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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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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.

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