Riccitiello Bummed About Madden '10 Sales

Riccitiello Bummed About Madden '10 Sales

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EA CEO John Riccitiello wrote an email to EA employees discussing the fortunes of the massive publisher in the economic recession - including disappointing sales of Madden NFL '10.

Oh sure, Madden NFL '10 might have been the best-selling game in August, but its sales were still more sluggish than expected. EA boss Riccitiello acknowledged the slow sales of the company's flagship franchise, saying that it was emblematic of the difficulties the industry was facing in an eternal email obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

"This week, market research for August will show that year over year, the industry was down in North America - and that August sales of Madden NFL 10 are down with that trend. It is discouraging that one of our highest-rated and best-marketed Madden titles in years is facing strong headwinds," he wrote, pointing to high reviews of the latest installment of the yearly franchise - the highest-reviewed installment on current-gen platforms thus far.

Riccitiello expressed enthusiasm for the recent price cuts of the Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles, saying that he expected it to drive flagging sales in the industry and spur demand for software. As expected of a company leader trying to inspire morale in his troops after one of their flagship titles underperformed, he remained confident for the future:

What underpins most everything is the dramatic improvement in our product quality. Back in 2006, we set quality as a top priority and we have increased our average every year since then. Already this year, EA has produced 11 titles with an 80+ Metacritic average ... I am confident that we will exceed the record we set last year of shipping 14 titles rated 80 or better. We will know in the weeks ahead when critics rate our big releases such as NHL 10, FIFA 10, Need for Speed SHIFT, Dead Space Extraction, and from EAP, Brutal Legend and Left 4 Dead 2.

Sure, he's pounding his own drum, but in all fairness, not many publishers can boast 15 or greater 80+ releases in a year. Even if a lot of those are just yearly sport titles. I'll give you credit where credit is due, John. We owe you for picking up Brutal Legend, anyway.

(Via Edge)

Permalink

What i fail to grasp is why Madden is so popular at all. Its basicly the same game year after year, and the same goes for all those Tiger Woods, Nascar, Baseball, NHL, and other sports games. If any other company tried what these games have been getting away with for years, we would call them lunatics and they wouldnt make any money.

Well its slow times everywhere. Its good to see the other countries coming out of the recession, i think its going to be a case where we were the first to suffer and we will be the last to come out of it.

GamerLuck:
What i fail to grasp is why Madden is so popular at all. Its basicly the same game year after year, and the same goes for all those Tiger Woods, Nascar, Baseball, NHL, and other sports games. If any other company tried what these games have been getting away with for years, we would call them lunatics and they wouldnt make any money.

Stop hating on sports games, if its not your thing then dont play it. GH and Rock band are the same concept, so if you play those you have no room to complain.

The reality is that most people don't find it necessary to buy a Madden title every year. I'm still playing Madden 08.

They need to release a madden game once every four years. Offer DLC for updated rosters and stats every year, along with some other DLC, and then that's it. Just do that.

Credge:
The reality is that most people don't find it necessary to buy a Madden title every year. I'm still playing Madden 08.

They need to release a madden game once every four years. Offer DLC for updated rosters and stats every year, along with some other DLC, and then that's it. Just do that.

That makes too much sense, also they can't make as much money if they do that.... supposedly.

I'm still playing Madden 06, I hate the "new" features to Superstar mode. I'm glad to see that PS3 didn't have to rely on Madden as predicted.

Madden '10 already?! It's still 2009! Someone's getting way ahead of themselves.

xmetatr0nx:

Stop hating on sports games, if its not your thing then dont play it. GH and Rock band are the same concept, so if you play those you have no room to complain.

Guess You've got me there .-.

EDIT: On second thought, you kinda dont. GH and RB, while are at the core the same release after release, at least have different and improved content every new game. adds new challenge to each game as you get it, and ultimately expands your options as per the game itself... kinda like a full priced expansion, but with enough content to warrent the price.

This article is hillarious because it basically translates as "Our money printing machine isn't running as fast as we're used to, we may have to do some actual work for a change..."

xmetatr0nx:
Stop hating on sports games, if its not your thing then dont play it. GH and Rock band are the same concept, so if you play those you have no room to complain.

I don't think the hate is aimed at the "sports", but rather at the fact that they recycle the same game with practically no improvements year after year and for some reasom people eat it up.

With the invention of DLC and EA's implementation of updatable rosters in NFL 09. NFL 10 on the other hand actually holds back more content than a normal consumer would of expected for free. EA's microtransactions turned EA's NFL 10 from a sixty dollar game into a 100 dollar game. There were so many add-ons ranging from players to game modes that consumers felt like they were only buying half a game. Also the game has become a lot more complex, EA actually made an iphone app for the game to allow micromanagement of player rosters.

