Category Archives: Gaming News

Three Sports Games Finish in Top Ten Sales for 2014

With NPD reports in for December the entirety of 2014 can be analyzed and three sports games finished in the top ten of sales for the year. The three in question are regulars when rounding up the best-sellers annually.

Madden NFL 15 finished as the second biggest seller in 2014. Only Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was able to top it. NBA 2K15 finished the year in seventh place and FIFA 15 came through in ninth place.

It’s important to note that NPD only covers North America. NBA 2K and FIFA are far stronger properties than Madden overseas. FIFA has been the top selling game in the world for several years now, and more recently has shown impressive growth in the US. Its first appearance in the NPD top ten came in 2012. Madden finished the year strongest of the group, as it usually does, coming in third in December but NBA 2K15 still has six months ahead of it where it will continue to place among the best sellers.

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EA UFC Reveals Mystery Fighter, Father Of MMA, Bruce Lee

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EA Sports has been teasing the addition of a mystery fighter for the upcoming launch of the UFC franchise and the clues made it immediately obvious that it would be Bruce Lee. Today the company confirmed that Lee will be on the roster available immediately to those who pre-order (unlockable by completing Career mode for those who don’t) and playable in four different weight classes (Fly, Bantam, Feather, Light). The deal is being offered through all retailers including Amazon however nothing has been mentioned pertaining to digital purchases. 

Along with that news the company has confirmed the release date as June 17. That’s technically the last day EA would be able to release it without slipping out of spring – which they have promoted as the scheduled time frame all along.

In 2004 UFC president Dana White stated that he believed Lee was the “father of mixed martial arts” for his blending of styles so with that in mind it’s not a huge surprise that he would look to include him in a game out of respect and for the attention it would generate. The UFC even sells official Bruce Lee merchandise so the connection has been there.

Lee has been one of the most downloaded created fighters in Fight Night and MMA but this year EA removed the feature and those with a cynical point of view will say his addition was the reason why. Regardless it’s questionable whether his presence will make for a legitimate selling point for consumers when he obviously never had any association with UFC (formed 20 years after his death) – and early reaction to the news appears decidedly mixed – but it’s a big name that will clearly be pushed hard in the marketing campaign.

The Washington Redskins & Coach Jesmonkey69 Win Their 2nd TSG Super Bowl

Just one season ago, the Washington Redskins, lead by MVP RGIII & DPOY Brian Orakpo seemed poised to make a Super Bowl run boasting the #1 Offense & Defense but ended up falling short to the Saints in the 2nd Round of  playoffs. This season although having lesser rankings & no 1st Round Bye ended up making a run in the playoffs & winning 4 straight to capture the teams 4th SB win & Coach Jesmonkey69’s 2nd SB win lead by DPOY Ryan Kerrigan, against Coach Blitzburgh 34D. Congratulations to the Washington Redskins & their fans for capturing the title!

REDSKINSCHAMP

EA Sports UFC Feel The Fight Trailer

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Last month a trailer focusing on the realism in fighters was released for EA Sports UFC. Today the company has pushed out a new one that centers on the “Feel the Fight” tagline which was described through eight features at last year’s E3. There is still no release date set for UFC, which is coming to PS4 and Xbox One, however it’s now expected to be early-mid June.

The second video in our EA SPORTS UFC Gameplay Series spotlights the different ways a fighter’s body reacts when being pushed to its limits and beyond inside the Octagon. Watch our athletes act, react and compete in with an unprecedented level of realism. Not every win in our game is going to be pretty and you’ll need to pay the price if you’re going to come out on top.

 

NCAA Ordered to Talk Settlement in O’Bannon Case; Eventual Resolution Will Determine Future of College Sports Video Games

Last week the judge in the Ed O’Bannon class-action case vs the NCAA ordered the two sides to enter settlement talks. Naturally questions have started to come in about whether this could accelerate a return of college football (and other sports) video games.

There is no longer a video game element to the case – although Sam Keller has continued to argue that he was not a part of the earlier settlement that got Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Company out of it. A conclusion to litigation that would provide an outline for players to be paid (whether from share of broadcasting rights, personal endorsements, and/or merchandising) could open the possibility of video games back up. 

