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PC version of Madden 09 benched

Franchises will be the name of the games through at least summer. Gran Turismo, Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid and Ninja Gaiden are just some of the blockbusters expected soon, but few franchises capitalize on mass market popularity the way Madden NFL does.

Like some other popular EA properties, Madden NFL games are typically released on every platform possible. That won’t be the case for this upcoming year’s entry for the world’s most popular (American) football game, however, as Madden NFL 09 will not be appearing on the PC.

Suspiciously left out from the original announcement of Madden NFL 09, which will hit Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, Wii, Nintendo DS and PSP, the PC version is now confirmed by EA Sports president Peter Moore as non-existent.

“We knew that our decision to not develop this year’s Madden for the PC would be an unpopular decision in some circles,” Moore wrote on his corporate blog. “We are committed to shipping a limited number of our games on the PC this year, but we’ve also had to cut a few of our games from the platform.”

Moore added that the shift of gaming from PC to console is one of the reasons behind Madden’s couch-only experience for its 2009 iteration. “The PC presents some very serious business challenges to us in the sports category, particularly because so many of you all are playing your favorite sports games on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii,” said Moore.

“We do have ideas for how to revitalize the PC for sports games and the types of games that are best suited to the platform, and we’ll continue to explore those,” added the EA Sports president.

There is no word yet on whether or not EA Sports’ other franchises, particularly those that are far less popular than Madden, will hit the PC for the 09 series.

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Greedy bastards...
By Icec0o1 on 4/3/2008 9:28:01 AM , Rating: 5
Screw you EA.

RE: Greedy bastards...
By Vertigo101 on 4/3/2008 9:35:15 AM , Rating: 2
No question that EA's first priority is to make money for both its management and greedy would be accurate.

But I'm not sure I can disagree with their decision from a business standpoint. Most PC gamers are so embittered at EA that the thought of actually paying for another Madden is, well, maddening.

Being a multi-platform guy myself, this doesn't really affect me personally, but I can only imagine that there are several hardcore PC Madden buffs that will be upset.

RE: Greedy bastards...
By RamarC on 4/3/2008 1:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's all about the numbers. Consoles games regularly outsell their PC counterparts by 3x, 4x, even more. The extra development effort for a PC version is often not financially worthwile. For instance, if you're projecting $2M from the console versions, but only $100K from the PC version, then the PC version probably won't be made.

RE: Greedy bastards...
By Samus on 4/3/2008 3:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
Porting isn't a very difficult job. You use a devkit, port the project over, batch-render the graphics and sounds, then send it over to the testers who make $15/hour.

Overall porting one platform to multi-platform costs anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million, depending on complexity. When you consider these games sell at least 100,000 units even on the worst-performing console (sales-wise) they are still banking.

I think they are concerned about piracy and support. Supporting PC software is more difficult, and we all know how good EA is at releasing patches. LOL.

RE: Greedy bastards...
By BMFPitt on 4/3/2008 4:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
For at least the past 5 years, the PC version has simply been a ported version of last year's console game. Although the "next gen" Madden, going into its 4th iteration is still missing basic barebones functionality like formation subs.

RE: Greedy bastards...
By BladeVenom on 4/3/2008 7:55:21 PM , Rating: 2
Last year PC games were EA's second biggest moneymaker, behind PS2 games. The market is there, so if the game isn't selling on well on the PC, it's because EA didn't do a good job making it.

RE: Greedy bastards...
By Domicinator on 4/3/2008 10:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
News flash for you: EVERY company's first priority is to make money. EA isn't running a charity. Neither is Ubisoft, Valve, Blizzard, Epic, etc. They are in business to make money. If the PC platform isn't making them any money, they aren't going to bother with it. As much as people would like to believe that game companies are in the business strictly because they love to make games for gamers (I never understood why people would think that) it's just not how it is. Game companies make games that will sell. The increasing costs of producing a triple A title are causing game companies to lean more toward the sure thing. When you make a PC game, you're automatically going to have to assume that you will be bearing the load of all the software pirates stealing your game and only making money on the leftovers of what is already a niche platform.