Who wants to deal with all those problems when buying a game?

GamerLuck:
What i fail to grasp is why Madden is so popular at all. Its basicly the same game year after year

lol, no it isn't. It's the same sport every year. If you don't play it then obviously you won't notice the differences in gameplay.

harhol:

GamerLuck:
What i fail to grasp is why Madden is so popular at all. Its basicly the same game year after year

lol, no it isn't. It's the same sport every year. If you don't play it then obviously you won't notice the differences in gameplay.

Maybe i am not as sensitive to these thing as others, but i picked up a controller and sat behind the latest NHL game, and it played in basically the same way as the same franchise did back on my N64... and my dad goes out and buys every new nascar game, and i have not noticed a single change other then cosmetic ones year to year...

I of course could be wrong and generalizing. Its just going to take some serious showing before i fully admit that with any conviction.

xmetatr0nx:
Well its slow times everywhere. Its good to see the other countries coming out of the recession, i think its going to be a case where we were the first to suffer and we will be the last to come out of it.

GamerLuck:
What i fail to grasp is why Madden is so popular at all. Its basicly the same game year after year, and the same goes for all those Tiger Woods, Nascar, Baseball, NHL, and other sports games. If any other company tried what these games have been getting away with for years, we would call them lunatics and they wouldnt make any money.

Stop hating on sports games, if its not your thing then dont play it. GH and Rock band are the same concept, so if you play those you have no room to complain.

What irks me most about sports games - or indeed any game series which follows this trend - is the yearly releases. If they just made it every other year, I bet a majority of anger would dissipate. As I said though, this isn't restricted to just yearly sports games. When Unreal Tournament seemed to hop on the Yearly release bandwagon for a short time during the 2002-2005 sort of time I became quite disillusioned with those games as well.

GamerLuck:
Maybe i am not as sensitive to these thing as others, but i picked up a controller and sat behind the latest NHL game, and it played in basically the same way as the same franchise did back on my N64... and my dad goes out and buys every new nascar game, and i have not noticed a single change other then cosmetic ones year to year...

Well I'm not an NHL or a Nascar fan, so I can't comment on those games, but the team behind Madden do seem to put in a lot of effort each year, likewise the Fight Night and FIFA teams. On the other hand, the Tiger Woods team are the laziest motherfuckers in the industry. It varies from franchise to franchise. But just because it's EA doesn't necessarily mean that it's bad (e.g. they published We Love Katamari in Europe when no one else would touch it).

Amnestic:
What irks me most about sports games - or indeed any game series which follows this trend - is the yearly releases. If they just made it every other year, I bet a majority of anger would dissipate. As I said though, this isn't restricted to just yearly sports games. When Unreal Tournament seemed to hop on the Yearly release bandwagon for a short time during the 2002-2005 sort of time I became quite disillusioned with those games as well.

Yea i can understand, i just dislike when people single out EA games as if they are the only ones doing it. Mean while once your rant is done you go back to Guitar Hero or some random capcom game.

GamerLuck:

xmetatr0nx:

Stop hating on sports games, if its not your thing then dont play it. GH and Rock band are the same concept, so if you play those you have no room to complain.

Guess You've got me there .-.

EDIT: On second thought, you kinda dont. GH and RB, while are at the core the same release after release, at least have different and improved content every new game. adds new challenge to each game as you get it, and ultimately expands your options as per the game itself... kinda like a full priced expansion, but with enough content to warrent the price.

actually, he does. gh and rb ARE the same game every year. whats different? a few new characters? new songs? only occasionally are new features included in the games, but for the most part every year its just the same thing.

and as someone said, with madden they could just add in dlc every year instead of making a new game, and while rb does that to some extent gh really doesent, activision just pushes out sequel after sequel year after year with little variation from the previous years release.

on that note (and not in response to the post i just quoted), sports games DO serve a purpose. these games are used to test new technologies before ea incorporates them into other games. advancements in ai, physics, rendering techniques and dozens of under the hood features. they also serve as a money making venture. game development is expensive. new, aaa title games now cost over $20 million to make, and in order to help fund these games development publishers release games like madden and gh which sell well and help secure funding for other games including new franchises which dont have the kind of market exposure that sequels do (sequels sell better, its a sad fact). also, companies exist to make money, primarily for their stockholders (aka, PEOPLE), and these franchises help with that and cover the losses made from games that dont sell well for one reason or another (bad games for one, but games that just dont sell well even though they are good).

xmetatr0nx:

Amnestic:
What irks me most about sports games - or indeed any game series which follows this trend - is the yearly releases. If they just made it every other year, I bet a majority of anger would dissipate. As I said though, this isn't restricted to just yearly sports games. When Unreal Tournament seemed to hop on the Yearly release bandwagon for a short time during the 2002-2005 sort of time I became quite disillusioned with those games as well.

