Any partnership with EA is, in my opinion, doomed to failure. Look at the recent Sims fiasco and the constant disaster that is Need For Speed World.
US cable giant Comcast is reportedly in talks with Electronic Arts about a streaming games platform. Reuters cited multiple sources familiar with the matter when reporting that the companies would collaborate to port EA games for the Comcast X1 cable box platform. According to the report, X1 subscribers would be able to get …
So here's a question. Does anyone know what relationship - if any - a game developer/publisher has with console makers?
What I mean is: Can console creators ban someone from making games for their console?
In my dream world this proposal will mean MS- and Sony-hate for EA, EA not being allowed to develop games for the consoles. This will lead to the sporting rights that EA are clinging to, to become released due to a lack of customer reach for the games, this in turn leads to new IPs being developed and thereby new and better sports games. And a destruction of EAs cash-cow numero uno and thus the slow and sure death of EA.
Aaah, one can dream, right?
At least since the NES, console makers can, and do, use various methods to keep unauthorized games off their consoles. Usually pitched as "anti-piracy" or "think of the children" measures, they are essentially taxes on access to that console. They also (e.g. the aforementioned NES) often come with secret (i.e. "illegal under various anti-trust laws") agreements that strongly favor the console maker, and whose violation (in the sole opinion of the console maker) can result in "less than banning" punishment, like "unfortunately delayed shipments of already-paid-for goods, that sadly happen to miss the holiday shopping season",
OTOH, this amount of control and revenue is a powerful incentive for console makers to "play nice" with at least the juggernauts of game development, no matter how "evil". Much as, e.g. a Standard Oil tanker caught refueling a U-Boat, back in the day. Probably a "rogue employee" who just noticed the keys to the tanker hanging in the guard shack, not a corporate policy.
...like Battlefield 128. and Need For Speed: Another Skin Off The Same Crap etc.
Ever since EA decided to burn Battlefield down the same way the ex-chips-exec "King" Kotick did to CoD at Activision they are left with nothing to show within couple years.
Battlefield 3 was an utter PoC, practically released as a giant, broken beta - though that's considered a long-held tradition with anything made by DICE,they never learned to finish anything - and the more they tried to fix it the more they broke so eventually they just abandoned that junk and moved onto BF4. Once again disaster hit, BF4 proved to be an even shallower garbage, with no meaningful team experience, even more CoD-like disaster - I practically don't know anyone over 35 who bought it while literally everybody bought BF3 based on BF:BC2 (which was more or less fixed a year after its release) so that should tell you a lot about the loss of IP these idiots at DICE & EA managed to achieve...
NFS is practically a console game, I am not even sure why would anyone bother with that. As for sports game, sure, you have hordes of brainless players but they ALREADY have consoles so no win there either...
...did I mention that EA has the WORST TRACK RECORD OF ANY ROLLOUTS? Seriously, I've never seen such giant *&^%$ups llike EA launches, when online servers are routinely unavailable for DAYS, or WEEKS, they keep crashing etc - this is in the era of everyday cloud computing.
The sheer level of INCOMPETENCE AT EA is just breathtaking, I just cannot understand how is NOBODY gets fired after these utterly embarrassing, amateur launch scandals, game after game, how there is NOBODY to see that it needs to be fixed ASAP...
...as for this whole idea with Comcast, the WORST offender in the cable market - well, to me it really sounds just like another "great idea" out of board rooms, full of arrogant, clueless beancounters.
"We will breed a goat and a mule, and end up with a champion racehorse!" according to Comcast and EA management. No comparisons to other ongoing joint ventures were mentioned...
(Icon reflects more realistic customer deliverable)
Mules are known to be infertile, except on rare instances of a female mule breeding with a horse or a donkey, mules having and odd number of chromosomes.
Of course when you consider the odds of mating with a goat...
A mule breeding was considered a particularly bad omen in ancient Greece, so there's always that.
Not that it matters much to me in Australia.
That said, there is potential that some games will end up as 'exclusives' to a US-only device, with no possibility of accessing it outside that market.
That's the real fear I have of the subscription model - the ability to lock content to certain markets.
You might counter that by saying that customers should just vote with their feet but these big companies just go around buying up all the IP they can - they actively work to turn the games industry into an oligopoly rivaling that of the other large content sectors, like film.
And this is why they do it - they buy all the competitors they can so as to actively reduce choice and the ability to 'vote with your feet'. This allows them to engage in all manner of unpopular practices aimed at extracting revenue rather than providing a quality product.
THAT is why EA were voted the worst company twice in a row and it's an excellent example of what happens as markets tend toward monopolies.
A bit of a digression there but not that much.
Well, that's the point behind Comcast being involved: they can make sure it gets preferential treatment (forget net neutrality) and EA can just deploy their streaming servers right at Comcast DCs then have another high-priority line from those to their core network of servers... though considering just how incompetent EA proved to be every time when it was about running a network I cannot make even an uneducated guess how they will do it. ;)
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