I have been a PC gamer for a long long time, but I do love baseball and golf, and the PC versions of Tiger Woods games and MLB games are pretty crappy compared to their console counterparts. I play MLB2K8 and Tiger Woods a lot on Xbox Live, and it is a blast. The computer versions of those games are very stripped down and not nearly as fun. Also, PC games are becoming more and more just multi platform releases. The difference is that you have to keep upgrading your PC to play those games, but you only upgrade your console every 5 years to play them.

I still believe in the PC as a viable gaming platform, but it's getting more and more commercial, and the more that happens, the more it's going to become obsolete in the gaming industry. In other words, more mainstream will mean more and more multiplatform release leftovers, which in the end will make people think, "Couldn't I just play that on my console and not have to get a new PC?"

It's up to the developers and publishers to keep the PC a unique platform that people want to fork over the money to play on. Right now, all they're doing is porting the console games to the PC. It's not just sports games, it's ALL games. Unless that attitude is reversed, the PC is in more trouble than it has ever been in before.

RE: Greedy bastards...
By Lonyo on 4/3/2008 9:37:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a PC gamer, I don't even own any consoles, but arguably some games suit consoles more than they suit PC's. No one complains when yet another fighting game is console only, because they're better suited for it, and I'd argue that many sports games are as well.
Plus it makes sense from a business standpoint. If PC versions just aren't selling very well, why make them? It's not like it's a huge loss not to get yet another roster update for a sports game. Hell, you can probably mod the 08 PC version and update the names.

RE: Greedy bastards...
By Cheapshot on 4/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: Greedy bastards...
By bdewong on 4/3/2008 1:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
I believe he was saying exactly that. Some games are better on a console and some are better on a pc (and he made no mention of FPS.)

RE: Greedy bastards...
By slacker57 on 4/3/2008 2:29:51 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure he was talking about games like Street Fighter, Tekken, Soul Caliber, et al. (if these games sound obsolete, it's because I haven't played a fighting game in quite some time)

I think if you went into some of the forums that you mentioned and asked about the "fighting game Crysis," people would be a bit confused.

I apologize if this sounds elitist, but I find it hard to believe you're any kind of gamer if you're confusing "FPS" for "fighting" these days.

RE: Greedy bastards...
By bigjaicher on 4/3/2008 5:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! It is the only way I can convince myself that the Packers didn't lose to the Giants last year. Next year without Brett Favre I'll have nothing to ease the pain. I guess this means I need to buy a d_mn XBox 360. What real reason do you have for stopping production that isn't just a horrible lie? And don't give me piracy either.

By nosfe on 4/3/2008 9:30:33 AM , Rating: 2
That won’t be the case for this upcoming year’s entry for the world’s most popular (American) football game

EA bought exclusive rights for it so how can it not be the "most popular"

RE: what?
By MrBlastman on 4/3/2008 9:36:58 AM , Rating: 3
Be careful...

Before you know it, EA will have bought and trademarked the phrase "most popular"

EA Sports!™ The most popular brand™ out there! It's in the game!™

RE: what?
By therealnickdanger on 4/3/2008 2:57:51 PM , Rating: 1
Don't forget:

Challenge Everything!™
*except mediocrity™

RE: what?
By i3arracuda on 4/3/2008 9:38:03 AM , Rating: 2
They bought exclusive rights to the NFL. They don't own exclusive rights to 'football'. You can still buy other football games, like All-Pro Football 2K8.

RE: what?
By omnicronx on 4/3/2008 12:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares, Madden is actually one of EA's good titles, Madden 08 was like crack.

RE: what?
By sweetsauce on 4/3/2008 1:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think all the people, like me, who think madden is garbage and loved the 2k series care. Im pretty sure EA cared too, enought to shell out a huge lump of cash to make sure they wouldn't have to worry about it anymore.

