EA Sports May Add New Sports Franchises, Executive Tells Investors

A top Electronic Arts executive, speaking at an investor conference, hinted that EA Sports could add "a couple of new sports franchises" in the coming year. The company also reaffirmed the label's commitment to publishing NBA Live, which it cancelled for a second time at the end of last year.

In remarks reported by Polygon, Blake Jorgensen, EA's chief financial officer, answered a question about the publisher's upcoming releases with: "For us, the big opportunities continue to be the FIFA franchise, the Battlefield franchise and then the core sports of Madden, NCAA, NHL, adding NBA and possibly a couple of new sports franchises along that way." Jorgensen was speaking at the Wedbush Technology Conference.

And by "NBA", Jorgensen did mean NBA Live, saying EA Sports "didn't necessarily cancel" the game, it merely failed to deliver it on time. That's not how I see things in sports publishing, but OK.

So what are the "couple of new sports franchises" Jorgensen is referring to? Well, of course, one of the most mourned sports video games ever, unfairly taken away from gamers under an exclusive league licence that delivered nothing other than a terrible product, is MVP Baseball (above), made by EA. 2K Sports' exclusive pact with baseball appears to have died last year (though 2K published a licensed console game this year, releasing yesterday).

EA Sports is widely believed to be sitting out baseball until the next console generation arrives. But considering the strength of the label's "Ultimate Team" modes in Madden, NHL and FIFA, and the natural fit of baseball with a card-based game, it seems a no-brainer that they could make money off a deal with the big leagues.

Jorgensen, however, could be referring to the introduction of known new products, such as the UFC game EA Sports is building after acquiring that licence from THQ last summer. He could also mean the reappearance of semiannual series such as Fight Night or Grand Slam Tennis, which last released in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Who knows. I've asked an EA Sports spokesman for clarification, and if any is provided, it will be updated here.

Update: From an EA Sports spokesman: "Blake's referring to UFC and the ongoing evolution of our biggest sports titles into new markets and on new platforms (like FIFA Online 3 in Korea, FIFA on mobile in Japan, Madden on mobile)."

EA considering adding 'a couple of new sports franchises,' says CFO [Polygon]


Comments

    These exclusivity arrangement are just balls. It's so shitty that a publisher can set up these kind of deals with sporting bodies like the NBA, NHL, etc and still have the option to choose not to produce a game until it feels like it. It's a big FU to the customer/sports fan base. Okay, each year's product was merely just a churned out, ever-so-slight improvement over last year's model with update rosters and a new coat of paint but by making the deals exclusive to one dev/publisher, we, the consuming public, are getting screwed with low quality games, if any at all, now...

    Last edited 07/03/13 2:23 pm

    It's funny, EA don't really do any of the main sports well.

    NFL - A lot of people said 2k did it better and Madden seems to be getting worse.
    NBA - 2K are current kings
    MLB - Sony
    NHL - I guess they're the best (never played it, is there any competition?)

    Last edited 07/03/13 2:27 pm

      I've been a big player of the NHLs, 98 and 2K1 were the absolute shit in their days, but they've kind of rested on their laurels a bit over the last few years. But there's really not all that much competition for them anyways.

      ... they do the single biggest sport in the world quite well; better than anybody else at the moment...

        ha, I forgot all about FIFA.

        Yeah, they do that very well.

      FIFA is perfection. I can't see anyone overtaking them in Soccer/Football.

        To MIlbo and yourself...

        That's purely a matter of opinion. I far and away prefer PES, always have. FIFA has always felt "floaty" and a little too rubbery in its physics for my liking.

        Plus I play on PC, and with the addition of some decent patches, I have more leagues and HD-quality stadiums plus up-to-date kits, player appearances and squads than the most recent patched FIFA.

        PES was once king, and it's catching up again IMO. Sure, it's inferior cosmetically out-of-the-box but it's strength has always been it's gameplay and the dedicated community who fix all of these issues.

        Last edited 07/03/13 10:55 pm

    I'm keen to see what EA do with the UFC licence. I thought their MMA game was decent considering the lack of top flight fighters that weren't available to them.

    My one request is that they do Bruce Buffer justice. In Yukes UFC games, he sounded like he was doing his voice overs in a tunnel. I want to hear a screaming and excited BB in the new game! haha

    Honestly people, lets be frank here. One sport that has been ignored considering its world status is RUGBY !! A game that would look so great made under the EA HD PS3/4 era.. Give it a crack again , I guarantee it will be good.

    Please Get rugby back

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