Yea i can understand, i just dislike when people single out EA games as if they are the only ones doing it. Mean while once your rant is done you go back to Guitar Hero or some random capcom game.

I, personally, have never purchased a single 'Hero' game or similar. My brother bought GH1 when it was released and then Rock Band about 3 months after that came out, but that's the extent of my Music Game extravaganza.

As for Capcom games, I assume you're mostly referring to the endless Street Fighter remixes, remakes, anniversary packs, anniversary remix remakes and the like?

<- hasn't played a Street Fighter game since SF2. ;O

I try to stay away from shelling money out into franchises which excrete similar shit on an almost yearly basis. The EA Sport games probably get more flak but they earn it in part for being developed by EA to begin with.

The only person worse than EA is Bobby Kotick.

harhol:

GamerLuck:
Maybe i am not as sensitive to these thing as others, but i picked up a controller and sat behind the latest NHL game, and it played in basically the same way as the same franchise did back on my N64... and my dad goes out and buys every new nascar game, and i have not noticed a single change other then cosmetic ones year to year...

Well I'm not an NHL or a Nascar fan, so I can't comment on those games, but the team behind Madden do seem to put in a lot of effort each year, likewise the Fight Night and FIFA teams. On the other hand, the Tiger Woods team are the laziest motherfuckers in the industry. It varies from franchise to franchise. But just because it's EA doesn't necessarily mean that it's bad (e.g. they published We Love Katamari in Europe when no one else would touch it).

I a not really a fan of either of those myself, they are just the example i could site. Likewise i have to admit that i havent played a Madden since the N64 days, and never played a Tiger of FIFA game.... I guess i just dont get sports games in general, and my little attempt to try and understand why the people who like them do, didnt go so well this time around.

At the very least, I agree to disagree. Any game that sells well in the industry is a good thing, especially in todays economic environment.

Sports game yearly releases make a measure of sense if you come from the angle that sports fans like to have everything updated for the newest year's teams and players (not saying it's right---they could release roster-update DLC---but saying it makes business sense).

Unfortunately, in a recession, it's REAL easy for the consumer to think "I've already got a Madden game, no sense getting the brand-spanking-new one when the alternative is buying $60 worth of food to feed myself or paying the electric bill." The entire marketing theory behind annual releases falls flat on its ass when the economy doesn't allow your customers much disposable income.

Plus, there's the "victim of their own success" problem. Riccitiello is crowing about how many 80+ Metascore games EA's made, but even for the eclectic gamer who will play anything as long as it's good, fifteen games is $900. I don't know about any of you, but I don't have $900 a year to buy games---I'd say I spend maybe a third of that at the very most...and that's not counting my wife's $180-a-year World of Warcraft habit. I couldn't buy 15 new games even if I wanted to.

Beyond that, EA isn't the only game in town. They're putting out 15 80+ Metascore games, but what about Paradox Interactive and 2K (just for starters?) They're competing for my money too (and anything from Paradox's internal dev team is a guaranteed sale to me), so out of that $300 there just isn't much left for EA.

I feel a measure of sympathy for EA---they really are trying hard to shed their evil reputation---but I just don't have the money for them and I suspect most other people don't either.

As for Guitar Hero...

I played GH2 and GH3, missed World Tour, but I picked up GH5 in a store demo the other day, and I actually saw quite a bit of innovation over GH3.. held notes with non-held notes during the hold sort of threw me for a loop, and I loved it. It may have been in World Tour, but like I said, I missed that, so it was new to me.

There is still Innovation out there somewhere if you're willing to work for it.

I imagine the same sort of thing can be said for Madden.

But Madden was the Top Selling game for August, and yet they still whimper... on that note, Fuck Riccitiello... you made what is clearly a great game, and it's selling fine. Other games don't sell at all, and you got a top selling game. Count your lucky stars.

GamerLuck:
What i fail to grasp is why Madden is so popular at all. Its basicly the same game year after year, and the same goes for all those Tiger Woods, Nascar, Baseball, NHL, and other sports games. If any other company tried what these games have been getting away with for years, we would call them lunatics and they wouldnt make any money.

Because every year that some adult gets burned out on the same sports game year after year, there's a kid somewhere that just got old enough for games and has *never played a sports game before in his or her life*

That kid's far less likely to go back and buy last year's sports game, no matter how little improvement there has been to the game itself. At that age, playing with the current rosters is way more important than when you get older.

