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EA Disparages Take-Two's MLB Deal 46

Posted by Zonk
from the so-tired-of-EA! dept.
Gamespot has the news that EA's corporate communications vice president Jeff Brown sees the MLB deal as 'stupid money'. From the article: "As far as we're concerned, this looks like stupid money. They are paying an exclusive price for a nonexclusive agreement."
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EA Disparages Take-Two's MLB Deal

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  • Translation (Score:3, Funny)

    by keiferb (267153) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @04:31PM (#11495995) Homepage
    "We want the rights, damnit! Waaah!"
  • "You got rights before WE could sign for the exclusive, you sneaky dogs!"
  • by gl4ss (559668)
    "they're stupid stupid look at us! we're the best! we'ere __EXCLUSIVE__"

    as if football(american or soccer), rugby or tennis ever was exclusive.

    they need a bitchslap to remind them what games are about..
    • "as if football(american or soccer), rugby or tennis ever was exclusive."

      Erm... do you understand what the deal here is? It's about licensing. Licensing means the game looks like what you see on TV. Wanna make a game featuring the Lakers? Gotta pay up.

      So yes, there is very much an exclusive to be had here. Ever play a racing game where the car never gets damaged? That's licensing, believe it or not. The owners don't want their cars looking damaged. Heh.

      "they need a bitchslap to remind them w
      • "Wanna make a game featuring the Lakers? Gotta pay up"

        But what can they do about open-source player rosters? The NBL (National Basketball League)'s "L.A. Fakers" featuring Tactille Surreal and Toby Plyant? The mighty "Washington Lizards" with Mickey Gordon? The "Detroit Pissed-off's" featuring Claney Pullups? The Utah Spazz and Chicago Boo? Go ahead and sue, I dare ya. EA will have to face this soon enough when they have to create hockey players for "NHL 2005-2006"

        • by jpu8086 (682572) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @05:47PM (#11497024) Homepage
          FYI, Tactille Surreal got traded to the Miami Feat this past off season. Maybe you were thinking of Lamer Hoodlum.
      • the game itself would be just as good _game_ if the team name was Los Angeles Fakers.
    • American football is not exclusive. The NFL is.

      Baseball is not exclusibe. The MLB is.

      Unfortunately, we have been trained to believe that the NFL is football and that MLB is baseball.

      I like watching highschool ball, and minor league baseball (affiliated with MLB). Not the highest level of the sport. But if more people could take or leave the big leagues, we would not have 8 figure contracts and multi-million dollar licensing deals.

      You say "they" need the bitchslap. I think the American public does. Payin
      • "Baseball is not exclusibe. The MLB is."

        Not sure on this, but I think that professional baseball is ALL controlled by the "MLB" due to a congress-granted monopoly. Every minor-team I know if is affiliated with major-league team. Someone clarify this for me?

        If true, then NFL is not all pro football, but MLB is all pro baseball. Outside of MLB, what is there in the U.S.? Maybe, just maybe, you can name your neighbor's kid who is in Little League.

        • Every minor-team I know if is affiliated with major-league team.

          No, there are many independent minor league teams and leagues.

          IIRC congress has essentially granted MLB protection from anti-trust lawsuits, not granted them true exculsive monopoly status.
        • Congress has granted a monopoly to MLB. The St. Paul Saints [saintsbaseball.com] are AFAIK the only minor league team not affiliated with a major league team. They made a big deal about this when they first started about 10 years ago, but I haven't heard much lately, so there might be more now. I'm pretty sure they are still MLB affiliated somehow though.

          • Congress has granted a monopoly to MLB.

            No, congress granted MLB exemption from antitrust laws. Not the same thing.

            The St. Paul Saints are AFAIK the only minor league team not affiliated with a major league team. They made a big deal about this when they first started about 10 years ago, but I haven't heard much lately, so there might be more now.

