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Could lawsuits have a chance to break the exclusive contracts on sports franchises?

Forums - Gaming Discussion - Could lawsuits have a chance to break the exclusive contracts on sports franchises?

I don't think you know what a monopoly is. Any company can make a sports game just as well as EA or 2K. If they want to use official branding of real sports organizations, that's up to that organization. Maybe you should be asking if there should be easier ways to get new sports groups off the ground?



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Bofferbrauer2 said:
Darwinianevolution said:
Ok, serious question. Why doesn't anyone just make a sports game... without licenses? No expensive players, no corrupt sports organization... just a good sports simulator. Does the name really carry so much power it makes competition impossible?

They exist, especially on PC. But without the license, they're just not attractive. They often try to circumvent this by including an editor, so they could be modded in down the line, but that's a small market.

Otherwise, I'm sure you would have known about those games in the first place and not asked this question.

That's actually a very interesting situation there. The sports games are some of the biggest sellers in the industry, yet without the license many sports titles can't reach decent numbers, even to break even. Is it really the licenses and the faces on them that sell the game? Do the sports crowd really care that much about that?



You know it deserves the GOTY.

Come join The 2018 Obscure Game Monthly Review Thread.

Bofferbrauer2 said:
potato_hamster said:

To be clear, the NFL actually offered that exclusivity to the highest bidder, and EA won. The NFL was the ones deciding to kill competition, not EA.

True, but the end result is the same. And I wonder who had that dumb idea at the NFL - wouldn't they earn more by having several licensees?

The NFL's modus operandi was to have one licensed game, because if you have only one game then it's easier to regulate quality (Read: Revoke the license if it sucks). The NFL didn't want sub-par games with their name on it floating around, and 989's god-awful NFL GameDay series was a major culprit.



No, there's not much of a legal avenue to force professional sports leagues and unions to let other companies make games that utilize the likenesses of the players or names and logos of the teams. Certainly not using the examples in OP's post. Exclusive licenses like this do not represent a monopoly, nor do they represent unfair business practices. And you, as a fan, do not have standing to argue brand damage.

And as far as spite goes, the simple fact is, even if FIFA chose to offer a license to another developer, you're simply not going to get an EA FIFA competitor on Switch that remotely matches the quality of PS4 and XBox. The Switch's limitations were always going to result in things like this, and it will get worse as the 9th generation begins in earnest.



Darwinianevolution said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

They exist, especially on PC. But without the license, they're just not attractive. They often try to circumvent this by including an editor, so they could be modded in down the line, but that's a small market.

Otherwise, I'm sure you would have known about those games in the first place and not asked this question.

That's actually a very interesting situation there. The sports games are some of the biggest sellers in the industry, yet without the license many sports titles can't reach decent numbers, even to break even. Is it really the licenses and the faces on them that sell the game? Do the sports crowd really care that much about that?

Yes. Licenses make all of the difference. I used to work on a sports game where there were two main competing products. To try and give you an idea of how important licenses are, we spent more on licenses than we did on developing the game itself. We had exclusive licenses for about 80% of the leagues/countries, and the other company had exclusive rights to the other 20%, but that 20% contained about 50% of the best national teams/leagues in the world. So it meant that for the biggest tournament in the sport, our game would have had every national team that was competing except two, and their game would only having those two. We tried to trade exclusivity so we could both released games that had the licensing for all of the teams, but we couldn't work out a deal. As a result, game sales for both games combined were about 40% lower than they were for the last major tournament where both game series featured all teams. Fans were pissed, and both products suffered as a result.