Category Archives: PS3

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.

Lack of NFL License News Raises Questions

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Almost two years have passed since the NFL extended the exclusive video game license with EA Sports. At the time the events made it obvious that the satisfied partner in the relationship was the NFL and not EA. It was evident that EA would later seek to secure much more favorable terms come negotiation time.

An extension to the exclusive license has still not been announced. In the past that news has come in February (2008 and 2011) each time two years in advance of expiration. Now though the current deal is set to expire next month and there have been no updates from either side on how things will proceed. 

EA had the leverage going into the process. The NFL has been happy with the partnership to date. The exclusive deal has brought in four times as much money each year as when multiple licensees paid in and they’ve been able to enact a level of control over the product that projects the image the league desires. The NFLPA loves the arrangement too because it brings in the most money possible. For the league to turn to a different company would mean likely no NFL game on the market for at least two years and that is an unthinkable scenario.

Unlike partnerships related to apparel, uniforms, beverage, and the like there is a turnaround time and a greater sense of uncertainty that would come with switching video game developers. Though now they are expected to extended NFL Sunday Ticket with DirecTV at one point they strongly considered going elsewhere with it when DirecTV questioned its value. That is similar to how EA Sports has felt as development costs increased coupled with shrinking sales. The common thread however with how the NFL handles its brand is exclusivity. It would go against their M.O. to open up a license to multiple parties.

That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. EA Sports has no reason to pay a premium for the exclusive when the threat of competition is thin even if other companies had the opportunity to buy in. The investment for a new company to begin from scratch would be enormous beyond whatever enter fee there would be for the license and then there would only be the potential of splitting the pie with EA who has one of the strongest brands in gaming history with Madden. Still it’s a more realistic scenario than new serious competitors entering the field in other sports.

EA Sports continues to develop Madden NFL 15 and there have been no indications that the license is in question for this year. At the very least they seem to have secured a limited extension yet there has been no official announcement of details. That they have avoided addressing the topic suggests there very well could be a change to the status quo and the news on that being held until the completion of the NFL season and the expiration of the previous deal. Neither side gains from the perception of uncertainty so if an agreement for extending the exclusive has been reached there would have been no reason to hold an announcement back.

No one should get their hopes up too high of a change to the way the NFL license is handled and who will be involved developing officially licensed games. However there is reason to believe that a change of sorts is plausible. February or early March would be the time when details will have to be shared regarding any parties attached through a deal.

Madden NFL 25 Patch Details

Tracking behind the support of previous years, and facing criticism for that as the focus shifts towards the next-gen debut, EA Sports today confirmed a patch release is nearing for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Madden NFL 25. Details on what to expect have been provided and include some fixes to gameplay, Ultimate Team, and Connected Franchise – unfortunately however it doesn’t appear to be nearly as extensive an update as those completed for past games. The patch was released 10/24 for both 360 and PS3.

GENERAL UPDATES
– Improved stability in all game modes.
– Fixed an issue with Gameface, which made eyes render gray.

GAMEPLAY
– Tuned in-game injuries which were occurring too frequently.
– Tuned pull blocking in various scenarios on the offensive line.
– Tuned down broken tackles when using the Truck Stick.
– Fixed an issue with toss/sweep plays when game speed was set to Slow

MADDEN ULTIMATE TEAM
– Fixed an issue with Solo Challenges awarding players a win without finishing the game.
– Fixed an issue where offline users that earned a Gold in a Skill Tutorial would not receive the content in Madden Ultimate Team.

CONNECTED FRANCHISE
– Fixed an issue where some players from an Imported Draft Class would not have facemasks.
– Tuned ratings for imported draft classes (Coming in too low compared to NCAA 14 ratings).
– Fixed an issue with accelerated clock in CFM Head-to-Head games.
– Fixed an exploit where users could make trades outside of Week 8 from the web.
– Fixed an issue where the same draft storylines would appear in consecutive seasons.
– Fixed an issue where the Vikings stadium overlay would show unrealistically low temperatures and heavy snow during the preseason.
– Fixed an issue where toggles for Heat Seeker, Switch Assist, and Ball Hawk would be OFF in game even though they were ON in league settings.

PRESENTATION
– Reinstated touchdown celebrations in all online game modes.
– Improved logic used to select GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Game.

EA Sports Cancels NCAA Football Series

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EA Sports has officially canceled their NCAA Football series which was going to be renamed College Football next year. The news comes on the heels of individual institutions expressing a desire to get out of the video game business by pulling their licenses. The NCAA was first to withdraw licensing, multiple conferences followed, but losing the schools was when EA began to see the writing on the wall that the series would not be sustainable. Also announced today is that EA settled in the player likeness lawsuit as well.

NBA 2k14’s New Signature Skills

Signature Skills were introduced in NBA 2K13 providing more differentiation between players with unique definition of abilities. 31 Signature Skills were featured though the “Acrobat” skill was later removed in a roster update to accommodate an online tournament after a flaw was discovered allowing for Euro Step three pointers to be exploited.

Seven new Signature Skills debut in NBA 2K14 with one of them being exclusive to the King James pre-order bonus pack which is available through all retailers. Continue on to check out the new skills and their respective descriptions.

Pick & Roll Maestro
A ball-handler that excels at orchestrating the pick & roll. As the point man in the pick & roll, immediate following a screen this player receives a three point boost to his shooting attribute and is more accurate than most when passing to the screener.

