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EA titles to go Live on XBox

Old 04-23-04, 10:49 PM
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EA titles to go Live on XBox

http://xbox.ign.com/articles/508/508793p1.html

EA Goes Xbox Live
IGN brings you the first details on EA's first Xbox Live games.

April 23, 2004 - After years of discussions, Electronic Arts and Microsoft are putting the final touches on a partnership enabling four of EA's sports titles, and possibly three non-sports games, to go online with Xbox Live this fall, IGN learned today. The Redwood City, Ca.-based publisher will announce its strategy at the annual Electronic Entertainment Exposition this May, but it may reveal plans earlier to investors this April 29, during its upcoming fiscal announcement.


"They're psyched," a former EA employee, who asked not to be identified, told IGN. "EA is going to bring its games to Live this year. It's finally happening."

Madden NFL 2005, NCAA College Football, NASCAR Thunder 2005, and NBA Live comprise the sports package for Xbox Live this fall. The non-sports games are less concrete, but as IGN has learned from several sources close to the company, Battlefield: Modern Combat, EA's new Goldeneye game, and perhaps Burnout 3 are first in line for Xbox online compatibility.

Other investigations point to EA's long-awaited move on two of these titles. Digital Illusions CE (DICE) said in 2002 it planned to make a second Battlefield game for both PC and Xbox. It quickly re-worded its statements to include only PC.

Two Wall Street analysts (UBS Warburg Equity Research and Banc of America Securities) reported in their weekly newsletters that EA will bring its games to Xbox Live, one specifically naming Battlefield as an Xbox Live candidate. "We do expect that to change this year, with Battlefield 1942 for Xbox expected to have Xbox Live capability," said a UBS report. "The popularity of Xbox Live, which is likely to be supported by Electronic Arts for the first time in 2004, also contributes to our confidence in strong Xbox hardware sales this year," reported Banc of America Securities.

Criterion told IGN in 2003 that Burnout 2 would have been Xbox Live compatible, but Microsoft was late delivering critical information, so Burnout 2: Critical Impact only had minimal support. The representative added that the next game in the series (Burnout 3) will fully support Xbox Live; this was prior to EA's announcement to publish Burnout 3.

The games have never been the problem, as EA has publicly stated its issues with Microsoft's successful online strategy: Content control and cash. Xbox owners must pay $69.99 for a starter kit (and $49.99 to renew) to play online Xbox games on centralized servers run by Microsoft. EA wants both control over its content and money for gamers to play its titles. Unlike Sony Computer Entertainment America's laissez-faire setup, which is determined by independent publishers themselves, Microsoft gathers and controls everything. While full fiscal details were not revealed, IGN believes that EA was able to strike a deal with Microsoft to lower the manufacturer's licensing fees for those particular games. Another possibilitiy is that it's working on a new monetary package to pay for online play. As for content, IGN believes Microsoft will share its data with EA.

Recently, Microsoft's move to create Live Server Protocol (LSP), which enables publishers to set up their own specialized tournaments and leagues on sub-servers, has made the move easier for EA to swallow. Sega revealed its plans to bring its sports games online (check the story on IGN Sports, detailing the LSP's flexibility, and EA is likely to follow suit.

A Sega representative told IGN, "We expect EA to go to Xbox Live this year, and we would be shocked if they didn't."

EA and Microsoft firmly deny their change in plans. "EA and Microsoft do not have an agreement for including online capability in EA titles for Xbox," said an EA representative. "We have a solid partnership with Microsoft and many titles in development for the Xbox. Discussions are ongoing."

She added: "Competition from other developers is one of the dynamics that made EA SPORTS produce so many great games. We expect these teams will be reassigned to make more great games for the Xbox."

Microsoft was less imaginative in its response. "We haven't made any announcements and we don't comment on rumors or speculation."

IGN will have more details on EA's Xbox Live plans soon. Check back on April 29 and during E3.
-- Douglass C. Perry


Its cool about Madden and College footbal. Wish that the FIFA series will go live next time around.
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Old 04-23-04, 11:17 PM
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Now we know why MS cancelled their sports lineup. EA is calling all the shots.
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Old 04-23-04, 11:21 PM
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No Tiger Woods :-( I was so looking forward to online play with that title.
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Old 04-23-04, 11:23 PM
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Re: EA titles to go Live on XBox

Originally posted by uli2000
http://xbox.ign.com/articles/508/508793p1.html

EA Goes Xbox Live
IGN brings you the first details on EA's first Xbox Live games.

April 23, 2004 - After years of bruised egos, crybaby fits, and ass-kissing, Electronic Arts and Microsoft are putting the final touches on a partnership...
fixed*

This is sweet news... even though it's a day late and a dollar short for MS this generation, it'll certainly help for the next. I'm definitely interested in seeing how the sales go vs. the PS2 versions.
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Old 04-24-04, 01:48 AM
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Originally posted by CreatureX
Now we know why MS cancelled their sports lineup. EA is calling all the shots.
I've never understood this theory.

