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Sony was in the running for NFL exclusivity in 2004


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#1 FriskyTanuki

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:19 PM

http://ps3.ign.com/a.../1223174p1.html

While the popular misconception is that EA walked up to the NFL, wrote a check, and took the exclusive license home with them, the truth is that the NFL decided that they wanted to go exclusive, took bids from publishers, and went with the highest bidder. This new IGN article about Sony San Diego further corroborates that scenario when he revealed that Sony was also in the running for the license, but ultimately couldn't match the sum that EA put up for it:

As Phillips explained, Sony San Diego became laser-focused on sports when EA flipped the script on all of its competitors. "In 2004, the NFL and the NFL Players Association decided that, like with all the categories, videogames should be exclusive, and Electronic Arts managed to lock that up. And that kind of changed the sports landscape forever within videogames."

Phillips described an internal situation fraught with uncertainty. The deal between EA and the NFL caused Sony San Diego to undergo "significant restructuring" following a time when Sony was actually trying to pursue the NFL license on its own. "We pursued [NFL exclusivity] actively," Phillips admitted, ultimately concluding that "the rumored price tag that EA allegedly ended up paying is something that just boggles my mind."

We pursued [NFL exclusivity] actively...Strangely, even in pursuit of the NFL license for Sony, Phillips felt that this sort of exclusivity "was a huge disservice to the end user," stressing that "competition drives innovation." He continued: "We felt like going the exclusive route as the NFL did was going to really hinder innovation, and we're just not fans of removing and restricting choice for the end user."

Years removed from EA's capture of NFL exclusivity, Phillips freely discussed the Madden franchise that has benefitted so much from a complete lack of competition. Yet, he defended his rival. "There's been a lot of criticism from consumers that they feel like they're not getting the value and they're not seeing the innovation [in Madden]. Now, in fairness to EA, we get some of that criticism on The Show as well."

I just wanted to share this bit of news with you guys since some people still believe that EA forced exclusivity from the NFL.


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#2 Dead of Knight

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:26 PM

Oh man, there would have been so much nerd rage if that happened.

They should have done it, from a business standpoint.
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#3 Vinny

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:27 PM

Didn't Sega Sports (or whoever's responsible for the 2K line) place bids as well? I remembering reading that after the initial firestorm over this way back when...

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#4 FriskyTanuki

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:35 PM

Didn't Sega Sports (or whoever's responsible for the 2K line) place bids as well? I remembering reading that after the initial firestorm over this way back when...

If I had to guess, EA, Sega, Midway, Sony, Microsoft, and Disney probably put in bids for the license due to their ties to football games.


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#5 Confucius

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:47 PM

Oh man, there would have been so much nerd rage if that happened.

They should have done it, from a business standpoint.


I wouldve bought a PS3 from the jump if they had exclusive NFL license.

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#6 Dead of Knight

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:04 AM

Didn't Sega Sports (or whoever's responsible for the 2K line) place bids as well? I remembering reading that after the initial firestorm over this way back when...


Yeah, but Sega not bidding enough is not a surprise, considering they had no money.... It really makes no sense that Sony didn't offer more than EA. They would have won the console wars right there if they got exclusivity. I hope whoever passed on it got fired.
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#7 FriskyTanuki

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:38 AM

Yeah, but Sega not bidding enough is not a surprise, considering they had no money.... It really makes no sense that Sony didn't offer more than EA. They would have won the console wars right there if they got exclusivity. I hope whoever passed on it got fired.

Being able to spend that much money and being willing to spend that much money on one license are two different things. At that point, they just made the 2005 entry for the PS1, so they weren't willing to spend a lot of money on it. Getting the license would've just gone down about as well as 2K's MLB exclusivity. It's because they didn't get it that the studio was restructured to mostly focus on MLB: The Show, which was the best thing that studio has done since Gameday 98.

It would be interesting to see how the studio as it is right now would do with the NFL license.


