EA Sports Tempting Fate by Revisiting Huge Mistake of 2005

Posted May 22nd, 2013 at 11:30 am


One of the biggest surprises out of the Xbox One reveal event yesterday was EA Sports taking the stage to show off a pre-rendered trailer rather than actual in-game footage for their upcoming sports games. Given that such a tactic laid the foundation for being underwhelmed this entire last generation few would have predicted they’d go back to that well again.

There is surely a sense of excitement for the next generation to arrive given how long the current one has extended. For the most part consumers should anticipate EA handling the transition much better having learned from the problems last time around and taken action to ensure the same pitfalls would be avoided in future generation leaps. Work towards the next-gen versions of games began several years ago and planning for how to take best advantage even earlier.

Despite that there is plenty of reason to be skeptical about the upcoming Madden and certainly the resurrection of NBA Live. Promises were made beginning in 2004 that not only were never fulfilled but EA never even began to approach until the last few years. Early versions of Madden and Live were especially dreadful while others like NHL and FIFA took their time in building out excellent products but showed significant advancement even early on.

Lets play the “which year did this quote come from” game! One of the quotes below is from 2005 in relation to how Madden NFL 06 compared to the next-gen Madden trailer. The other is from yesterday referring to the footage in the sizzle trailer featuring the four EA Sports games and how well it represents the expected final products. They are eerily similar.

We showed you some video of what we thought this game could be like and with each day of development that passes, I am more and more encouraged that we will be able to meet or exceed that target.

What I’m really happy to say, though, is that our games right now are delivering on that, and in some cases more.

The first quote was made in 2005 by Jeremy Strauser then senior producer of Madden and the second is attributed to EA Sports vice president Andrew Wilson regarding development for the Xbox One and PS4.

Consumers can afford to wait and see on this. EA will need to demonstrate how the Ignite engine truly benefits gamers rather than just saying it will. While the prospects of the engine are promising – it addresses areas that have long been weaknesses – similar assurances were made regarding areas such as the graphics, AI, and procedural awareness heading into this current generation that ultimately did not save the games from a dreadful state.

Hopefully EA did not set themselves up for more failure by rolling out another pre-rendered trailer that sets expectations at a level that can not be achieved. Given the current consumer climate they can’t afford another stumble of that nature.