EA Agrees to Settlement in Antitrust Suit

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NuclearShadow:
I don't blame EA for this I blame gamers and Take-Two. EA did what you would expect from a business stance and gained exclusive rights. If I had a movie studio company and got the exclusive rights to make movies based off of Marvel Comics this wouldn't unusual and seen as a smart move. This is what EA did just in regards to football. I'm no fan of EA but there is no need to cast stones when they really didn't do anything wrong and for once did something smart.

Why is it the gamers and Take-Two's fault you may be asking. Simple gamers are at fault for being ignorant enough to not consider buying games outside of those leagues. If someone is a football fan then deep down football is what should matter. Not because they could play as a fictional version of a real team. Take-Two is at fault for not attempting this and making a truly notably superior game, without paying those big $ for the rights to develop and publish games based on a real league. That savings can instead be put into development funds and actually create a superior product. But no suing is somehow the answer.

With this logic I could start a development for a wrestling game and then turn around and sue THQ because they have a monopoly on the genre because they have exclusive rights to publish WWE games which at this time are the only real successful wrestling games today. Despite THQ really not being at any fault at all. Placing the blame on a rights holder to a franchise because the consumers are too ignorant to consider other options or competitors can't deliver a obvious better product is just idiotic.

Actually, EA did do something wrong. It's all in that second paragraph. After a very lackluster year of sales from their football game, Take-Two lowered the price of their NFL-dubbed football game to try and push more copies. In response, EA was forced to lower the price of their game to stay competitive. And that's fine, that's competition, that's what our market is based on. It's EA's next move that makes them look really shady.

So after the 2005 price drops, EA responded by signing the exclusive rights to have anything NFL-related in their football game. Should brand name matter? No, it really shouldn't, and regardless of whether or not it's the consumer's fault for brand name mattering, EA knows that it matters and chose to specifically exploit it. So with Take-Two unable to make another NFL game (sure they could make a football game, but fewer people would buy it purely because it doesn't look official), EA released their next football game at the full price.

In short, EA received some competition, was forced to respond to the competition by keeping their prices lower, then bought-up rights that would allow them to jack-up their price again. THAT is why they're in trouble. They specifically took away the competition's ability to make a competitive product (and again, regardless of who's fault it is that brand name matters, EA is still at fault for specifically exploiting that fact) and then showed-off their poker face by immediately jacking-up the price on their game.

Grey Carter:

Lumber Barber:
I don't get it. They were sued for handling the business well and taking over the market?

No, they were sued for alleged anti-competitive actions. Monopolies are bad for markets. They lower competition, raise prices and discourage innovation. That's why we have commissions in place to ensure they don't occur, but they still do.

I'm not sure if EA's actions are completely anti-competitive. As Nuclear Shadow pointed out, it's perfectly possible to create a good football game without an official license. But it appears the suit had enough of a case that EA is willing to settle.

I would argue that they did do it specifically to be anti-competitive. The way that them getting the NFL rights corresponded to them jacking the price back up shows intent, in my eyes. As for Take-Two being able to make a perfectly good football game even if they can't use the NFL brand name, so it shouldn't have been a huge deal, see my previous reply. Take-Two could create THE football game to play, but it still won't sell when people see a perfectly legitimate NFL game sitting right next to it on the store shelves. As far as the average consumer can tell, it's an official title vs some cheap knock-off. Like when Disney releases Aladdin on DVD, then some animation studio you've never heard of decides that it's a good time to do their own cartoon based on the story. Sure some people buy the cheap knock-off, but most people figure "Yeah, it's cheaper, but there's probably a reason for that", and then buy the brand name title on the premise of "You get what you pay for".

Clearing the Eye:

Hornet0404:

Clearing the Eye:
If anyone feels the enjoyment of a game is diminished by the absence of certain names, they're a fool. Brand means nothing here. Utterly pointless.

Well then call me a fool.

I think that if say a racing game (like say Colin McRae Rally, F1 2011 or Race 07) doesn't feature the complete roster of cars/teams/drivers of a certain series then it's half-arsed (and me being a perfectionist twit about such things it does diminish my enjoyment. Sure I'm an Audi fan but I'd still want to try and drive the Peugeot 908 HDI FAP).

So they can make the same game (and they are the same games) but without a certain name on the car/shirt, it's not fun? The absence of some letters, ignoring the quality of the product, its gameplay and general feel, etc., ruins your ability to have fun? How... sad. I prefer to enjoy my time with things and not worry which brand they paid to have slapped over the box.

Well that is why I prefer motorsports games. It isn't the same. Cars are different (even Formula 1 which is pretty fixed when it comes to rules are subject to changes from yeah to yeah, just do a comparison between the '07 the '10 and the '12 cars).

Hornet0404:

Clearing the Eye:

Hornet0404:

Well then call me a fool.

