightly tweaked product at full price with no question. They'd be a full to miss out on the opportunity at getting cash at a small expense.

It forced other companies who made sports games to follow suit. Soon after EA did it, everybody started making yearly editions to compete. It this has watered down everybodys games.

I wish it was a bi-yearly dev cycle for these sports games. We'd get more bang for our buck that way. If I ever do make into designing sports games, I already had this type of structure in mind. I can almost guarantee that this system would work because it would be able to make the "perfect" sports game. If not perfect out the box, the patches and updates will make it perfect.
 

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