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#8 mitch079

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:57 AM

If Gameday was the only football option, people would have rioted.

#9 Paco

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:05 AM

If Gameday was the only football option, people would have rioted.


Actually during the PS1 era, Gameday was always better then madden. It looked better, played better, was faster and had all the firsts before Madden got them. I think Sony could have won big if done right. I mean look at The Show. 2k's baseball game isn't even in the running when compared to The Show. They don't even try on the PS3 when it comes to MLB 2k
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#10 FriskyTanuki

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:09 AM

Actually during the PS1 era, Gameday was always better then madden. It looked better, played better, was faster and had all the firsts before Madden got them. I think Sony could have won big if done right. I mean look at The Show. 2k's baseball game isn't even in the running when compared to The Show. They don't even try on the PS3 when it comes to MLB 2k

Gameday was crap on the PS2 since they couldn't figure out what they wanted to do with the next-gen version of that series.

The Show wasn't a thing until after they lost out on the NFL license, as they restructured the studio and got it all together for that next baseball game.


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#11 Paco

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:13 AM

Gameday was crap on the PS2 since they couldn't figure out what they wanted to do with the next-gen version of that series.

The Show wasn't a thing until after they lost out on the NFL license, as they restructured the studio and got it all together for that next baseball game.


Now you gone and depressed me. Gameday was the football game back in the mid late 90s. Then the PS2 came out and WOW that game fucking sucked it fucked. My friend waited in the rain for a PS2, and THAT was the game he got for launch. He invited me day one to show me. I told him "Wanna play some Dreamcast?" And he's like "Hell yeah." We played Virtua Tennis, Marvel VS Capcom and Power Stone all day.
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#12 Dead of Knight

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:17 AM

If Gameday was the only football option, people would have rioted.


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#13 Paco

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:19 AM

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#14 ElwoodCuse

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:30 AM

The Show wasn't a thing until after they lost out on the NFL license, as they restructured the studio and got it all together for that next baseball game.


And because EA gave up on MVP Baseball after spending all the money on Madden. MVP 2005 is still better than all the Show games.
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#15 Ruahrc

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:43 AM

Seriously, I don't know what morons at the NFL thought exclusive licenses were a good idea. Well I know there are a lot of morons at the NFL, but man this morons on a whole new level.

"Hey, let's take our (supposedly valuable) image and just give control of it away to someone else!" "Take a little money now? Sure! Not like we could make companies fight for our image with more money in the future! No, we'll let another company make all that money instead!"

It's the same with Porsche. What jerkoff there thought it was a good idea to give exclusive licensing to EA, so that now Porsche is not featured in the 2 biggest and best selling top-tier racing sims on consoles... yeah that was a great way to use our high end image and pedigree to spread brand awareness, by NOT being in the only two racing sims people actually buy/play in any kind of respectable numbers!

Yeah Porsche is coming to FM4 now but it should have been there in the first place, if Porsche didn't just stupidly toss away their image for someone else to hold hostage (EA) and profit off of.

Really, outfits like the NFL are so anal-retentive about control and profit off their image and branding, yet they willingly just throw it away with these dumbass exclusivity deals. Keep the control for yourself idiots! I'm not an MBA and even I can figure this crap out.

#16 Confucius

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:16 AM

I'm gonna go ahead and assume the bean counters at the NFL know a little more than you do.

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#17 Fifty Shades of Grey

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:37 PM

Still doesn't change the fact, EA couldn't compete, so they went and bought out the rights, kinda like a kid having a rivals lemonade stand shut down because it was more popular.

Years removed from EA's capture of NFL exclusivity, Phillips freely discussed the Madden franchise that has benefitted so much from a complete lack of competition.

You mean, release the same shitty game every year, toss in a roster update, put some new "pretty boy" on the cover, then charge $60 for it, yeah, EA really corned that market :roll:
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#18 Confucius

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 04:09 PM

Still doesn't change the fact, EA couldn't compete, so they went and bought out the rights, kinda like a kid having a rivals lemonade stand shut down because it was more popular.

