The Line Drive for May 13

Posted May 13th, 2012 at 10:15 am

The Line Drive is a weekly collection of news, links, and updates that didn’t necessarily warrant their own postings.

•Don’t miss out on the NCAA Football 13 deal for $45.
•Not much in the way of current deals but MLB 2K12/NBA 2K12 Combo is down to $62.
•Kotaku digs deeper on NCAA Football 13’s recruiting improvements.
•Check out the official cover art for Madden NFL 13.
•FIFA 12 pulled in a stunning $108 million in DLC and microtransactions.
•Here’s an interesting discussion of the five biggest troubles facing sports gaming.
•Check out pictures of the new throwback uniforms for the Redskins.

Side-blogs on Google Plus tackling industry topics – add to a circle and +1 while there! Also results of any ‘quick polls’ held on Twitter and Facebook.

•On in-game saves being overlooked again for NCAA Football.
•On how the deal for NCAA reveals a potential price point for the future.

•How does the $45 NCAA Football 13 deal affect you?
Would have bought at $60 (48%) – Buying mainly cause of deal (34%) – Still not buying (18%)

News and content that may have been missed from the last week around the site.

•DVD/Blu-ray for This Week. Headlined by Chronicle and The Grey.
•Anchorman 2 Teaser Trailer. Playing in front of The Dictator.
•Trailer for The Campaign. Comedy with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.
•Trailer for Gangster Squad. Crime drama with strong ensemble cast.
•Trailer for Argo. Ben Affleck’s 70’s political drama.
•Trailer for Killer Joe. Thriller that got the rare NC-17 rating.
•Review: The Avengers. A fun movie that avoided many potential pitfalls.
•The Avengers Breaking Box Office Records. Already $1 billion worldwide.

  • mcmax3000

    There’s no reason every team sports game shouldn’t have in game saves by now. It should be a standard feature without question.

    Are there sports games that do have full support for in game saves? By that, I mean that no matter what mode you’re playing (franchise, career, exhibition, etc.) you can save mid-game.

    The only ones I play that that I’ve noticed having any in game saving are Tiger Woods & MLB: The Show but both only seem to allow it when you’re playing a career/season game, not in exhibition/play now.

    • Knapptrevor31

       MLB 2k series does in game saves, also NBA 2k only two i can logically think of

      • mcmax3000

        If that’s the case, it would explain why I didn’t know of any. I don’t play either of 2K’s games (Have The Show for Baseball and I’m not a Basketball fan).

    • Keith.

      It really is absolutely inexcusable that neither NCAA nor Madden have in-game saves.  

      When the game I was playing in my Cards’ season on Friday went into extra innings (against the Braves) on PS3, I saved it, loaded it up to the PS cloud (which took 2 seconds), and then finished it off today on the Vita.  Tiburon is so far behind the curve on this that it’s ridiculous.

      Even worse, here we are 8 years into the 360/PS3 generation, and not a SINGLE person in the gaming media has ever had the cajones to ask so much as a Game Changer (let alone an actual EA dev, though they sometimes turn out to be one and the same) why exactly we still don’t have in-game saves at this point.  It’s like every one is in on the joke but us.

  • Keith.

    Potentially the biggest sports videogame news story in 8 years comes along this week, and pasta doesn’t even mention it in the Line Drive, let alone give it a full blown thread of its own.  Which is not a surprise — Like someone else said this week, this place is fair and balanced the same way that Fox News is fair and balanced.  I’m just glad others can see that, too.  

    Anyways, I guess those of us who belong to the class will find out the details of the proposed settlement whenever we receive the email giving notice to the class, which will be soon enough (the court filings say it will be within 45 days, and that clock started a week or so ago).  At that point, there won’t be any way the story can be ignored anymore by the EA rank and file, i.e., everyone who’s ever attended one or more of the all expense paid trips down to Orlando including Kotaku/Owen Good, OS/Steve and co., IGN, Pasta, the Game Changers, etc.

    Of course, I’m really interested to see whether the deal is going to include EA giving up the exclusive NFL license and allowing others to compete.  EA did say in their disclosures this week that they’re paying $11 million to “terminate” a license — along with another $27 million for the settlement.  Could we finally have competition again?  I don’t want to get too excited but I also don’t see how class counsel can allege that EA has monopolized the football videogame market and then settle the case without including termination of the license as part of the deal — guess we’ll soon see.  If EA doesn’t have to give it up, then I can definitely see myself potentially opting out — and if EA ends up with a bunch of folks opting out, then their legal woes really are going to be far from over, settlement or not.  

    “The [Madden Monopoly] lawsuit has little to no merit however and the chances are very slim that an eventual ruling would favor the plaintiffs.” 

    — Pasta Padre, April 6, 2011 

    “However this suit in question [over the Madden Monopoly] really has no merit and isn’t going anywhere.” 

    — Pasta Padre, December 27, 2010 

    • Right now the news that they are preparing to settle means nothing to any consumer. Once it happens, and we know the details, then I will of course write about it and any ramifications.

      • Keith.

        Look forward to it.  Thanks, Pasta.

    • mcmax3000

      I still don’t see how EA having the exclusive license to the NFL is any more of a monopoly than any other exclusive licensing agreement ever made, video games or not.