It’s very unlikely that a settlement will be reached which would mean the case proceeding through the lengthy process that with appeals could be five years away from a conclusion. There is no requirement that the sides attempt to reach one in good faith – just that they attend the required mediation. Even if a the two sides came to a settlement the specific terms would be critical.

EA could manage paying collegiate athletes $50-$100 a season. That’s essentially what they did with the $40 million settlement. With NCAA Football establishing a successful Ultimate Team mode they could afford additional costs especially when being able to promote real players officially in the game would likely increase sales of the product. Going much higher than that though, or having a system where players negotiate their own appearance fees, could make it more difficult to financially justify.

Earlier/Summary Below

The player likeness lawsuit against the NCAA, CLC, and Electronic Arts is the culmination of two high profile filings that were combined as led by Sam Keller and Ed O’Bannon (and O’Bannon now heads it up). It alleges improper use of player likeness through various forms of merchandise and media including video games in which the parties in question conspired to avoid paying players for their rights. Some interesting details and claims regarding the case at hand were revealed when EA was reentered as a defendant after initially being dismissed.

EA originally won a previous case regarding player likeness with the courts ruling video games are artistic works rather than commercial speech and therefore protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court in 2011 established forms of media, producing expressive works of art, are not subject to judgments based on incorporating someone’s name or likeness. That dismissed case however, involving Ryan Hart, has resurfaced after an appeals court reversed a decision based on that argument.

Recent uncovered emails have shown that NCAA representatives were well aware that players in games were based off real-life players. At one point the NCAA and EA had nearly reached an agreement to have actual player names included in the products. The EA Locker / Roster Share feature was a fallback option. With momentum clearly on the plantiffs’ side NCAA reps have begun to publicly express concern over the future of collegiate sports. A former EA Sports producer admitted players in NCAA games were based off real athletes.

The discovery of Tim Tebow’s name being in NCAA Football 10 could throw another wrench into EA’s series of arguments. Depositions from former Alabama wide receiver Tyrone Prothro and UConn basketball guard Tate George support the defendant’s reasoning for denying class action certification. The class action hearing resulted in the judge heavily questioning the legitimacy of a potential class and insisting a current athlete be involved. The judge required current athletes be added as plaintiffs for that party to have representation if the case is certified as class action. Six current college football players were added as plaintiffs in mid-July.

EA is now arguing to be dismissed as a defendant in the suit. A major defense for the company however was recently struck down by an appeals court.

This consolidated case in California if certified as class action would go to trial – barring a settlement – and ultimately be the determining factor of how the NCAA proceeds in the future handling broadcasting rights, merchandising, and video games. Should a negative result come down, which one analyst has pegged as being a potential loss of $1 billion for EA, it would likely not just end the NCAA Football series but also with it any realistic possibility of college sports games being made in the future. The trial now is slated to begin June 9, 2014. Appeals following a decision could extend the fight through 2020.

[RESOLUTION] EA and the CLC have settled the lawsuit. EA Sports will no longer produce a college football game. Getting out of the lawsuit only cost EA and CLC $40 million.

TSG Madden 25 CF (Xbox One) Season 1 DPOY Is…….

It was a tight race, when it was all said and done only one player truly deserved Defensive Player Of The Year, ROLB, Brian Orakpo of the Washington Redskins. Totaling stats of 58 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 INT & 1 pass deflection, Orakpo helped lead the #1 defense in TSG this season, although coming up short & losing in the 2nd Round to the New Orleans Saints, the Redskins had a stellar year boasting not only the DPOY but also the league MVP.

BRIAN ORAKPO

Madden 25 Guide To Player Ratings, Attributes & Traits

This is a subject I think many people have confusion over because EA Sports doesn’t always put it in the game manual what each aspect of a player’s ratings does, and even if they did – who reads the game manual? For instance, play recognition might seem like an obvious attribute but what does it really do on the field in the game? This guide will explain all of that so read on! Make sure you check out our Madden 25 offense guides and Madden 25 defense guides as well!
Let’s look at the actual player ratings/attributes first.