I think that if say a racing game (like say Colin McRae Rally, F1 2011 or Race 07) doesn't feature the complete roster of cars/teams/drivers of a certain series then it's half-arsed (and me being a perfectionist twit about such things it does diminish my enjoyment. Sure I'm an Audi fan but I'd still want to try and drive the Peugeot 908 HDI FAP).

So they can make the same game (and they are the same games) but without a certain name on the car/shirt, it's not fun? The absence of some letters, ignoring the quality of the product, its gameplay and general feel, etc., ruins your ability to have fun? How... sad. I prefer to enjoy my time with things and not worry which brand they paid to have slapped over the box.

Well that is why I prefer motorsports games. It isn't the same. Cars are different (even Formula 1 which is pretty fixed when it comes to rules are subject to changes from yeah to yeah, just do a comparison between the '07 the '10 and the '12 cars).

You missed the point entirely. If the cars are the exact same in Racing Game 2012 as they are in Big Brand Name Racing Game 2012, you should enjoy both equally. That you care so strongly about certain letters being on the box is inane.

Grey Carter:

I'm not sure if EA's actions are completely anti-competitive. As Nuclear Shadow pointed out, it's perfectly possible to create a good football game without an official license. But it appears the suit had enough of a case that EA is willing to settle.

I'm going out on a limb here, but knowing what I do about the demographics for football fans in the United States (being in the Green Bay/Bears DMZ-fanzone), a license is entirely required to even get noticed.

Brand recognition falls somewhere between Nationalism and Religion in terms of commitment.
(It's the only way to explain how there are still Cubs Fans here in Chicago.
*ducks hail of beer bottles and buckshot*)

Suki_:

theultimateend:

Akimoto:

Unfortunately not trusting them does not make their games un-addictive. There will still be a demographic that snaps up EA games and from Microsoft's example, it's very hard to break a monopoly once it has been established.

It's basically why the idea of the "free market regulating itself." is total bullshit.\

I'm oversimplifying obviously.

Yea dam those people who buy stuff that they like and I dont. Why do they have to have things like personal taste and instead just be mindless slaves who only buy what I tell them.

I must not get what you are going off about. Because if you were hoping to sound clever or smart you really missed the mark by a mile.

Using psychology to manipulate people is far older than you or anyone you know. It's the entire basis behind cults and it is how some folks can convince other folks to kill themselves or to even die for them.

Acting like everything is a simple choice that is made by fully rational beings is just naive.

So painfully naive.

Then you are ignoring the malicious practices of businesses, namely what I was getting at. Once a business has enough money it can manipulate the market so that it is the only option. Whenever regulations are put in place to curb this people bitch about it hurting "the free market".

It can't work, it doesn't work, it never worked.

It's nice though, but its terribly flawed.

Anywho, I probably just wasted my time. Because either I misunderstood you and you already knew this OR you don't care to research anything beyond soundbites and "snark".

NuclearShadow:
I don't blame EA for this I blame gamers and Take-Two. EA did what you would expect from a business stance and gained exclusive rights. If I had a movie studio company and got the exclusive rights to make movies based off of Marvel Comics this wouldn't unusual and seen as a smart move. This is what EA did just in regards to football. I'm no fan of EA but there is no need to cast stones when they really didn't do anything wrong and for once did something smart.

The reason a movie company would get exclusive rights for heroes is because the ENTIRE thing is intertwined.

If say Sony has control over Spiderman and some other company has control over Fantastic Four you've just knocked out dozens or even hundreds of comic stories you might want to do.

The reason they get exclusivity is because people don't play together. I don't see how this would be the same with the NFL.

Unless you got exclusive rights to a single team. Then I could see that being one person breaking the system

But yeah, there is a reason Spider-man wasn't in the Avengers and it had nothing to do with casting problems. It had to do with them not having ownership of movie rights.

Would be cool if movie companies weren't dicks to one another, I'd love to see intermingling. Though that might be dangerous, old school monopolies.

Football games were their bottomless pit of money. After screwing over their RPG fans with Mass Effect and DA2 (which I don't get at all. I really liked DA2. Not as good as DA1 but by far not a bad game at all. But, none the less, it's trendy to hate it right now)

Could this be the beginning of the end for EA?

The whole point of releasing a new game with little (its a game about a sport, there's not much you can do to spice it up beyond keeping it accurate to the real thing) change being made to it that can be updated with new players via cheaper DLC makes the whole Release a game at $50 or above every freaking YEAR pointless and unfair to the consumer

The fact is that EA treats the series as a consistent cash cow that required little (if any) investment AND effort in the making of the next game and rehash the same game code from the previous games but with different faces since the sports gamer market aren't as "aware" of how little effort and change was made to the game beyond new faces and a large number are satisfied very easily just knowing that their favorite player is in the next game to be released

theultimateend:
snip

That that really was a waste of your time. Sadly you dont understand that people are not mindless sheep. If somebody does not like something then they will not buy it.

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