If having a first-party sports presence was such an impediment, why would EA even be on the PS2? This theory makes it sound like EA's afraid of the competition, yet Sony spends far more on commercials for their sports games than MS does, and Sony sells far more copies.

I don't think MS' hiatus is just a cover story. Sales numbers have been weak in their sports games and getting weaker, so there would be big return on investment for sequels released this year.

And now they give themselves two years or more to work on Xbox 2 versions of these games. Everybody in the industry knows in the Western markets that sports games are crucial, and a big investment now can pay big dividends two years from now.

Just think back to how much excitement NFL 2k generated for the DC launch, then think what a next-gen Xbox-exclusive High Heat, Inside Drive, and, perhaps even with this much time, a good NFL game could do for the new system.
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Old 04-24-04, 02:09 AM
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Re: Re: EA titles to go Live on XBox

Originally posted by Trigger
fixed*

This is sweet news... even though it's a day late and a dollar short for MS this generation, it'll certainly help for the next. I'm definitely interested in seeing how the sales go vs. the PS2 versions.
I predict PS2 games still outsell XBox games for EA

Good news for XBox owners. I figured MS would give EA what they wanted to make them happy.
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Old 04-24-04, 04:18 AM
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Re: Re: Re: EA titles to go Live on XBox

Originally posted by gcribbs
I predict PS2 games still outsell XBox games for EA

It would be hard not to with 10 times the user base.
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Old 04-24-04, 05:46 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: EA titles to go Live on XBox

Originally posted by RoQuEr
It would be hard not to with 10 times the user base.
that doesn't always matter... I remember a thread which had sports title sales figures for all platforms and it seemed alot closer than 10 to 1... I couldn't find it in a search though. I did find a thread listing Soul Calibur 2 sales figures and Gamecube had the most copies sold followed by Xbox and then PS2 was bringing up the rear in a close 3rd. The SC2 sales figures went against the console install bases.
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Old 04-24-04, 08:54 AM
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yeah but trigger that is due to all of the geeks needing to play as LINK, I still bought the xbox version for Spawn,


I pray to the gods for Burnout 3 on LIVE, Oh how sweet the crash mode will be on live.
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Old 04-24-04, 02:49 PM
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The SC2 sales figures went against the console install bases.
Only for the first three months. The PS2 version has since outsold the Xbox and GC versions; the reason should be fairly obvious (larger installed userbase = more potential sales in the long run). Last I checked the GC version had still outsold the Xbox version, but since the gulf between the Xbox and GC userbase is nowhere near as large as that between the Xbox and PS2 (or GC and PS2) that's not quite as impressive. In any event there's no way on god's earth the EA Sports titles are going to sell more on Xbox than on PS2, Live or no Live.
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Old 04-24-04, 02:57 PM
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can I see the current sales figures for that or should I take your word for it?
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Old 04-24-04, 07:02 PM
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Maddens on Xbox live?I know what im buying in the near future,even though I will give PS2s Maddens online props,one of the few on PS2 that is good.
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Old 04-25-04, 02:54 AM
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Originally posted by CreatureX
Now we know why MS cancelled their sports lineup. EA is calling all the shots.
Probably because Microsoft's engineers are writing all the Live code for EA's games. :-)

When I saw Microsoft's announcement to delay all the XSN games, this was the very first thing that occurred to me, and I'm glad it panned out this way. Even if Microsoft abandons the traditional sports games altogether (and sticks with only Amped, Rallisport, and Top Spin), they probably view this as a good thing, so that sales of Madden will equal the PS2's.
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Old 04-25-04, 07:21 AM
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Not sure why any of you care which version sells the most.

All this means to me is SEGA is in trouble since EA will sell more total copies of their sports games.
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Old 04-25-04, 12:03 PM
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sega has been in trouble since they went the way of sega.
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Old 04-25-04, 02:42 PM
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MS cancelled their sports lineup? If only 989 could take the same hint.

The MS games were pretty bad with a few exceptions like Top Spin, but nothing can compare to the horrible 989 games.

Last edited by darkside; 04-25-04 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 04-25-04, 10:46 PM
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Yep. Top Spin should go on due to a serious lack of good tennis games.

But, this deal could put MS in a bind and possibly cripple live. EA has to be getting a cut somehow. So what is to stop every other company from doing the same thing. Hold out until MS coughs up some of the dough.
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Old 04-25-04, 11:02 PM
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If EA was getting a cut, MS would need to divulge that to their investors. The truth will come out if that's the case, otherwise it's just speculation.

I don't see EA getting any of this money, they will put the sqeeze on Sega's brand of sports games though, which I'm guessing is what they were after.
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Old 04-26-04, 01:06 AM
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Even if EA doesnt get any money from Xbox live they will still make money by selling more copys and they dont ahve to worry about setting up servers for online since MS all ready has that taken care of,so imo they both will make money and a bigger fan base(like EA needs that).
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