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Ea Sports Is In The Game

2186 words - 9 pages

EA Sports is in the Game
A look at EA Sports influence on the culture of sports

Electronic Arts (EA) is the third largest game producer in the world, presently sitting behind only two video game powerhouses Nintendo and Activision. (1) In their March 2013 10-K form yearly report to stockholders Electronic Arts lists their assets at 5.07 Billion and posted net revenues of 3.8 Billion.(2) EA Sports have revolutionized the way sports games are displayed in the video game medium since it became an EA franchise in 1991. The company has received many awards for their development in sports games and is an industry leader in revolutionizing sports in the video game medium. The top selling game ...view middle of the document...

EA Sports has traditionally sided with the players when disputes between leagues, EA and players arise whether over money or rights. Using these three points we can show how Electronic Arts and more specifically EA Sports have influenced the culture of sports.
EA Sports has created a cultural mesh between professional sports and videogames which really began in 1992 with the release of "NHLPA Hockey 93" “still considered among the classic games of the generation, and immortalized in a scene in the 1997 film "Swingers"”(7) Released in 1992 this was the first videogame in which professional athletes names and player numbers appeared. Electronic Arts had been unable to broker a deal with the NHL because of concerns the league had about Electronic Arts portrayal of fighting in the NHL. Electronic Arts went ahead without the NHL using just the authority they had been able to obtain with licensing through the NHLPA, although the game did not have licensing from the NHL ,Electronic Arts still went so far as to use the cities and team colors of NHL teams. The following year Electronic Arts and the NHL agreed on licensing and NHL 94 would carry NHL team logos but the game was fight free to the dismay of many a hockey fan. NHL 94 is still recognized as “one of the most popular sports games of all time” (7) After the success of NHL 94 Electronic Arts looked to other sports leagues for licensing which resulted in agreements with the NFL and the NFLPA for the football game Madden 95(8). The importance of these agreements shouldn’t be understated as previous to these licensing agreements professional sports had no real representation in the videogame medium other than through insinuation. These licensing agreements resulted in “turning the Cowboys trio of #8, #22, and #88 into Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin respectively.”(8) This also made it so that the blue and white hockey team from Toronto was now the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is because of these licenses purchased by EA Sports that the pro sports culture and videogame cultures were able to mesh. People who played videogames were being educated about players names, stats and abilities as well kids were taught brand recognition of leagues and teams through video games.

Any doubts of their being a correlation between videogames, sports and money had to be extinguished on December 13th 2004 when EA Sports announced a 5 year exclusive deal with the NFL and Players Inc. (the company which handles the NFLPA’s Licensing) worth somewhere between two hundred and three hundred million dollars .(9) Larry Probst, chairman and CEO of Electronic Arts announced “"We are excited about the opportunity to further enhance our relationship with the NFL and PLAYERS INC. The five-year agreements will usher NFL fans through the console technology transition with new ideas and innovative game play experiences."(9) EA Sports wanted to ensure Madden was the only football game to come out between 2005 and 2010...

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