The first of last year’s sports games has reached the Vault in EA Access. Madden NFL 16 has just been added, making it available in full to all subscribers.
EA Access is currently exclusive to Xbox One with Sony declining to offer the service on PS4. For $30 a year or $5 month-to-month, members get unlimited access to the back library of EA games on the console which in addition to Madden 16 now includes 2014’s sports titles plus Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Titanfall, and others. There’s also the 10 hour trials with every EA game that begin five days before release and 10% savings on all digital purchases whether it be the actual games or microtransactions within them.
The arrival of Madden to the Vault comes a month earlier than it did last year. That allows for a quick promotional push for the service in the lead-up to the Super Bowl. In addition to potential new subs, those introducedÂ to the game for the first time may be more inclined to try outÂ and invest in the game’s Ultimate Team mode. Expect to see Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, NBA Live 16, NHL 16, and FIFA 16 follow over the next four months.
Many have lamented the lack of player tattoos in certainÂ sports video games, most prominently the Madden NFL series. EA Sports made a big deal out of Colin Kaepernick getting his tattoos in Madden NFL 15 but he was the only player in the game with them.
The publisher no longer includesÂ potentially copyright infringing art without those who own the rights having signed off on them. There are now a few more players including cover athlete Odell Beckham Jr. with them in Madden NFL 16. Even in EA Sports UFC 2 it’s been noticedÂ that designs have been altered onÂ fighters such as CM Punk and removed completely from Carlos Condit to avoid potential litigation.
Tattoos have remained in other games sports game franchises though –Â most notably the NBA 2K series, seemingly without having been challenged. That may needÂ to change with Take Two, owner ofÂ 2K Sports and developer Visual Concepts, now being sued over certain designs on the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Solid Oak Sketches has filed suit over the specific art on fiveÂ players and are seeking over $800,000 in damages. They’ve also offered a perpetual licensing fee of $1.1 million for 2K to use the art in future games.
Take Two has not provided comment on the suit which was filed today in federal court. It’s possible the tattoos on the players could be edited in the meantime, but more likely they’ll go unchanged and end up settling the matter. Because of the lengthy processÂ a determination may not happen until 2K16 is long gone, only affecting 2K17 and beyond.
With the rise of eSports it was only a matter of time before sports game publishers made their moves into the space. EA Sports with Madden NFL 16 was the first to hold their own event, offering up a relatively small prize but in a tightly defined and controlled competition that has proven to be successful in what it sought out to do. The semi-finals and finals of the event, which uses the game’s Draft Champions mode, will be taking place tomorrow.
On the flip side of things it seems as though 2K Sports threw something together on a whim for NBA 2K16 and did not do near enough planning beforehand. The competition with the game’s Pro-Am mode, which offers up a big $250,000 prize, thus far has been a mess. Read more
The Line Drive is a weekly collection of news, links, deal alerts, and updates that didnâ€™t necessarily warrant their own postings.
â™¦Check out the Pastapadre Twitter feed for some EA UFC 2 gameplay highlight gifs.
â™¦EA’s stock has fallen about 8% afterÂ reporting disappointing third quarter revenues.
â™¦The NBA 2K16 Pro-Am competition apparently has started with littleÂ on rules/parameters.
â™¦NBA 2K16 decided to break the hands of Blake Griffin in the latest roster update.
â™¦Fill out a quick survey for a chance to win a copy of Out of the Park Baseball 17.
â™¦Put together a reviewÂ of Pro Basketball Manager 2016Â which is a new PC management sim.
â™¦Development of Beyond the Sideline Football continues now with a new lead developer.
â™¦The Team of the Year content has released into Ultimate Team in Madden NFL 16.
â™¦Here’s the schedule for the Madden Challenge and Madden Bowl taking place Tuesday.
â™¦Operation Sports has a detailed developer breakdown of grappling in EA Sports UFC 2.
â™¦WWE and 2K Sports have extended their licensing agreement for multiple years.
â™¦The new WWE 2K16 downloadable content pack has broken the game’s Universe Mode.
â™¦While waiting on the fixÂ theÂ Future Stars Pack has been pulled from the marketplace.
â™¦Details on the latest roster update to go out for NBA Live 16.
â™¦The Alpinestars Car Pack for Forza Motorsport 6 released this last week.
â™¦There’s already a simulation out of the Super Bowl with Tecmo Super Bowl.
â™¦Yet another huge blow to daily fantasy sports as a major payment processor is bowing out.
â™¦ABC’s Saturday night NBA games have the three-point line light up on long range attempts.
Ultimate Team mode in EA Sports UFC 2 is naturally quite different than those found in the publisher’s team sports games. In UFC, you’re working on building up your stable of created fighters, which means packs contain attribute boosts, perks, and moves rather than trying to obtain real-life fighters. In this video the Middleweight Starter Pack is opened, the different types of packs available to purchase are browsed through, and then two Premium Packs, one Middleweight Pack, and a Fight Night Pack are opened and examined.
After a lull of several months there are new sports game releases on the horizon. MLB The Show 16 will land in late March and news this week relates to Road to the Show and a new feature called ShowTime. Is that mode in particular getting too gimmicky?
Meanwhile thereâ€™s a lot going on for EA Sports UFC 2 from a beta, to announcement of Mike Tyson, live streams of gameplay, and details on Ultimate Team. What stands out the most as the publisher hopes for the sequel to fare better than their first effort with the license?
Additionally there was the announcement from EA that theyâ€™ll be holding their own event rather than having a presence at E3. What does that mean for both EA and the future of E3?
Check out the podcast through iTunes for iOS,Â onÂ Android with the Stitcher app,Â or withÂ Pocket Casts on iOS, Android, and Windows. Subscribe and review to help support the show! You can also listen with the streaming player below.
The roster update following Conference Championship weekend is now available in Madden NFL 16. It is by far the smallest update of the season, affecting only 21 players, with 18 of them being from the four teams that were just in action. The NFC Champion Carolina Panthers get six players who’s ratings move up and for the AFC Champion Denver Broncos it’s five. Check out all the details in the spreadsheet here.
Luke Kuechly has joined the ultra-elite in being rated 99 Overall, Cam Newton is nearly there as he has been moved up to 98, and Kawaan Short is up to 96. Tom Brady has been dropped out of the 99 club, Carson Palmer took just a one point hit for his six turnover performance, Demaryius Thomas has fallen out of the 90s, and Peyton Manning lost a point down to 85.
TheÂ cycle of adding in still relevant sports games to the “Vault” in EA Access on Xbox One, which holds the back library of titles on the console, is about to begin for this year. In a bit of a surprising move Madden NFL 16 will be the first added rather than Rory McIlroy PGA Tour. It’ll happen on Tuesday, February 2.
After making it to the Vault in March last year this time around MaddenÂ arrives in front of the Super Bowl. It’s a power move for EA Sports, bringing more attention to the service and potentially hooking new fans into the game and its Ultimate Team mode.Â It also means that people who own a physical copy of the game on Xbox One, and have a subscription to the service, are free to sell it/trade it in and recoup a significant portion of the initial investment.
As opposed to selling a digital “Super Bowl Edition” of Madden, which the publisher has done the past two years, they’re focusing on this move of the product to the subscription service. EA Access is $30 for a year or $5 month-to-month and in addition to the Vault subscribers receive 10 free hours with each new game and 10% off all digital transactions.