EA should make a blues hero game with a stomp box peripheral.

ratix2:

GamerLuck:

xmetatr0nx:

Stop hating on sports games, if its not your thing then dont play it. GH and Rock band are the same concept, so if you play those you have no room to complain.

Guess You've got me there .-.

EDIT: On second thought, you kinda dont. GH and RB, while are at the core the same release after release, at least have different and improved content every new game. adds new challenge to each game as you get it, and ultimately expands your options as per the game itself... kinda like a full priced expansion, but with enough content to warrent the price.

actually, he does. gh and rb ARE the same game every year. whats different? a few new characters? new songs? only occasionally are new features included in the games, but for the most part every year its just the same thing.

and as someone said, with madden they could just add in dlc every year instead of making a new game, and while rb does that to some extent gh really doesent, activision just pushes out sequel after sequel year after year with little variation from the previous years release.

on that note (and not in response to the post i just quoted), sports games DO serve a purpose. these games are used to test new technologies before ea incorporates them into other games. advancements in ai, physics, rendering techniques and dozens of under the hood features. they also serve as a money making venture. game development is expensive. new, aaa title games now cost over $20 million to make, and in order to help fund these games development publishers release games like madden and gh which sell well and help secure funding for other games including new franchises which dont have the kind of market exposure that sequels do (sequels sell better, its a sad fact). also, companies exist to make money, primarily for their stockholders (aka, PEOPLE), and these franchises help with that and cover the losses made from games that dont sell well for one reason or another (bad games for one, but games that just dont sell well even though they are good).

And most of the time, in sports games you get a roster change. Something that should be given for free or that you could do yourself if you weren't so damn lazy. The new songs actually add to those games.

Still, yearly releases on any game is too much.

GamerLuck:
What i fail to grasp is why Madden is so popular at all. Its basicly the same game year after year, and the same goes for all those Tiger Woods, Nascar, Baseball, NHL, and other sports games. If any other company tried what these games have been getting away with for years, we would call them lunatics and they wouldnt make any money.

Nascar changes more than any regular sport based game (BUT NOT BY MUCH). at least it had cars and you weren't forced to have madden on the box cover lol.

Look if you want to make more sales stop releasing the same game. You know why I never played any madden game past the Sega Genesis? Because that was the best madden game/sport game of all time.

CantFaketheFunk:
EA boss Riccitiello acknowledged the slow sales of the company's flagship franchise, saying that it was emblematic of the difficulties the industry was facing in an eternal email obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

Wait... what?

karmapolizei:

CantFaketheFunk:
EA boss Riccitiello acknowledged the slow sales of the company's flagship franchise, saying that it was emblematic of the difficulties the industry was facing in an eternal email obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

Wait... what?

If you slip an 'x' in there it makes more sense.

Amnestic:

karmapolizei:

CantFaketheFunk:
EA boss Riccitiello acknowledged the slow sales of the company's flagship franchise, saying that it was emblematic of the difficulties the industry was facing in an eternal email obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

Wait... what?

If you slip an 'x' in there it makes more sense.

No, it doesn't. If you replace it with 'internal', it makes sense. Which is what I wanted to suggest without, you know, suggesting it ;)

karmapolizei:

Amnestic:

karmapolizei:

CantFaketheFunk:
EA boss Riccitiello acknowledged the slow sales of the company's flagship franchise, saying that it was emblematic of the difficulties the industry was facing in an eternal email obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

Wait... what?

If you slip an 'x' in there it makes more sense.

No, it doesn't. If you replace it with 'internal', it makes sense. Which is what I wanted to suggest without, you know, suggesting it ;)

I prefer it as is

It's like.. The Email will last forever.

Humanity will crumble and fall.

All computer systems will whither away to nothing.

But somewhere in the ether.. there will be that poor little eternal email.. Living the cursed life of an immortal being, isolated and alone.

I think madden games have gotten over complex throughout the years. Too detailed..too technical and has taken the fun out it for more casual sport gamers. I used to love football games. But now i just can't be bothered.

The solution obviously is to revamp Madden, providing an "Arcade" mode thats simpler, and a "Simulation" mode that lets you micromanage stats, players, training, is more intricate in execution, etc, and allows you access to scrimmage and season and tournament gameplay with either mode.

The other solution is, instead of releasing a 60 dollar game each year, release DLC in increments over the year- at least 2 or 3 months so customers don't feel bilked. You can include things like new players, a "legends" series that lets you plug in old great players, costumes... hell, skys the limit really. XBLA connectivity could be used to update stats.

The problem of course is once a new year rolls around you'd have to come up with something even better to sell.

 

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