Sega Battles with EA Sports

Sports games are what truly drive this industry. Whether or not you like them, they put food on the table for the developers to create other games in various genres. Well, Sega has dropped a bombshell that very well may change the way you buy sports games from now on. For a measly $20 (http://www.gamespot.com/xbox/sports/espnnflfootball2005/news_6100283.html), you can purchase this years edition of ESPN Football 2K5 (yep, the 2K is back). That's right, twenty bucks. What's EA doing to counter? Releasing a $60 "Collectors Edition" of this years Madden NFL (http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/sports/maddennfl2005/news_6099841.html). Of course, this is far from a foolproof plan for Sega and Visual Concepts. To be perfectly honest, an established sports franchise that simply upgrades the roster each year should never cost more than $20 in my opinion. Someway, EA and many other companies have gotten away with it for years. Now everything changes. Sega's franchise is superb in everyway, eclipsing Madden on multiple levels. Does it actually play better? Most people probably have no idea. Why? Their brand loyal. Anything else is sheer blasphemy. Now they have a chance to own both, play through them completely, and give each their own fair shot. A brand new NFL football game for $20 is a first for the industry. There is a very good chance that many gamers will save themselves $30 (or even $40) and head on over to Sega's court leaving EA behind them. The game has not been completely overhauled since the previous year, but the entirely new graphics engine will likely blow people away. This is all it usually what it takes to draw the mainstream crowd in. Then again, seeing a brand new $20 football game on the shelves could send the exact opposite signal to people. Is the game that bad that they have to sell it for such a low price just to move it? There is a large group of people out there who only buy a game or two a year and they need to be sure there good ones. An unfamiliar franchise is a risk even at a low price point. The financial side is scary as well. I'm sure the profit margin here is minimal. Should the game still sell poorly, this could very well be the end of the series. When you can't move a product for such a low price, what's the point of trying again? Development costs are likely much lower on a game like this since the groundwork has been set, but the licensing costs are astronomical. This is a huge risk for the company. The series has been getting hammered, so much so that the game no longer appears on the Gamecube. This is a brilliant marketing idea but is could come back to haunt them. Rest assured that I'd be one to plunk down $20 when the game finally hits store shelves and I haven't bought a new football, baseball, hockey, or basketball game since the launch of the Playstation 2. Sega may very well have just changed the entire industry for us all and it's one of the best changes in a long time.

Comments (1)

you said: To be perfectly honest, an established sports franchise that simply upgrades the roster each year should never cost more than $20 in my opinion.

couldn't have hit the nail on the head any more squarely. i'm totally addicted to the 2k series and have left Madden on the store shelves for years. i was considering picking it up though for xbox live... but then the $20 price point. wow. i'm thinking sega's strategy is a good one because, most football fanatics like me will buy both when one is only 20 bucks. then sega is hoping you play their game more when you have both to choose from.

we'll see.

see my posts on this topic:
http://duez.modblog.com/core.mod?show=blogarch&arch_category=Video%20Games

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