  • Overall Rating (OVR) – This is the overall rating of the player. It is based on a formula that weights certain attributes more heavily depending on the position of the player. QB Throw Power and Accuracy is more important for a QB than a DE so the overall rating is unaffected if you raise a DE’s Throw Power. In Connected Careers Mode (CCM), this rating will be affected by your team’s scheme and which scheme your players prefer to play in. A 3-4 DE will have a lower OVR rating in a 4-3 scheme.
  • Strength Rating (STR) – This rating has a direct effect on several player specific abilities below. Higher strength players tend to block better (RBK, PBK), shed blocks better (BSH), use power moves better (PMV), catch in traffic better (CIT), throw harder with (THP), and truck better (TRK). Higher strength players just tend to perform better all around.
  • Agility Rating (AGI) – This rating determines how well a player can “cut”. More agile players will respond to your moments on the left control stick easier and faster.
  • Speed Rating (SPD) – This rating determines the maximum a player can run after fully accelerating
  • Acceleration Rating (ACC) – This rating determines how fast the player will achieve full speed rating
  • Stamina (STA) – This rating determines how fast a player will get tired and need to be subbed out
  • Awareness (AWR) – This rating has a huge effect on the players overall rating. There are multiple aspects of the game this rating improves: Blockers will set-up and react to blocking lanes better, wide receivers will look for the ball faster on routes, defenders react to the ball faster in the air for zone and man coverage, defensive lineman will react to the run and slip screens faster.
  • Jumping (JMP) – Determines how high a player can jump
  • Injury (INJ) – Determines how often a player will be injured
  • Toughness (TGH) – Determines how long a players injury will last

QB Specific

  • Throw Power (THP) – This rating determines the maximum throwing distance of the player along with the speed the ball is thrown (such as a bullet pass).
  • Throw Accuracy (THA) – A composite rating of the SAC, MAC, DAC. This specific rating is similar to the overall rating for accuracy – it doesn’t actually mean anything. EA Sports Game Changer @shopmaster clarified THA rating for us. “THA is only relevant when a game is simmed. If your game is simmed, your QB will take on THA not the SAC, MAC, or DAC.” – shopmaster
  • Short Throw Accuracy (STA) – How accurately the player throws short passes (under 20 yards)
  • Medium Throw Accuracy (MAC) – How accurately the player throws medium passes (20-40 yards)
  • Deep Throw Accuracy (DAC) – How accurately the player throws deep passes (over 40 yards)
  • Throw on the Run (RUN) – How well a player throws the ball when moving outside of the pocket or on roll out plays
  • Play Action (PAC) – How well the player’s play action baits the defender into playing the run (makes them move up towards the line of scrimmage).

Ball Carrier Specific

  • Trucking (TRK) – How effective the truck move is against a tackle attempt
  • Elusiveness (ELU) – How well the runner can juke and use spin moves. Also improves the runners ability to break tackles.
  • Ball Carrier Vision (BCV) – This rating determines how well a player can navigate in between blocks. Higher BCV players will shift back and forth to weave through blockers naturally.
  • Stiff Arm (SFA) – The effectiveness of the player’s stiff arm precision move.
  • Spin Move (SPM) – The effectiveness of the player’s spin move.
  • Juke Move (JKM) – The effectiveness of the player’s juke move.
  • Carrying (CAR) – How well the player holds onto the ball. Lower rating increases chances of fumbles.

Receiver Specific

  • Catching (CTH) – How well a player can catch the ball in the open field
  • Catch in traffic (CIT) – How well a player can catch the ball with a defender near him
  • Route Running (RTE) – How well a receiver can run routes. Higher route runners can create more separation on routes against man coverage.
  • Spectacular Catch (SPC) – This rating determines how often a player will trigger sideline catches, one handed catches, or jumping catches with crazy animations.
  • Release (RLS) – Determines the player’s ability to beat press coverage

