|Type||Brand name of Electronic Arts|
Computer and video games
|Founded||1991 (as the Electronic Arts Sports Network)|
|Headquarters||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Key people||Frank Gibeau
(President, EA Labels)
(EVP, EA Sports)
|Revenue||US$4.02 billion (2008)|
|Net income||US$339 million (2008)|
EA Sports (stylized as EA SPORTS) is a brand of Electronic Arts that creates and develops sports video games. Formerly a marketing gimmick of Electronic Arts, in which they tried to mimic real-life sports networks by calling themselves "EA Sports Network" (EASN) with pictures or endorsements of real commentators such as John Madden, it soon grew up to become a sub-label on its own, releasing game series such as NBA Live, FIFA, NHL, Madden NFL, and NASCAR. The best selling EA Sports series is the FIFA series with over 100 million units sold.
Most games under this brand are developed by EA Canada, the studio of Electronic Arts in Burnaby, British Columbia, as well as at EA Blackbox, Vancouver, British Columbia and EA Tiburon in Maitland, Florida. EA Sports mainly competes with 2K Sports.
EA Sports' motto is It's in the game. This tag line, strategized by Don Transeth, written by Jeff Odiorne and Michael Wilde, and delivered by the voice of EA Sports, Andrew Anthony, has become a cultural rallying cry throughout the sports universe.
Unlike some other companies, EA Sports has no special ties to a single platform, which means that all games are released for the best-selling active platforms, sometimes long after most other companies abandon them. For example, FIFA 98, Madden NFL 98, NBA Live 98, and NHL 98 were released for the Sega Genesis and the Super NES throughout 1997; Madden NFL 2005 and FIFA 2005 had PlayStation releases in 2004 (FIFA 2005 was also the last PlayStation title to be released); and NCAA Football 08 had an Xbox release in 2007. Madden NFL 08 also had Xbox and GameCube releases in 2007, and was the final title released for the GameCube, with Madden NFL 09 following as the final Xbox title. Additionally, NASCAR Thunder 2003 and NASCAR Thunder 2004 were released not only for the PlayStation 2, but for the original PlayStation as well. The EA Sports brand name is used to sponsor English Football League Two team Swindon Town F.C. from 2009–10 season onwards and the EA Sports Cup in Republic of Ireland.
Series and games
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (August 2011)|
Most EA Sports games are distinguished by year, as most games are released on a yearly basis. Nevertheless, as EA Sports is the leading purchaser of official licenses, it is not uncommon that in a short span several games of the same sport but with different licenses are released: FIFA 98 was shortly followed by World Cup 98 (as EA has the license for the FIFA World Cup and the European Football Championship, each happening regularly in four-year intervals), and college football and basketball games are released that are based on Madden NFL and NBA Live, respectively.
- Madden NFL series, 1988–Present (games prior to 1993 did not have an NFL license)
- FIFA series, 1993 (EA Sports also released several other games, most notably the games with World Cup, UEFA European Championships and UEFA Champions League licenses)
- NCAA Football series, 1993 (prior to 1996 the name of the franchise was Bill Walsh College Football and College Football USA)
- EA Sports GameShow, 2008 EA Sports GameShow is a nationwide, online trivia game hosted by a live, on-air DJ.
- NBA Live series, 1995–2010/2012, preceded by The NBA Playoffs (1989–1993), NBA Showdown (1994), and NBA Elite (2011). Starting with NBA Live 08, the games have included FIBA-sanctioned national teams as well. Since the rebrand as "NBA Elite" in 2010, NBA Elite 11 was cancelled for consoles due to a large amount of criticism following the game's glitch-filled demo, with EA citing "concerns about gameplay polish". An iOS version of Elite 11 was released, however. The Live series is being renewed by Tiburon with NBA Live 13.
- NCAA Basketball series, (2008–2010), preceded by the NCAA March Madness series (1995–2007)
- MVP Baseball series and MVP NCAA Baseball series, 2003, preceded by the Triple Play series (1996–2002)
- NHL series, 1991
- Three Elitserien titles were also released in Sweden
- Three SM-liiga titles were released in Finland
- A Japanese version called NHL Pro Hockey '94 was released on the Super Famicom
- PGA Tour series, 1990, renamed to Tiger Woods PGA Tour in 1999
- NASCAR series, exclusive license from 2003–2010, canceled due to license expiration after release of NASCAR Kart Racing.
- Knockout Kings (boxing), which was composed of five titles (between 1998 and 2002) and then discontinued when Fight Night 2004 was released. In the past, Toughman Contest was also released.
- FIFA Manager, 2006
- Preceded by FIFA Soccer Manager (1996), the Premier League Manager series (2001) and the Total Club Manager series (2004).
- AFL series (Australian Football League, Australian Rules Football)
- Started at AFL Finals Fever on the PC which went on to AFL 98 and AFL 99 all on PlayStation as well as PC.
