The Game Times: EA Bleeds Licenses, FIFA 14 Gameplay, Charting the Madden Curse
A week’s worth of video game news and trailers, all in convenient digest form.
EA Sports Struggles to Maintain License Agreements
The steady march away from EA Sports continues. The developer was already smarting from the recent loss of the NCAA, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC licenses from future editions of NCAA Football. Now a source has told ESPN that he would be "very surprised" to see either the College Football Playoff or some of the bowl games in EA's game going forward. The news comes paired with a statement from the University of Washington's athletic director, who, speaking with the Seattle Times, recommended that school officials drop EA as a partner.
The absence of locales and names like the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl is a significant threat to EA's future efforts, as it stands to further cripple the realism of one of the company's signature franchises at the onset of next-generation gaming. Many people in America would be happy to see the NCAA out of college football altogether. EA Sports is presumably not among them.
- FIFA fans will be glad to hear that their FIFA 13 Ultimate Team can be used in FIFA 14.
- Speaking of FIFA 14: EA recently confirmed that the Ultimate Team web app will be available September 15.
- With Madden 25's high marks still rolling in, EA released a free-to-play Madden game for mobile devices August 27.
- Much like WWE 2K14, NBA Live 14 will include special, fan-centric game modes.
- Are Madden games cursed? The bad luck of every cover star ever, which has been elegantly mapped out by Statographics, seems to indicate as much.
FIFA 14 Executive Producer Claims Xbox One Bundle Was Planned 'a long time ago'
While the addition of FIFA 14 to European Xbox One pre-orders did sweeten Microsoft's next-gen deal, it also sparked criticism that MS was simply attempting to compensate for how heavily it was blasted at E3 2013. Equally common were cries of pre-order bias: critics and analysts alike agreed the Xbox One was floundering in EU sales and that the FIFA bundle was conceived as a remedy. Believable? Certainly. But untrue, according to EA Sports.
Speaking with Outside Xbox (transcribed by Eurogamer), FIFA 14 executive producer David Rutter asserted that the bundle was in no way affected by such factors. "In the same way I remember most console launches—I've been around for all of them—bundles happen," he said, "and this is something that Microsoft and EA have agreed to do and it was going on a long time ago. I don't know when—it's not something I'm personally involved in—but at the same time it's great to get on there for the fans." Especially if those fans, y'know, buy Xbox Ones.
The Part With the Videos
Itching to see FIFA 14 as early as possible? How does thirty minutes of gameplay sound?
Madden 25 has arrived, and so has its launch trailer
The next-gen racer DriveClub gets some much-needed coverage
It's no secret that EA Sports glosses over many (but not all) of the NFL's controversies with its Madden releases. Comedy purveyors The Midnight Show were less forgiving of athlete misbehavior with their parody commercial for Ray Lewis 2K14.