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What happened to Sports games?

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Bofferbrauer2 said:
Barkley said:

You're not wrong, an online games as service type model does seem more suitable for these titles than releasing a new $60 title every year.

However it would be a risk, can they make as much money from Fifa if they do this? Fifa 19 sold 20m as of February 2019. That's $1-1.2 Billion. Plus they already make money on microtransactions with ultimate team on top of that.

I'm not sure Fifa as one continuous product could come near that level of income in a year.

Pretty much half the income for EA is from Fifa, and most of that is FUT. I would need to dig in my old posts to get the exact quote, but they said in an investor's meeting that Fifa makes more than half of the digital income of EA.

In other words, EA is earning way more through FUT than they do through game sales.

Found most recent article that gives a number I can find, nov 2018: "Revenue from Ultimate Team is quite large, making up 50% of live services or $1.1 billion over the last year. That's 21% of EA's total revenue."

It'd put FUT and game sales at about 50/50. Probably slightly in favour of FUT.



Predictions (Made July 2019)

LTD: PS4 - 130m, Switch - 110m, XBO - 52m       2019 : PS4 - 15m, Switch - 18.8m, XBO - 4.8m        2020: Switch - 22m (Peak Year)


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TheMisterManGuy said:
Ka-pi96 said:
Shitty developers couldn't compete with the masterpieces that EA put out every year. It's as simple as that.

Masterpieces? Sure the earlier EA Sports titles were good. But these days? It's loot-box, MTX mania with sluggish game-play and little to no improvements. And EA's competitors weren't bad either. Sega for instance was able to give good competition with the 2K Sports games.

These days too. FIFA was my personal GOTY last year and almost certainly will be again this year!



Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

Barkley said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

Pretty much half the income for EA is from Fifa, and most of that is FUT. I would need to dig in my old posts to get the exact quote, but they said in an investor's meeting that Fifa makes more than half of the digital income of EA.

In other words, EA is earning way more through FUT than they do through game sales.

Found most recent article that gives a number I can find, nov 2018: "Revenue from Ultimate Team is quite large, making up 50% of live services or $1.1 billion over the last year. That's 21% of EA's total revenue."

It'd put FUT and game sales at about 50/50. Probably slightly in favour of FUT.

Your report is older than that. I could find the same result, but in July 2018 already. Just FYI. Also, since it talks about "last year", that would mean FY 2018, so mostly 2017.

FUT had been growing for years. 2016, it only generated 650M, for instance.

Also, don't expect EA sold all those games at full price.

Truth be told, however, it's also a bit hard to gauge what exactly is in each category in their earnings calls. For instance, in the one from Q4 2018, digital net bookings are supposed to be 68% of a total income of 5.2 Billion dollar, so 3.54 Billions. Divide that by 60 ($60 games), and you still would get 59M games sold. Somehow, I doubt they managed to sell that much, especially in 2017 (FY 2018 means for them it ended in March 2018). Live services btw were at 2.2 Billion. And from an interview I had posted in an old thread where I had a similar discussion with somebody over Fifa, they said that, while they won't provide numbers, that Fifa always makes more than half of those numbers. I'm pretty sure the 1.1 Billion got extrapolated that way. But 1.1 billion are just the floor, not the exact number.

Interesting also that number 2 in their Live services are not Madden or any other sports title, but The Sims 4.

Also, reading the transcripts and seeing there Andrew Wilson claiming they're always thinking about the players first makes me wanna puke. 



TheMisterManGuy said:
Ka-pi96 said:
Shitty developers couldn't compete with the masterpieces that EA put out every year. It's as simple as that.

Masterpieces? Sure the earlier EA Sports titles were good. But these days? It's loot-box, MTX mania with sluggish game-play and little to no improvements. And EA's competitors weren't bad either. Sega for instance was able to give good competition with the 2K Sports games.

Agreed.  But, EA threw money at the leagues and unions and took control of the rights to names.  They also poured money into making great games.  The fact that they don't work as hard at the games anymore doesn't matter now, because they got themselves into a dominant position.  It's classic monopolist behavior.



Well, there is no catch all answer. It varies by sport.

NHL - EA doesn't actually have any exclusive license. Other companies just don't care to make games on console. Not licensed ones, anyway.

MLB - Sony doesn't have any exclusive license deals here, either. Take-Two used to have exclusive rights to make multiplatform MLB games, but they stopped making them because they found that customers wouldn't buy a trash MLB game just because it was licensed, and eventually the cost of the license outweighed the worth of making the game. Platform owners were always allowed to make their own game even when TT had the exclusive deal, but only Sony bothered. Of course, their game has become pretty lazy and full of microtransactions.

NBA - There is no exclusive license here, either. Take-Two has 2k, but other companies are free to make games. EA has been bringing Live back the last few years. If they wanted, MS and Sony could make basketball games.

MMA - There is no "MMA license". EA has the UFC license. Other companies could easily make MMA games for other brands of MMA, but choose not to. Probably because it would be very niche.

Soccer - FIFA has some license deals but not all of them. PES is licensed to make a lot of leagues. I can't imagine how much it costs to make these games based just on licenses alone, there are tons and tons and tons of different leagues and shit you need licenses for. I believe EA only has the FIFA license exclusively, meaning World Cup. I don't think PES has the US MLS league teams but that's out of choice, not deals. Could be wrong though.

NFL - EA of course has the exclusive license here and it sucks because they've become extremely lazy and football games are dog shit now. This can be blamed on multiple entities though.. EA, the NFL, even Sega for launching NFL2K5 at $20. This lead to Madden dropping to $30 super quick which lead to lower revenue for NFL games which would have lead to lower licensing fees for the NFL, and that's why they made a deal with EA.

Also, there are still a lot of unofficial/arcade type sports games, you just gotta find them. There are plenty for every sport, they are just mostly lower budget digital titles. It's a far cry from generations ago when you could see Blitz and NFL Xtreme on the shelf next to Madden, All-Pro QB, NFL GameDay, etc.

At the same time it's weird with a company like EA. They try so hard with games like NBA and even NHL even though NHL has zero competition. And when they had the NCAAF license, they still made very good games with lots of work put in to make it unique and authentic. Yet with Madden it's just a recycled cash cow for MUT.

Also the "release the game once and then just update it" wouldn't work because these sports companies want money for these licenses. You need a new product every year to pay these fees.



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If they came out with a NCAA football online game where you buy it once and (maybe a small annual subscription), they keep updating I'd totally buy it. I miss NCAA football. The players sued because they weren't getting money, and now they still aren't but we don't get to play it now. All we have now is boring NFL, I miss the excitement of bringing small nobody schools, through years of recruiting, to be able to beat the big dogs. You just don't get that same excitement out of NFL games.



I think as the average gamer age went up, the expectation of sim like sports games became more prevalent. And when companies got the sole right to make a league's sport, all the players were consolidated.

Just look at the numbers for Madden, 2k, Fifa, etc. They sell a crap load each year (with secondary games for soccer doing pretty good too, and a mix of results coming from other sports games like UFC, Wrestling, etc). It's just that less games are made.

We've had the resurgence of Blitz and arcade like sports games here and there, but I don't think people really want to buy that, hence the low numbers.

So I guess the answer isn't important. It's more about the question. What happened to Sports games fans? I just think they got old.



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Deus Ex (2000) - a game that pushes the boundaries of what the video game medium is capable of to a degree unmatched to this very day.

They're dead and gone. I say good riddance. Videogames are for nerds, not dudebro/jock types who were mean to me in high school.



Are you insinuating that exclusivity deals are bad for variety and competition?



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