            I don't know how they can claim that. There have been independent teams, and entire independent leagues around for quite a while. More now, since MLB contr
        • Actually, there is a competing league not affiliated with MLB now, the Northern League. My local team is the Kansas City T-Bones. They did fairly well last season and I even had a chance to go out and support them a few times. The stadium was small, but quite nice given the fact it doesn't have a major league team's resources.
  • by 2Flower (216318) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @04:39PM (#11496077) Homepage
    All it has to do is lock EA out of a market, and that's what Take Two has done. Without EA as a competitor they have an area of exclusivity, of sorts... they have to compete with first party offerings, but since when has Sony or Nintendo cared that much about baseball? Microsoft is keen due to buying the High Heat franchise, but that's it.
  • EA is paying exclusive prices to be labeled monopolistic and become singlehandedly responsible for the inevitable downfall of the sports game market. That money doesn't sound too smart to me.
    • While I want to say EA is responsible. It isn't entirely. The U.S court system need to stretch monopolistic practices to cover these cases. And it hasn't. EA can potentially own 90% of the video game industry. If that's not monopoly, I don't know what is.

  • It will be interesting if EA can manage to get exclusive rights to team names and logos.
  • License is important (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tm2b (42473) on Thursday January 27, 2005 @05:25PM (#11496729) Journal
    A lot of people replying to this seem to think that the only significant allure to a baseball game is to, well, play baseball. That is, to simulate hitting a ball and running around bases, or to catch the ball and throw it to the right person fast enough.

    That's not what this is about. Many, many people (I believe probably the majority of these games' customer base) are interested not in the game as an abstract activity, but as competition among the teams and players they know so well.

    They're already personally involved with the characters, both sympathetically and antagonistically- viewing this as about the game of baseball is like ignoring the difference between a random space opera shooter with some new characters and a licensed Star Wars game where you can play Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, or Boba Fett and where you can kill Jar Jar Binks. It's providing interaction with the characters they know.
    • You can actually see an approximation of them winning a Pennant. *rimshot*
    • I agree character recognition is a strong sell point, but initial Pro evolution soccer games proved in Europe that if your game is better you can sell it.
      Other way to go is allowing costume teams and have the fans develop the teams.
      Also you can go the Nintendo way and use other characters like game, or even cinema, if you have the license.
      Other solution could be to ask the people to join the put up a website and people would submit their photo and name, at least does that made the cut would buy the game
  • After saying "As far as we're concerned, this looks like stupid money. They are paying an exclusive price for a nonexclusive agreement" Brown continued by laughing and stating "I bet Take-Two actually pays their employees for working overtime. Suckers."
  • It's not clear from text of the agreement that I've seen published so far exactly what the scope is. From Gamespot:

    "Take-Two will have exclusive rights among third-party publishers to develop and market simulation, arcade and manager-style baseball video games on the current and next-generation PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, personal computer and hand-held video game systems."

    "Manager-style" and "personal computer" could easily be construed as also applying to fantasy baseball leagues, which are a pretty

  • EA's response is not due to the fact that the MLB deal was worthless, but rather was caused by the need to save face in front of shareholders. If EA were to have returned fire with a 'We are disappointed with the current arrangement between Take-2 and MLB ...' or 'We regret blah blah blah', thier stock would no doubt take some form of a hit. Capital from investors is largely based on trust in corporate governance and predictions of future revenue. If an executive were to indicate that the outlook had been h
    • I believe that all you have to do to circumvent the license is avoid the use of team names, team logos, player names, and player likenesses. That means that you can still refer to the teams by their city or state, still use their team colors, and still use the players' numbers without getting sued. IIRC, the original John Madden Football did this very thing because it didn't have an NFL license.

      Sure, this would be less appealing than the real deal -- but many people would find it to be a reasonable subs

  • Take Two for ensuring that EA cannot get an exclusive rights deal with yet another sport conglomeration while still allowing EA and others the ability to contract and use the names of the players in a healthy competition. May the maker of the best MLB-licensed game win.

    Disclaimer: I hate sports games.
  • Apparently grammar is NOT something they "take real serious" at EA.

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