RE: what?
By CBone on 4/3/2008 3:55:38 PM , Rating: 2
+1 on that.

Madden sucks. It hasn't been good since '93 IMO.

As greedy as the NFL is I can't believe that they sold exclusivity to one company rather than get multiple high-dollar deals, and then did it again. Didn't the NFL bean-counters realize that Madden and 2k together would have made more money for them? Especially if 2K had been allowed to make a triumphant return.

Console is best for sports
By cochy on 4/3/2008 9:33:23 AM , Rating: 1
Going as far back as Sega Genesis, most sports games have always been better experienced from a console. Especially team sports.

RE: Console is best for sports
By joemoedee on 4/3/2008 12:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
Going as far back as Sega Genesis, most sports games have always been better experienced from a console. Especially team sports.

I'll have to disagree, there's been plenty of great sports games on the PC. It was my preferred platform for sports games until it castrated itself.

Baseball: PC Baseball was great. Hardball, Tony LaRussa, Earl Weaver, High Heat, etc... They were 10x's better than the console variety. We haven't seen a new baseball game (non-pure sim) since MVP 2005. Four years!

Golf: Links, Arnold Palmer, etc... I still prefer a PC Golf game to a console one. Now it's just down to Tiger Woods, a rehash of the Xbox version, and chances are we may not see that.

Football: Well, Madden started on PCs. Personally, Front Page Sports Football consumed a lot of my life. Graphics, innovations, way beyond what was offered on consoles. This decade, PC gamers have gotten the slightly reworked PS2/Xbox versions of Madden.

There's tons of sports gamers out there and a lot of these are potential PC sports gamers, however there hasn't been a worthwhile PC (action) sports game released in ages, so no wonder no one is buying.

RE: Console is best for sports
By BMFPitt on 4/3/2008 5:00:44 PM , Rating: 2
Front Page Sports Football consumed a lot of my life
That game was a decade ahead of its time. So many things in there that Madden hasn't gotten right to this day. Too bad Sierra ran it into the ground.

RE: Console is best for sports
By cochy on 4/10/2008 2:11:18 PM , Rating: 2
Golf: Links, Arnold Palmer, etc... I still prefer a PC Golf game to a console one. Now it's just down to Tiger Woods, a rehash of the Xbox version, and chances are we may not see that.

According to President Bartlet Golf is not a sport. Now go do something real men do :P

Take Two
By phil126 on 4/3/2008 9:43:08 AM , Rating: 2
Even more reason I hope Take Two does not sell out to EA. If that happens not only will we have a 100 rehashes of GTA, but it looks like EA no longer wants to support the PC gamer.

RE: Take Two
By Lonyo on 4/3/2008 1:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
And Take Two does?
Get back to me when GTA IV has a PC release date.

RE: Take Two
By gumbi18 on 4/3/2008 6:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
I actually can stand the fact that Take Two is releasing the PC version at a later date. San Andreas was in my opinion much better on PC, and hopefully the same will be true for GTA IV.

By darklight0tr on 4/3/2008 9:37:59 AM , Rating: 3
Whoopee. I only game on the PC and I think that most sports games are best suited to the consoles.

But, I feel sorry for those that want a new version of Madden on the PC. The thing is from what I've read the past few versions of Madden weren't really worth it anyways.

RE: So?
By rsmech on 4/3/2008 8:52:44 PM , Rating: 2
most sports games are best suited to the consoles.

How does plugging in a game pad make a PC any different as far as game play goes? A PC can be dumbed down to the console level if someone wishes to. But the opposite is not true for gaming experiences. So how is it that with a game pad in your hand that you can't have the same experience. The point is you can have the exact same experience on a PC as any console & more.

I'm sure this is being silly...
By Wolfpup on 4/3/2008 10:45:14 AM , Rating: 2
...but Microsoft has been neglecting Windows in favor of the X-Box for 7 years now. They talk like they want to support it, but their actions show otherwise, while the third parties have no trouble supporting it...

Then Peter Moore leaves Microsoft...and suddenly EA starts not supporting Windows?

