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EA Announces Support for Xbox Live

Old 05-11-04, 08:09 AM
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EA Announces Support for Xbox Live

Saw this on Google News this morning.
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Old 05-11-04, 09:00 AM
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Madden football headed to Xbox Live

Leading publisher Electronic Arts to support online features of Microsoft's console system.
May 11, 2004: 9:40 AM EDT
By Chris Morris, CNN/Money staff writer

LOS ANGELES (CNN/Money) - More than a year after launching the online component of the Xbox, Microsoft has finally brought the gaming industry's largest publisher on board.

Microsoft and Electronic Arts announced Monday that EA Xbox games would begin supporting online play in July, with the release of "NCAA Football 2005." All totaled, EA plans to release at least 15 Xbox Live enabled games this year, including "Madden NFL 2005," "Tiger Woods," "NASCAR," "Goldeneye: Rogue Agent" and "Battlefield: Modern Combat.

"I know it a while for us to get here but EA is committed to creating great experiences to help [Microsoft] grow the Xbox Live community," said Don Mattrick, president of EA worldwide operations. "The big winners of this are the people who love games,"

Halo 2 will be released Nov. 9.
Microsoft also announced "Halo 2" the eagerly awaited sequel to the system's best selling game, would hit store shelves on Nov. 9. Over 4.5 million copies of the original "Halo" were sold. The internally-developed sequel will allow players to compete with each other via Xbox Live.

EA has long supported online play on the PlayStation 2, but has refused to support Xbox Live, citing concerns with Microsoft's business model. In the past, Microsoft has not paid publishers a bounty for online subscribers that play their games online.

Last September, EA CFO Warren Jensen told a Banc of America conference "we're not about to support a model where the content provider does not get paid for the content provided."

Microsoft would not comment on the specific terms of Monday's deal.

The lack of an EA presence on Xbox Live has helped Sony grow its own online unit. EA's latest Madden game alone attracted nearly 500,000 online players last year.

The two companies signaled a shift was coming in early April, though, when Microsoft cancelled its entire 2004 line-up of internally developed sports games.

EA's sports titles regularly trounce the competition in sales. "Madden 2004" sold more than 5.5 million copies, as opposed to under 160,000 copies for "NFL Fever 2004," according to The NPD Group.
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Old 05-11-04, 10:57 AM
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EA got tired of the loss of extra revenue.
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Old 05-11-04, 12:24 PM
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Bout damn time!
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Old 05-11-04, 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by Barney1234
EA got tired of the loss of extra revenue.
I'd be more inclined to believe that MS finally caved in and gave them some incentive to put the games on live, as Madden still killed ESPN Football and Fever on the X-box last year.
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Old 05-11-04, 12:32 PM
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That's most likely what happened.
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Old 05-11-04, 01:38 PM
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According to the story in the thread about this last month, EA had an exclusive online deal with Sony that ended this year. This thread was the first I heard of said contract and no one in the thread could confirm or deny it, so take this info at face value.
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Old 05-11-04, 01:48 PM
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So what football game are you guys getting this year?
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Old 05-11-04, 01:53 PM
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I'll start with ESPN 2K5 and wait for Madden to go on sale. ESPN has got it's hooks in me now. Madden was good this year ,but it had a lot more cheats in it compared to ESPN IMHO.
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Old 05-11-04, 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by goLUCKY
So what football game are you guys getting this year?
I'm just sticking with Madden 2004. I'm not super big into sports games, and usually only upgrade maybe once a generation.
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Old 05-11-04, 02:27 PM
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NCAA Football 2005 on Live?
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Old 05-11-04, 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
I'd be more inclined to believe that MS finally caved in and gave them some incentive to put the games on live, as Madden still killed ESPN Football and Fever on the X-box last year.

I don't think so.

Remember EA wanted to go on LIVE but wanted too much control so MS shut the door in their face. Control is one thing that MS is not gonna negotiate with (Bill's way or the highway).

EA is definately the one who caved and crawled.
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Old 05-11-04, 04:34 PM
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There's no way to tell. I just don't see why EA would cave in, win they still crushed the competion on X-box even without live support.

MS canned fever, so maybe they made some concessions (i.e. found a middle ground) in regards to EA's control and other prior requests.
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Old 05-11-04, 04:59 PM
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Not a suprise at all, but glad to hear it anyway. I'm very pleased that Goldeneye 2 will be on Live; that game could have potential, but EGM had said that it was online for the PS2 only.
I STRONGLY doubt that EA had an exclusive deal with Sony, as the details would have surely come out by now. The truth is probably that they didn't like the way Live was set up and went with Sony only since it allowed them to control their online service (like THPS has done as well).
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Old 05-11-04, 05:49 PM
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It doesn't matter that EA already "crushed the competition". Just look at the selling ratio of any of the sports games (EA:Sega) on PS2, then XBox.

The ratio declines severely (or is even reversed [hockey]).

That's the incentive EA had to get a deal done.
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