Defender Specific

  • Tackle (TAK) – Determines how successful the player is at making a tackle. Lower tackle ratings means the player is more likely to be stiff armed or trucked over.
  • Hit Power (POW) – How hard a defender tackles. Higher hit power results in more fumbles and injuries.
  • Power Moves (PMV) – The players ability for using strength to over power the offensive line. Increases ability to use bull rush move player trait. Determines win/loss/super-loss on power-move attempts, used vs. Pass Block rating
  • Finesse Moves (FMV) – The players ability to use swim move and spin move player traits against the offensive line. Finesse move-groups are: Spin, Swim, Hand Knock-Down, Speed Rush. Determines the max time taken to perform successful finesse move.
  • Block Shedding (BSH) – The players ability to get off their blocks. When the offensive engages in a block, how fast the player will be able to get free to pursue the ball carrier. Also determines the success versus run-block double teams and win/loss chance versus cut blocks in combination with physical rating.
  • Pursuit (PUR) – If a player is unblocked or sheds a block, this rating determines the ability of the defender to catch up to the ball carrier. This rating is basically closing speed and is separate from regular speed rating, but a high speed, high pursuit player can bring the fast blitzes.
  • Play Recognition (PRC) – The rating determines how well a defender reacts to the run or pass as well as how well they defend specific routes. In addition, a lower PRC player will tend to bite on play action more often. High play recognition defensive lineman (80+) will react to the slip screen more consistently.
  • Man coverage (MCV) – How well the player will cover the offensive player when man to man coverage is called. Determines chance of fakeout, used vs. Route Run. Determines the time it takes to cover a cut, used vs. Route Run. Determines the reaction time when in man-coverage assignment. Determines tackle skill chance when in man-coverage assignment, used with AWR. Determines when a defender can break out of ‘play ball’ (when the ball is in the air). Determines the knockout chance of a tackle during the catch, used vs. Catch in Traffic. Source: EA Website
  • Zone coverage (ZCV) – How well the player will cover the field in their respective zone, when zone coverage is called.Determines tackle skill chance when in zone, used AWR. Determines accuracy of leverage on receivers when in zone. Determines the time it takes for the DB to track the ball when in zone. Determines knockout chance on a tackle during a catch, used vs. Catch in Traffic. Source: EA Website
  • Press (PRS) – How well the defender will “press” the WR at the line of scrimmage when press coverage is called. Higher PRS rating will cause the WR to have a longer delay when starting their routes. Higher RLS players will beat PRS attempts more often.

Blocking Specific

  • Pass Block (PBK) – How well the blocker holds their blocks when protecting for a pass play.
  • Run Block (RBK) – How well the blocker engages the defense and holds their blocks when a run play is called.
  • Impact Block (IBL) – The ability of the blocker to pancake or knock the defender to the ground when making a block in the open field

Note: Run Block Strength and Footwork and Pass Block Strength and Footwork are still in the game but are no longer used. Only rating that matters is PBK, RBK, and IBL.

Kicking Specific

  • Kick Power (KPW) – The maximum distance a player can kick
  • Kick Accuracy (KAC) – How easy it is to make a kick (affects the speed of the kick meter)

Return Rating

The higher return rated players have a better ability to break tackles and are more elusive on kick and punt returns.

Phew! If you are still with me, we ain’t done yet!

Player Traits

On to the player traits. These traits are specific tendencies that a player might have in a game. Some of them might be good and some bad.

  • Tuck and Run – How often the QB will run with the ball (when CPU is controlling them)
  • Throw ball away – Determines if the QB is smart enough to throw the ball away instead of taking a sack
  • Sense pressure – Determines how fast the QB will tuck and run or throw ball away.
  • Forces Passes – Determines if the QB will try to throw the ball into tight coverage
  • Throw tight spiral – Determines if the QB throws the ball in a good spiral form
  • Fights for extra yards – How well a ball carrier will push through defenders or “fall forward” on a play
  • Covers the ball – How well a player will brace for hits
  • Makes sideline catches – Determines if a player will be able to make spectacular catches on the sidelines
  • Drops open passes – Determines if a player will drop a pass in the open field
  • Plays ball in the air – Determines how well a player will react to make an interception
  • Big Hitter – Determines if a player will make a force fumble hit
  • Utilizes Swim Move – Determines if a player can use a swim move (high FMW players)
  • Utilizes Spin Move – Determines if a player can use a spin move (high FMW players)
  • Utilizes Bull Rush – Determines if a player can bull rush (high PMW players)
  • Clutch – This trait will give players a boost to key attributes during the final minutes of the half or game
  • Consistency – According to EA Sports Game Changer (has direct access to devs so I believe him) @shopmaster (check him out at http://mymaddenpad.com ): ” Consistency determines how bad someone can play before cold. Meaning each player has 3 goals and depending on your consistency will determine if you can miss those goals and not be considered cold.”
  • High Motor – The defensive lineman will push harder to create pressure more consistently.

Special Player Ratings for Connected Franchise Mode (CFM)

There are six ratings that are special for the CFM. They do not have any affect on the performance of your players but can affect the profitability and fan support of your team. Here is the description of each rating, taken directly from the Madden NFL 25 manual.