Years removed from EA's capture of NFL exclusivity, Phillips freely discussed the Madden franchise that has benefitted so much from a complete lack of competition.

You mean, release the same shitty game every year, toss in a roster update, put some new "pretty boy" on the cover, then charge $60 for it, yeah, EA really corned that market :roll:


oh, there's no question this was bad for gamers. (no matter who got it.) but it was fantastically lucrative for the NFL. I can't believe that dude above would think otherwise.

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#19 FriskyTanuki

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 05:08 PM

And because EA gave up on MVP Baseball after spending all the money on Madden. MVP 2005 is still better than all the Show games.

No, they had to stop making MLB games because of the exclusivity that 2K went after once were sold to Take Two. After MVP 2005, they made two college games just to try to make it work, so they didn't give up on it at all. They did more than anybody has really done when shut out of a license.

Still doesn't change the fact, EA couldn't compete, so they went and bought out the rights, kinda like a kid having a rivals lemonade stand shut down because it was more popular.

Yeah, it kind of does. The NFL had a meeting amongst its own people that resulted in them wanting to go exclusive with a single publisher and took bids for the rights to the license. The NFL shut down 2K any other competitor because they didn't want competition for the highest bidder.


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#20 David Hibiki

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    Well then...

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:05 PM

That would have been a huge blow in the US market. Microsoft would have lost a lot of market share.

#21 Paco

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:13 PM

And because EA gave up on MVP Baseball after spending all the money on Madden. MVP 2005 is still better than all the Show games.


MVP was generic ass suckage. Triple Play was always better then MVP. Sammy Sosa High Heat Baseball was better then MVP. Hell even Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball was better.
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#22 MSUHitman

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:56 PM

MVP was generic ass suckage. Triple Play was always better then MVP. Sammy Sosa High Heat Baseball was better then MVP. Hell even Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball was better.


MVP 2005 was the best overall baseball game on PS2/XBox 1, and that's from a High Heat fanboy.

#23 ElwoodCuse

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:49 AM

No, they had to stop making MLB games because of the exclusivity that 2K went after once were sold to Take Two. After MVP 2005, they made two college games just to try to make it work, so they didn't give up on it at all. They did more than anybody has really done when shut out of a license.


The MLB multiconsole rights got sold to Take Two because EA didn't want them after dropping all the dough on Madden. That's how they gave up.

The college games were niche market shovelware. The guys from MVP 2005 went to work for 2K.
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#24 FriskyTanuki

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:55 PM

The MLB multiconsole rights got sold to Take Two because EA didn't want them after dropping all the dough on Madden. That's how they gave up.

The college games were niche market shovelware. The guys from MVP 2005 went to work for 2K.

No, Take Two bought the Sega Sports teams from Sega and made the deal with MLB about a month after the NFL deal, so there's no way that EA gave up on it. Take Two tried to strengthen their investment in the sports genre by going after an exclusive license that was specifically targeted at pushing EA out of the genre, which has been a terrible deal for them since it wasn't exclusive and the games haven't been good enough to recoup the costs. The NBA wasn't willing to go exclusive and the NHL would not have been worth it at that time since those games usually sell worse than the MLB games.

The MVP NCAA Baseball games were not shovelware, as they were pretty much on par or better than their MLB 2K counterparts (MVP 06 vs. MVP 07 vs. MLB 2K7 PS2/MLB 2K7 Xbox 360) unless you want to call both shovelware. In fact, the MVP NCAA games pushed their analog control mechanics to pitching and fielding, which worked well for how new those ideas were at the time. The great analog pitching mechanic introduced in MVP 07 is the same one that's been used in Sony's series since last year.

I think you're talking about Ben Brinkman and he wasn't signed until late 2006 for MLB 2K7. His two-year stint there was proof that he wasn't the sole reason for MVP's success and wasn't going to turn around MLB 2K by himself either.


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