NEWS - Monday, December 13, 2004


EA Inks Exclusive Deal With The NFL

Electronic Arts has signed the biggest sports free-agent on the market. In a devastating blow to competitors--and in a deal sure to reshape sports gaming--the software giant signed an exclusive agreement with the National Football League and the NFL Players Inc., a subsidiary of the NFL Players Association. The deal, one EA admits to having lobbied for over the past few years, is an exclusive five-year licensing deal granting EA the sole rights to the NFL's teams, stadiums, and players. The arrangement encompasses action simulation, arcade style, and manager games made for PCs, consoles, and handhelds (both the DS and PSP, included), giving EA a firm hold on the football gaming market. The deal does not include titles for mobile phones or internet-based games, but does include online features of consoles. With next-generation consoles scheduled for release next holiday season, EA looks to handily dominate the professional football market for the duration of the license. EA's current roster of NFL games includes the top-selling Madden franchise and the extreme football NFL Street franchise. Given that EA currently has no "manager games" per se, there is clear writing on the wall that the publisher will announce a new sports management lineup of products, though it refused to comment on when. A source close to the negotiations said it was at a spring, 2004, off-site meeting attended by top NFL officials that the league determined it would take the league license exclusive. GameSpot was told the league put the license up for bid and that EA was among as many as five software publishers competing for it. An EA spokesperson said today, "Obviously, exclusives are more expensive. We are most certainly paying a premium." In a statement, Larry Probst, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Arts said, "We are excited about the opportunity to further enhance our relationship with the NFL and PLAYERS INC. The five-year agreements will usher NFL fans through the console technology transition with new ideas and innovative game play experiences." The deal is obviously bad news for EA's competitors, particularly ESPN Videogames, Sega, and Take-Two who stole a respectable chunk of EA's Madden football market with their NFL 2K series and it's budget price tag this year of $19.99. Arguably, the deal will impact consumers negatively as well. With less choice, theories of competition no longer apply. Some industry insiders speculate the exclusive deal was embraced by the NFL after it saw Take-Two lower the price of its 2K5 product earlier this year. No licensor likes to see a price war being fought with its brand value at stake. At the same time, exclusive licenses in the sports world are more the norm than non-exclusive licenses. The NFL's apparel license is a Reebok exclusive, as is its beverage license with Gatorade. This afternoon, Take-Two issued the following statement: “While sports games in general are an important part of Take-Two's product diversification strategy, the licensed NFL game we distributed on behalf of Sega this year was not a material contributor to our profitability to date, nor was it expected to be a meaningful contributor in the upcoming year. We remain committed to continued diversification of our product portfolio, including sports. "We believe that the decisions of the National Football League and PLAYERS INC to grant an exclusive license for videogames do a tremendous disservice to the consumers and sports fans whose funds ultimately support the NFL, by limiting their choices, curbing creativity and almost certainly leading to higher game prices.” "I really respect them, but the consumer really loses," one analyst told GameSpot. "EA is both evil and really smart." As for such a deal affecting quality of future football products, EA's vice president of corporate communications Jeff Brown told GameSpot, "The onus is on EA to keep making a better game each year…that's the hurdle you have to clear every year." Even before the news was released, trading of EA stock had its value spiking north. On trading nearly three times its usual amount, EA stock was up more than $3 today. The stock closed at $57.57, up $3.38, or 6.24 percent, with 16,574,606 shares trading hands on the NASDAQ. In after hours trading, the stock at press time had jumped another $2.88 to trade at $60.45.
Source: http://www.gamespot.com

Comments

Site Statistics

Registered Members: 44,599
Forum Posts: 725,800
Xbox One Titles: 1,252
Xbox 360 Titles: 1,085
Xbox 360 Kinect Titles: 95
Xbox 360 Arcade Titles: 585
Original Xbox Titles: 987
Staff Reviews: 1,705
Member Reviews: 10,339
News Articles: 14,440
Screenshots: 31,248
Xbox 360 Achievements: 45,112
Xbox 360 Faceplates: 2,016
Cheat Codes: 1,706

Latest News








See News Archives

Community Forum Activity

Xbox One X Black Panther
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 156 Views

Xbox Playdates Canada May 2018 schedule
Post by Kiesey
3 Replies, 259 Views

Is anything happening in XBox One land?
Post by DJ tx
7 Replies, 505 Views

Xbox One S Jojeux Anniversaire
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 324 Views

Xbox One X Steelbook
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 367 Views

Xbox Playdates Canada April 2018 Schedule
Post by Kiesey
4 Replies, 641 Views

Xbox One X World of tanks
Post by oryanphine
2 Replies, 814 Views

Xbox Playdates Canada - March 2018 Schedule
Post by Kiesey
7 Replies, 1008 Views

Any info on Biomutant release?
Post by DJ tx
4 Replies, 911 Views

Xbox Playdates Canada - February Playdates Schedule
Post by Kiesey
8 Replies, 1186 Views

Xbox Prototype Communicator
Post by oryanphine
1 Replies, 1455 Views

Xbox One S Dragon Ball Fighterz
Post by oryanphine
0 Replies, 967 Views

Xbox One S Theme Hockey
Post by oryanphine
0 Replies, 838 Views

New Fable is coming!
Post by Shadow20002
2 Replies, 1135 Views

RPG Recommendation?
Post by DJ tx
8 Replies, 1213 Views

© 2000-2018 XboxAddict.com - All rights reserved. All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft. XboxAddict.com is not affiliated with Microsoft.

Made in Canada
Site Design by Cameron Graphics