 

  • Personality Rating – Helps determine how marketable the player is. The more marketable the player, the better chance he’ll have of becoming a top-10 selling jersey in the NFL, which of course means more money for the owner.
  • Physical Rating – Calculated from a player’s physical ratings, player type and position. For example, a WR’s physical rating would weigh heavier on speed, agility, jumping, and catching, whereas an offensive lineman is weighed on run, pass, and impact blocking
  • Intangible Rating – Calculated off of a player’s intangible ratings. Player type and position are also taken into consideration. For example, a QB’s intangible rating would be weighed heavier on short, medium, and deep accuracy while a defensive end is weighed on block shed-ding, power, and finesse moves.
  • Size Rating – Calculated from the height and weight of a player while also factoring in the position and player type of that individual. For example, a Power RB who is 6’0” and 247lbs would have a 99 size rating. But if he were a Speed HB, his size grade would be considerably lower
  • Production Rating – Calculated from the player’s season and career stats, position and age. It is important to understand that a rookie will enter with a production rating of zero. That will increase as he begins to produce on the field.
  • Durability Rating – Calculated from a player’s durability rating. Injury, stamina, and toughness are all factored in when determining the durability rating. The age and position of a player are taken into consideration as well.

 

Some have also asked about the “Change Predictability” Trait. I tried to find some answers on this and after searching the best I could find was a tweet from CFM designer Josh Looman. The question was originally asked by @OSUFL. It appears predictability trait helps determine if a player will retire or re-sign with their team. It has nothing to do with their in-game performance.
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I think that about covers everything. Make sure you bookmark this page so you can come back if you are confused about something as you upgrade your players through Connected Careers!

New Golf Game Coming to Xbox One and PS4 This Spring

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While there will be no usual golf game from EA Sports this year – as they transition away from Tiger Woods and attempt to launch in strong fashion on the new systems in 2015 – the new generation won’t be going without golf after all.

 

HB Studios, who has partnered with Electronic Arts in the past, most recently developed Rugby World Cup 2011 and the infamous NBA Baller Beats. They have also contributed to games like Madden and FIFA on the Wii and other EA Sports tiles that made their way onto secondary platforms including PS2, PC, and PSP.

Their latest effort is The Golf Club which will release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC this spring. Being described as a simulation the game will include a course creator with final designs able to be shared and used in online matches. Tournaments and Tours can be customized and shared as well. Also touted is practically zero load time between holes, challenges vs friends, and social media integration. Check out some early videos highlighting gameplay and the Course Creator.

The Final Four Of The Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote, Has Begun! Cast Your Vote Now!

The cover campaign featuring both legends and current stars for Madden NFL 25 has reached the finals in the two brackets. The “Old School” and “New School” participants have been shaved down to two each with the eventual winners from each side facing off for the cover honors.

Barry Sanders goes up against Jerry Rice while Arian Foster will take on Adrian Peterson. Foster’s run is the only thing that could be considered a surprise especially having quit social media prior to the tournament. He has gone on to beat Julio Jones, Colin Kaepernick, and now Russell Wilson. There are currently one, two, three, and four seeds remaining. Peterson is likely to move on (he absolutely CRUSHED Robert Griffin III) with the Rice-Sanders pairing (both collected about equal percentage with comparable opponents) much more difficult to call.

Voting is completed through the ESPN SportsNation Page. The fifth round runs until April 17th when it will move forward to the overall finals.

2k Announces WWE 2k14, The Rock To Be Featured On Cover

The lead-up to Wrestlemania is always the biggest time of the year in terms of consumer interest and interaction for WWE. With Wrestlemania 29 on Sunday the company even made video game news with still over seven months until the typical release time frame for the series arrives.

Executive Vice President of Consumer Products Casey Collins announced that The Rock will be featured on the cover of WWE 2K14.

Dwayne Johnson has become one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry let alone “sports entertainment”. Some might take issue with the fact that a part-time performer gets the top billing – the same grumblings have been made regarding The Rock and his current title reign – but there is no one that could offer near the exposure and awareness levels that he provides.

The WWE license is now in the hands of Take Two, with also acquired Yuke’s continuing on as the development studio at least in the short term, and falling under the 2K Sports label.