I'm sure it is a coincidence, but it's fun to think it's all Moore being an idiot.

By kilkennycat on 4/3/2008 11:49:33 AM , Rating: 3
Too true. He lost M$$ $1billion by not giving timely consideration to a Xbox RROD fix... which still has not been properly addressed, btw. Wait for the Xbox720 with its internal Blu-ray drive for the final fixing of the RROD. Not long now..... Microsoft is well rid of PM. Reached his ultimate level of incompetence years ago.

This is about piracy
By mattclary on 4/3/2008 2:05:24 PM , Rating: 3
Console games are harder to pirate.

RE: This is about piracy
By kiwik on 4/3/2008 3:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
This is Sparta!

Serious Business
By kiwik on 4/3/2008 10:33:12 AM , Rating: 2
Serious Business

RE: Serious Business
By Runiteshark on 4/3/2008 12:41:41 PM , Rating: 2
I can't take anything seriously when it has that title in it.


Pope murdered, Europe nuked, this is serious business

And I'd laugh.

USB controllers ftw
By siberus on 4/3/2008 11:11:06 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see controls as the determining factor of making consoles the king of sports games. Problem is more about consoles getting more advanced features then their PC counterparts which I believe was the case for nhl 08. Hell I'd love a good fighting game on the PC they just don't make any.

RE: USB controllers ftw
By rupaniii on 4/4/2008 11:29:39 AM , Rating: 2
well, i think they will soon be making games Dual Core only Minimum.
There is a certain method you have to do your programming model on the new systems that will just work alot worse on a single processor than on a dual core processor. It is very difficult to maintain the main code pipe for single processor and multiprocessor, particularly when you have code being called that specifically handles the multicore advantages and issues.

The XB360 is the 'frame' model where it's tricore lets you run some things in multiprocessor mode and some in single processor mode. That model is typically 'broken out' for the PS3 where you have similar code pipelines but different functions on the Cell where your single processor stuff can best be done on the main core and you can choose how much power your other functions get by processor group locking different cells out of the 7. Some things are inherantly faster this way, and steadier, and some things are the same or alot more difficult. IF the XB360 weren't a frame target, some more advances can me made with the ps3, and some companies engines are flexible enough that they can schedule across either the tricore, the cell, or the dual or quad core X86 processors (always wishing they could run in 64bit mode).

At least with the dual core minimum, you can split some single core tasks across the two cores, running some tasks on one and some tasks on the other, and spread multithreadding functions out on both and keep a model that can 'breakout' properly, at least partially.

BTW, dual core Celeron isn't aweful, is my new recommendation for entry level notebooks, hope to see it soon. Second coming of the Celeron 366, IMHO, lol.

By azmodan79 on 4/3/2008 12:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
The last good Sports game for the PC EA sold was (I think) NBA/FIFA/MADDEN 2006 from then on they just refreshed the rosters and made cosmetic changes to the graphics engine; when the next-gen consoles rolled out, they didn't improve anything on the PC ports, Xbox360 and PS3 owners were treated with good sports games but the PC versions remained basically the same for three (3) long years.
Now this clown has the audacity to say: Too bad for you Pc owners, but if you want to play sports games you have to buy a console, after all the sales are there, aren't they?
Peter, my friend, the PC versions of your incredible sports games are crap and we're happy there will be no Madden 09 since it would have been remarkably similar to Madden 08 and Madden 07, but hey, since we PC owners don't have a joypad how can we enjoy the great gameplay of EA sports games?
Just tell the truth, Peter after 3 years of refreshes the games look horrible (not horrible, just the same as 2005) and the backlash is starting to mount...
Gotta love those spin doctors! No wonder the guy worked for Microsoft, too bad he left! He could have put some PR spin on the disaster that is Vista...

By omnicronx on 4/3/2008 12:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
What are you expecting here? Even on the console versions they were basically the same.. Gameplay was a bit different, but the core game was the same.

