Okay, this story sucks. The gist is that Electronic Arts now gets exclusive rights to the NFL players, teams, likenesses and stadiums for the next five years. That means that the ONLY company that can create NFL based football games is Electronic Arts. This means that instead of healthy competition in the football game market. There is now one source. A source that can rest on its laurels.
This year especially, ESPN Football has surpassed Madden (in my opinion) as THE best football game on the market. The online leagues are phenominal (tied directly to websites tracking stats and standings etc.) and the realism and presentation beat Madden in every regard.
This was a hard conclusion for me to come to. I used to love the Madden franchise. But year after year, EA screwed with good things and added crap for the joystick jockies. I wanted realism. I wanted online leagues with tons of stats. That’s what I got with ESPN football. Madden doesn’t have it anymore. And now Madden doesn’t have to worry about competing. It can do whatever the hell it wants, and produce whatever crap it wants because it will be the only choice for football games. It’s sucks, is completely anti-competitive, and the NFL should be ashamed.
You see, the article above cites the main reason why this happened. Madden used to outsell all other football videogames by a margin of 10-1. This year, it only outsold ESPN Football by a margin of 1.5 – 1. Clearly, ESPN Football was on to something. Clearly, EA didn’t like it’s monopoly position challenged, and dropped a large sum of money on the NFL to protect its position. I’d love to know how much it spent. If it took that money and simply made a better DAMN GAME, maybe all gamers would be happy.