- Started at Rugby World Cup 1995 on Sega Mega Drive which went on to Rugby 2001 (A late version of Rugby World Cup 1999, PC only), Rugby 2002, Rugby 2004, Rugby 2005, Rugby 2006 and Rugby 2008 all on PlayStation 2 and Xbox as well as PC
- Rugby League series
- Australian Rugby League was released on Sega Genesis as the player goes through the 1995 ARL season and the other ARL 96 was on PC depicting the 1996 ARL season.
- First version released in February 2006
- Cricket Series
- Started out with Cricket 96; Its sequel was Cricket 97 which was complemented with Cricket 97 Ashes Tour Edition. Following releases include Cricket Ashes Tour, Cricket World Cup 99 and Cricket 2000. From then onwards, the series was a biennial one, with the releases of Cricket 2002 and 2004. It returned to being an annual release with the releases of Cricket 2005 and Cricket 07. EA has not worked on any Cricket games since the release of Cricket 07.
- Fight Night Series
- There are other series, including F1 Championship (discontinued after Sony acquired the exclusive license for the Formula One championship), Superbike and others with a limited distribution such as AFL
- Grand Slam Tennis: which was released for the Wii in June 2009
- EA Sports Active: Personal Trainer: an exercise game which was released for the Wii in March 2009
- SSX SSX is also known as Snowboard Supercross and the first game of the series was released the 6th October 2000. 4 games of the series were released to PS2 except from SSX Blur that was released only for the Wii. SSX (2012) was released on Xbox 360 & PS3
- UFC: On June 5, 2012, EA bought the rights to the UFC video game franchise from the now-defunct THQ.
||This section has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. (May 2008)|
On December 13, 2004, EA Sports signed an exclusive deal with the National Football League (NFL) and its Players' Union for five years. On February 12, 2008, EA Sports announced the extension of its exclusive deal until the 2012 NFL season.
Less than a month after the NFL Exclusive deal, EA Sports signed a four-year exclusive deal with the Arena Football League (AFL).
On April 11, 2005, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and EA Sports signed a deal to grant EA Sports the sole rights to produce college football games for six years.
EA lost the rights for Major League Baseball (MLB) games to 2K Sports in 2005, ending EA's MVP series; however, EA made NCAA Baseball games in 2006 and 2007 after losing the MLB license. In January 2008, EA Sports decided not to renew their NCAA College Baseball license while they evaluate the status of their MVP game engine.
In 2005, EA Sports and ESPN signed a massive 15-year deal for ESPN to be integrated into EA Sports video games. EA's use of the ESPN license has steadily increased over the early life of the deal. EA's early usage of the ESPN license began with ESPN Radio and a sports ticker in titles like Madden NFL, NBA Live, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and NCAA Baseball and Football. The ESPN integration now includes streaming podcasts, text articles (including content only available previously to ESPN Insider subscribers), and ESPN Motion video (including such programs as Pardon the Interruption).
In June 2009, EA Sports announced that for 2010, the games Madden NFL, NCAA Football, NASCAR, NHL, NBA Live, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour would not be shipped for Microsoft Windows. The NCAA football series hadn't been released on the PC since 1998, The Tiger Woods series last PC game was the 2008 version, the NASCAR series hadn't had a PC version since NASCAR Sim Racing in 2005, and the Madden series last PC game was the 2008 edition as well. The NHL series last PC game was the 2009 edition. Likewise, NBA Live 08 was the final PC version. The head of EA Sports at that time, Peter Moore, cited piracy and the fact the "PC as a platform for authentic, fully-licensed, simulation sports games has declined radically in the past three years as the next generation consoles [...] have attracted millions of consumers."
On April 23, 2009, EA Sports released the long awaited "EA Sports Complex" space for the PlayStation 3's online community-based service, PlayStation Home in the European and North American versions. In the Complex, users can play a series of mini-games, including poker, kart racing, golf, and it also features a Virtual EA Shop. There are also a number of advertisements for upcoming EA Sports games. Each mini-game that the Complex features has a reward or rewards. Heavy Water, a company dedicated to developing for Home, developed the EA Sports Complex for EA Sports.
Originally, the Complex just featured two rooms: the EA Sports Complex and the EA Sports Complex Upstairs. The EA Sports Complex featured racing and had a golfing range that was unavailable to play. The Upstairs had four poker tables that users could play at anytime. With the June 18, 2009 update, the Complex's name changed to the EA Sports Racing Complex and the Upstairs changed to the EA Sports Complex Green Poker Room. Other than the name change, the update took away the golfing range and added four more karts for users to play Racing at and it also added one red poker table to the poker room.