Don't get me wrong except for their sports games I hate EA as a developer, but people expect a different game for each sports title every year. Thats just not possible... And to tell you the truth I like the current yearly game updates over the possibility of having an NFL or an NHL every two years, but with all the changes at once..

I don't buy many other games so I don't mind getting the 3 or 4 titles a year.. EA sure as hell is not forcing you to buy it every year, I just like the change, keeps the same old same old interesting ;)

Fine with me.
By kyleb2112 on 4/3/2008 7:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
I always liked that PC's were relatively free of sports games. You can actually PLAY sports. You know, physically play them with the burning of the calories and everything. Can't say that about blasting aliens. I catch myself playing virtual sports, I have to kick my own ass.

RE: Fine with me.
By jeff834 on 4/4/2008 2:05:50 AM , Rating: 2
Which I think is kind of funny, the only people I know who want to play sports games are the people who want to go out and play sports. The gamers I know who don't give a crap about playing sports also don't give a crap about playing sports games.

By MrBlastman on 4/3/2008 9:42:21 AM , Rating: 2
Peter mentions "Committed to a limited number of titles" for the PC.

This is simply his polite way of saying:

Hey, we don't have our crap together and can't produce quality, in-depth and innovative titles for the PC on our own and instead dangle dingleberries out into the wind instead!

They can't make a title worth a darn, can't keep a brand they buy out worth a darn, so instead of trying to put it on the PC (which generally has been a source of more intelligent gaming over the years), they push it on the masses within the console market instead.

I am not losing any sleep over this. I haven't particularly enjoyed an EA title in years (or bought) and don't plan on it any time soon. Keep the PC market pure and leave the junk off of the platform.

Moore's decision makes sense
By shaunbed on 4/3/2008 9:47:32 AM , Rating: 2
Most sports/action games seem to have their sweet spot with simpler controls like consoles.

Generally, more complex (interaction) games like MMOs are better on pcs but simpler games work better on consoles. Consoles are probably better targets for casual gaming. If Madden was about managing a football business rather than playing football, it would probably be better on the pc(and probably wouldn't be as interesting for most people).

Personally, I feel that hellgate london would have worked better as a console exclusive because of its simple controls. If hellgate really concentrated a bit more on the social aspects, my opinion would probably change.

Better on Consoles - casual games, simple multi-user interaction (with limited communication or simple voice chat over small groups)
Better on PCs - games requiring complex interactions, *highly dynamic content(huge updates), long lifespan (2-3+ years), complex social interactions

*This will not be a determinate in the near future.

Less than 9 Month Shelf Life
By whirabomber on 4/3/2008 10:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
From game (sales) industry experience I can say that most sports titles only have about a 9 month shelf life. The biggest sales of any sports game software package is in the first week of sales, after that the sales for the title start sliding down the bell curve. So the focus of any sports title maker is how much will it cost to support a title and is worth to do for the 5% of the PC folks who would buy a sports title?

Sad to say, there just aren't as many PC folks as there are console folks. I would venture towards there is more money in console games than pc games. Vendors see this, cut PC game space to make space for more console games, PC gamers are on the back burner.

LOL stupid EA...
By GhandiInstinct on 4/3/2008 12:13:06 PM , Rating: 2

Idiots..the only thing thats challenging them is their mental capacity.

MultMedia Centers and Bundle?
By rupaniii on 4/4/2008 10:03:42 AM , Rating: 2
I thought Media Centers would save PC Gaming, BUT, the cost cutting morons made MOST Media Center PC's anemic for gaming.
IF these things had the right hardware, more people would already be hooking them up to the TV with their gaming console, might have hooked it up with their PS2 and XBOX back then and been playing 'todays console graphics' THEN on the PC.

I'd say it's time to make Gaming Media Centers and bundle some GREAT games with them, and sell them TO HOME THEATER ENTHUSIASTS AND GAMERS.

HP could be particularly effective at this, as they sell large screen tvs as well. What's the problem? You have higher margin and add on sales!?

Arguement against?

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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