      Obviously competition is better for consumers & I would like to see them not have an exclusive license (well, for Football, I don’t care as much since I’m not really a fan of the sport but in general, I’d like to see non-exclusive licensing), but how is this situation any different than, say, THQ having the exclusive licenses for WWE & UFC? Or Activison having the NASCAR license? Or hell, Activision having the Spider Man license?

      I’m not in favour of any exclusive licensing, but I was really hoping that EA would fight this one & win because as much as I feel they shouldn’t do so, license holders should have the right to choose an exclusive deal if they wish. It’s their license & they should be able to do what they want with it.

      As far as the settlement, I guarantee there’s no way EA agreed to a settlement where they give up the exclusive license.

      Besides, how can EA even do that? Everything I’ve seen about that original deal back in 04 indicates that it was the NFL that wanted to go with an exclusive license. So how could EA terminate the exclusivity? Wouldn’t the NFL have to be a part of that decision?

      Correct me if I’m wrong (and I could be, like I said, I’m not a football fan so the whole thing matters very little to me), but I don’t believe the NFL was even a party in the lawsuit.

      I wouldn’t read too much into that note in the EA financials about terminating a license. EA has a ton of licenses from licensed games down to even having the exclusive license to Porche cars in racing games, so that could refer to any number of things. I highly doubt that it would cost them so little to terminate the NFL license.

      • Keith.

        There’s a far better chance of EA agreeing to a settlement where they give up the exclusive license than you think.  The federal judge is going to have to approve any class settlement — do you really believe that he is going to approve an antitrust settlement that does nothing to cure the alleged antitrust violations?  And even if he did, I’m sure there would be so many people opting out of the class settlement that EA would be facing more legal action over the same claims, and the $27 million precedent would already be set.

        On the flip side, think about it from EA’s perspective.  They’ve monopolized the football videogame market for the last 8 years and therefore have an 8 year head start.  Paying BIG bucks for the exclusive never paid off for them financially in terms of increased sales — they used to sell 7 million across all consoles before the exclusive, and now they’re lucky to hit 5 million.  Yet, the license has been an ENORMOUS expense.  Why keep sinking all of these millions into fighting legal battles when they can just take advantage of their 8 year headstart/name recognition?

        I’ve answered most of the questions/arguments you’ve raised before so I won’t go point by point here, but the EA/NFL contract undoubtedly has an early termination provision, and $11 million sounds like a reasonable number to me (I haven’t seen the contract).  If you see any news about another license that EA has terminated recently, by all means let me know.  Until then, it’s certainly possible the two are related.

        • mcmax3000

           I never said it wasn’t possible that the two are related, I said that I highly doubt it would only cost EA $11 Million to get out of it. I think the amount that EA would be required to pay to break that contract would be significantly more.

          And if this really is all about breaking this supposed “monopoly”, why isn’t the NFL a party to the lawsuit as well? They’re as much a part, if not more so, of the exclusive license as EA is.

          But my real question, and one that nobody on this or any other site, has been able to give me a reasonable answer to, is the one I started with in my last post. How is this a monopoly but other exclusive licenses aren’t?

          Why aren’t these people going after THQ for them having a “monopoly” on Pro Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts? Activision for having a “monopoly” on Stock Car Racing?

          What about 2K forcing their EA out of the market with their exclusive MLB license? They now have a “monopoly” on baseball games on the 360.

          Aside from the fact that people have a blind hate for EA no matter what they do (a lot of the time they deserve it, but not always), what makes this situation any different than any other exclusive license?

          • Keith.

            Here are links to the Judge’s June 2009 Order largely denying EA’s motion to dismiss, and the December 2010 Order certifying the class — if you read those, you might get the answer you’re looking for (it’s a lot of reading).

            And remember…just because no one has “gone after” THQ or anyone else doesn’t mean it’s not a monopoly.  People around here said it wasn’t a monopoly before (and after) the Madden lawsuit was filed — Pecover’s lawyer knew otherwise, and he’s about to receive a very nice payday for having the balls to “go after” EA when others wouldn’t. 

  • DevilsFan

    redskins new unis are weird and to be honest I’m not too sure I like the new Madden cover too much. I voted for CJ all the way, but the cover seems kinda odd to me.

  • HaywoodJablowme

    Who’s that woman in the short skirt walking behind No. 91 in the fifth picture? Schwing city, Baby! She got me hard a rock. Bet she’s not wearing any panties.

  • chris

    Will those skins unis be in madden 13? 

    • Yes. All the Nike throwbacks will be.

      • chris

        awesome thanks pasta!  The steelers ones are pretty bad haha.

  • Keith.

    New weekly sales data from vgchartz:

    MLB The Show (PS3) — 9th place (great to see!)

    NBA2k12 (360) — 15th place

    MLB2k12 (360) — 27th place

    NBA2k12 (PS3) — 39th place

    Fifa 12 (PS3) — 50th place

    Fifa 12 (360) — 58th place

    TW13 (360) — 67th place

    TW13 (PS3) — 84th place

    NHL12 (360) — 86th place

    NBA2k12 (Wii) — 92nd place

    Failing to place (again):  Fifa Street, SSX, Grand Slam 2. 

  • Modman

    What is the big deal with adding an in-game save? None of the EA games have it. Even Tiger Woods that I was playing the other day. Do they really expect someone to pause it for a few hours to “save” their game? I am done buying anything EA until they add a simple feature like saving games.