The July 2, 2009 update added golf and another poker room making four rooms for the Complex; the EA Sports Racing Complex, the EA Sports Golf Complex, the EA Sports Complex Green Poker Room, and the EA Sports Complex Red Poker Room. The Racing Complex features Racing with a total of eight karts; four on each side of the Complex. The Golf Complex features two Practice Ranges for golfing; one range on each side of the Complex. A Golf Pro-shop is coming soon for the Golf Complex. The Green Poker Room featured four green poker tables that users can play anytime. The Red Poker Room featured four red poker tables but requires users to have 2,000 points to play.
On July 16, 2009, EA Sports released another room for the Complex making five rooms for the Complex. This room is the game space for Fight Night Round 4 called "Club Fight Night" featuring a mini-game called Club DJ and coming soon, robot boxing.
On July 30, 2009, EA Sports added a Black Poker Table to the EA Sports Complex Red Poker Room for the higher level players. In time, there will be a room dedicated for this table just like the Green Poker Room and the Red Poker Room. They also added a fifth green table to the Green Poker Room. The update also included the addition of the EA Sports Pro Shop where users can purchase full boxing outfits and furniture from Fight Night Round 4. The Pro Shop is found in the Racing Complex. The August 16, 2009 update replaced the fifth green table in the Green Poker Room with a red table. They also reduced the amount of points for the Black Table from 20,000 to 10,000. The August 27, 2009 update separated the scoreboards for each level of play - Green, Red, and Black - and into Daily boards and Season boards (left side and right side), improved card readability, additional rail seating near the poker tables, player removal on lock-up while playing poker, and player buy-in refund on removal (does not refund on Home disconnect) while playing poker.
On October 9, 2009, EA Sports released the EA Sports Complex to the Japanese version of Home. They also released NFL jerseys for every team in the league for purchase inside of the EA Sports Complex and in Home's shopping complex. EA Sports have also teamed up with the Home team to produce and distribute exclusive virtual items that serve to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 100% of proceeds for these items will go to the Brees Dream Foundation in support of breast cancer research and awareness programs. The items are black jerseys with a pink number 9 on the front and the name Brees on the back also in pink. These jereys will be available from October 15, 2009 to November 25, 2009. On November 5, 2009, for those who purchased the Brees Breast Cancer jersey, they received a free DJ kit that is featured in the Club Fight Night space by entering one of the two EA Sports Complex poker rooms between November 5, 2009 and November 25, 2009. On November 25, 2009, Fight Night Round 4 producers Mike Mahar and Brian Hayes were in Home between the hours of 4:00pm and 5:00pm PT (7:00pm and 8:00pm EST), for a live chat with the PlayStation Home community in one instance of the Club Fight Night space. On January 7, 2010, EA Sports released NCAA college football jerseys in the EA Sports Complex and in Home's shopping complex.
On August 2, 2011, EA Sports launched the EA Sports Season Ticket subscription service.
2012 and beyond
- FIFA 13
- FIFA Manager 13
- FIFA Street
- Grand Slam Tennis 2
- Madden NFL 13
- NCAA Football 13
- NFL Blitz
- NHL 13
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13
- UEFA Euro 2012
- EA Sports BIG - Subsidiary of EA Sports
- EA Reports Fourth Quarter And Fiscal Year 2008 Results (PDF) from Thomson Reuters
- Electronic Arts 2007 Proxy Statement and Annual Report (PDF) from Thomson Reuters
- Steve Frost (2010-11-04). "EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer Franchise Sales Top 100 Million Units Lifetime". Business Wire.
- "NCAA Basketball Series Officially Canceled". Retrieved 10 February 2010.
- "EA Benches MVP". Jon Robinson (gametap.com). 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- Sports on the PC - Peter Moore Blog
- PC News: Peter Moore comes clean on EA SPORTS PC - ComputerAndVideoGames.com
- Addressing the Core Issues - Peter Moore Blog
- Sports games not viable on the PC, says EA | News | Custom PC
- "EA SPORTS Complex Now Live in PlayStation Home". SCE.
- "Heavy Water". Heavy Water. Retrieved 2009-12-31.[dead link]
- "Coming to PlayStation Home: New SOCOM Space, Ghostbusters Apartment, EA SPORTS Complex Update + More!". SCE.
- "This Week in PlayStation Home: BUZZ! and Fight Night Space Launches, and More!". SCE.
- "EA SPORTS Complex: The Poker Scene". EA SPORTS.
- "EA SPORTS Poker Update Today". SCE.
- "NFL Comes to PlayStation Home + Dethklok, PixelJunk Museum and MotorStorm Personal Space". SCE.
- "Think Pink! EA SPORTS Complex Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Cause". EA SPORTS.
- Locust Star (2009-11-25). "This Week in PlayStation Home: New Red Bull Space + Event, Fight Night Producer Chat & More". SCE. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
- Locust Star (2010-01-06). "This Week in PlayStation Home: Waterfall Terrace Personal Space, NCAA Football Jerseys, + Loads More!". SCE. Retrieved 2010-01-07.