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Should EA be worried about any potential NFL lockout?

Chris Sanner: I think the short-term interests of the Madden brand would be relatively unaffected by any potential lockout. You are hearing a lot on both sides about whether there will even be a lockout, so it's a full wait and see on that issue altogether. However, if a lockout occurs, I'd think Madden sales would slip -- probably modestly -- but Madden can make up for much of the potential slip in the short term by putting out a great product to a NFL-hungry audience.

The real problem lies with the long-term interests of the Madden franchise. What sport has not taken a hit from a lockout on the popularity front? It's very possible that the NFL could be set back quite a bit, especially if the 2011 season never happens. That will have a very tangible effect on Madden's sales long term if the NFL brand cools significantly. At that point, EA might have to ask if the NFL license is worth the exclusive cost they are paying for it.

Robert Kollars: I don't think that EA should worry too much. Even if there is a lockout, the NFL and Madden fanbase will still be there. It may even cause fans of the real NFL to want to grab a copy of Madden even more. If you can't watch the NFL on TV, at least you can try to replicate it on a console.

And while what I am about to propose simply will not happen, especially after the Elite fiasco, if the NFL is locked out, I would love to see Madden go without a release next year. I can only imagine the improvements the developers could make to this game if they had a full two-year developmental cycle.

Read More - OS Roundtable: Should EA Be Worried About a Potential NFL Lockout?

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Member Comments
# 1 Goffs @ 12/08/10 11:19 AM
this would affect me if 2k still made and NFL game...
 
# 2 Blitzburgh @ 12/08/10 11:37 AM
I see this as a huge opportunity for a game like BB2. They have a solid foundation to build upon as it is. If they do indeed release a BB2, since there wouldn't be any NFL games, that would open up the door for more people to create their own teams and leagues and give this game a chance IMO.
 
# 3 RJTurneR @ 12/08/10 12:34 PM
Backbreaker isn't the solution though. Very short term.. maybe. But Europhia engine is so rag doll it makes everything look pretty goofy. It's a good game that has done a good job. But I'd still pick Madden.
 
# 4 Blitzburgh @ 12/08/10 01:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJTurneR
Backbreaker isn't the solution though. Very short term.. maybe. But Europhia engine is so rag doll it makes everything look pretty goofy. It's a good game that has done a good job. But I'd still pick Madden.
Each to their own my friend...I can barely even play Madden anymore it is so stale to me...
 
# 5 TreFacTor @ 12/08/10 01:56 PM
Ea still has the right to make an NFL game even if there isn't an NFL season, they have the license until FEB 2013. I don't think they have even given it a second thought. Business as usual.
 
# 6 statum71 @ 12/08/10 02:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzburgh
Each to their own my friend...I can barely even play Madden anymore it is so stale to me...
You're right.....to each his own. I have ZERO interest in Backbreaker. No License, no thanks.
 
# 7 bxgoods @ 12/08/10 03:26 PM
If theres no football season, people would still buy Madden 12 to get their fix of football.
 
# 8 khaliib @ 12/08/10 04:16 PM
To me, with limited developers compared to several years ago, Sports games have utilized the "Baby Steps" concept for games on these Next Gen consoles. Still, until this day, we have yet to get that sports game on the level we anticipated them to be with these consoles.

The Football arena is so far behind where it should be. Maybe it's the lack of competition, maybe it's the lack of creativity needed, but I think we all will agree that there hasn't been anything revolutionary like the jump in football from the Madden's, Gamebreaker's etc... to NFL 2k5. From what was out at the time to what we saw in that football game, was revolutionary. That's what we've been wating for with these $300-$600 consoles (some are on their 3-4 console) that have greater capacity across the board.

As always, suites that don't play the games get it twisted when commenting. There is no NFL hungry audience. Most just want a "Football" game that fits the capabilities of these expensive consoles they've purchase.
Point blank, EA has fallen way short in this area while having these Exclusive Licsenses

When a bar is set for a particular sports game, you can't continue to put out games that satisfy your personal in-house standards and expect the consumer to lower their expectations and purchase just because.

The financial climate that game consumers are facing will impact what games they purchase from here on out. It used to be that gamers had the cash to purchase the game and decide if they liked or took a loss by exchange or resale, but those days are over. You will still have some, but many will not be waiting in line for a 1st day purchase Madden next year. Through the forums, I'm finding that many gamers that have been burnt by EA Football titles, are renting first before they buy to see if it's worth it.

Ian is doing a great job by visiting the forums for feedback this year, but this has been done the prior two years and the game is still far behind the bar set by 2k5.
(Developers of football games need to understand that this is the bar that is set for Pro/College games. You go forward from there, not ask us to take 10 steps backwards and wait for all these "Baby Steps" to be taken).

For those who say they can put a game out, even through a lockout. They can't for this reason:
Under contract, players are employees under the unbrella of the NFL as employer. But when there is a lockout and negotiations are ongoing, players are no longer under the NFL umbrella. Meaning, that unlike college football players, Pro players have the rights for their "Likeness" until an agreement is reached that brings them back under the NFL Product. The agreement is between EA and the NFL as a product and a lockout separates the components that make up the NFL. There is the administrative side of NFL, the owners/teams and the players. Each having power to negotiate its own interest. Also, remeber that the National Players Association is a Union and as a union, they have an obligation to protect the "Likeness" of their members which many receive perks/$$$ through the usage of that "Likeness". If one high profile player says don't use me in your game, EA may not be able to, even while there is an Exclusive Agreement with the NFL
(I might be wrong, just my understanding for being in a employee union).

Oh well, either way, I don't buy Madden because I got tired of my excitement/expectation getting burned. So I'm waiting for another game developer to put something out and give them a shot.
 
# 9 NFL2102 @ 12/08/10 04:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzburgh
I see this as a huge opportunity for a game like BB2. They have a solid foundation to build upon as it is. If they do indeed release a BB2, since there wouldn't be any NFL games, that would open up the door for more people to create their own teams and leagues and give this game a chance IMO.
Trust me BB2 won't be out next year. It hasn't even been announced yet.
 
# 10 TheGhostAPC @ 12/08/10 05:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by NFL2102
Trust me BB2 won't be out next year. It hasn't even been announced yet.
http://www.operationsports.com/news/415231/backbreaker-2-confirmed/

Yea it has.
 
# 11 Cobra84 @ 12/09/10 07:26 AM
I think EA has bigger problems that are also more likely to happen or already have happened. Sales down 18% from last year, sales never coming close to reaching the competitive 2005 year games, exclusive licenses not helping sales, a dead Wii version, and a 3DS version that will likely be dead on arrival.
 
# 12 Hova57 @ 12/09/10 08:23 AM
Like I wrote on frontpage, a new CBA will prob affect how NFL does business allowing other companies to develop. Ea has its own problems to worry about in their world. Some may discount BB but they have a foot in the door and if they can do what they are doing just for the Iphone . they should be worried. A good business man would recognize what they did and make sure it doesn't affect them and their product is superior
 
# 13 QBxONxIR @ 12/09/10 09:47 PM
I'm not a big fan of BB but there physics implemented in to the game are awesome.
 

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