Flashy Passer
This player is known for accurate flashy passes. When throwing a flashy pass the penalty enforced will be reduced by up to 60%.

Pick Dodger
A player that does not get caught up on screens very easily. He counters the Brick Wall signature skill, and when hitting a screen set by a regular player the screen often fails to be effective.

Tenacious Rebounder
This player is known for his relentlessness when going for rebounds. During rebound situations he receives up to 50% increase in winning boxout battles and poking balls loose on rebounds.

Screen Outlet
A player who excels as the receiver in pick & roll/pop game. If this player shoots immediately following a screen he set he receives up to a four point boost to his shooting attribute.

One Man Fastbreak
A player known for his ability to take the ball coast-to-coast on a fastbreak. Speed, Quickness, and Ball-Handling attributes are boosted six points if this player takes the ball from one end of the court to another on a fastbreak following a change of possession.

Lebron Coast to Coast (Pre-Order Bonus Exclusive)
Takes the ball coast to coast and finishes through contact. Speed, Quickness, and Ball-Handling attributes are boosted four points and the shot penalty enforced for hitting a defender is decreased when taking the ball coast to coast on a fastbreak following a change of possession.

Madden NFL 25 Overall Team Ratings

With all of the Madden NFL 25 player ratings already released, here are the team ratings:

  • Chicago Bears – 85
  • Cincinnati Bengals – 81
  • Buffalo Bills – 73
  • Denver Broncos – 89
  • Cleveland Browns – 75
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 81
  • Arizona Cardinals – 74
  • San Diego Chargers – 73
  • Kansas City Chiefs – 76
  • Indianapolis Colts – 83
  • Dallas Cowboys – 79
  • Miami Dolphins – 78
  • Philadelphia Eagles – 76
  • Atlanta Falcons – 86
  • San Francisco 49ers – 91
  • New York Giants – 84
  • Jacksonville Jaguars – 72
  • New York Jets – 73
  • Detroit Lions – 76
  • Green Bay Packers – 88
  • Carolina Panthers – 76
  • New England Patriots – 88
  • Oakland Raiders – 72
  • St. Louis Rams – 77
  • Baltimore Ravens – 87
  • Washington Redskins – 86
  • New Orleans Saints – 82
  • Seattle Seahawks – 90
  • Pittsburgh Steelers – 80
  • Houston Texans – 84
  • Tennessee Titans – 75
  • Minnesota Vikings – 81

First Details on NBA Live 14 Career Mode

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EA Sports today announced “Rising Star” which will act as the career mode in the upcoming NBA Live 14. Rising Star will begin in the EA Sports Draft Showcase powered by Under Armour where draft potential will be determined. The mode allows for up to 25 years in the league with progression from being a bench player to an All-Star.

Features previously announced include the next-gen EA Sports Ignite engine, a new dribbling system called “bounceTEK”, the inclusion of legends, and roster updates within an hour after every game ends. NBA Live 14 will be available will the launch of the PlayStation 4 (November 15) and Xbox One (unspecified November date).

NBA 2k14 Official Euroleague Trailer

For the very first time in history, the NBA 2K14 videogame will feature 14 Turkish Airlines Euroleague teams, bringing the opportunity to all the fans to take control of their favorite team, and now you can see them all in the release of the official trailer of the game!2K Sports and Euroleague Basketball announced earlier this summer an exclusive multi-year global partnership that will see top teams from the Turkish Airlines Euroleague introduced into NBA 2K14, the next installment of the top-selling and top-rated NBA video game simulation franchise*, for the Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®4 systems. This will mark the first time Euroleague teams have appeared in the critically acclaimed NBA 2K series. Fourteen teams in total will be integrated as playable teams in NBA 2K14, allowing fans of European basketball to pit their local teams against the biggest teams from the NBA for the very first time.

How Linebackers are Rated in Madden NFL 25

What tight ends are to offense, linebackers are to defense. Linebackers are asked to run sideline-to-sideline to clean up ballcarriers in the run game, cover tight ends and WR’s in the passing game and also be a disruptive pass rusher.

The top five linebackers in Madden NFL 25 do everything at an elite level. There’s a mix of ferocious sack artists including Von Miller, Aldon Smith, and Clay Matthews, as well as tackling machines like Patrick Willis and Lance Briggs.

Denver Broncos OLB Von Miller highlights the group as the highest rated linebacker in Madden NFL 25. He’s got the best Finesse Moves and Ball Carrier Pursuit in the game, both at 99, and his speed rating of 88 essentially makes him the defensive version of Michael Vick in Madden NFL 2004.

Here’s a look at what these ratings do inside of Madden NFL 25:

FINESSE MOVES (FMV)
– Finesse move-groups are: Spin, Swim, Hand Knock-Down, Speed Rush
– Determines the chance a defender gets flattened by the blocker
– Determines defenders skill vs. blocker’s skill for success of finesse moves
– AI uses FMV vs. Power Move rating to determine which move-set is used
– Determines the max time taken to perform successful finesse move

The combination of elite speed and devastating pass rush moves that players like Von Miller, Clay Matthews and Aldon Smith possess will help extinguish a vertical passing attack in Madden NFL 25.

Did you Know: FMV is also used in combination with power moves vs. pass block ratings to determine whether the defender or blocker has the advantage when matching an impact block.

The key cog of a great defense is the middle linebacker. While the outside backers get the accolades for sacks and coverage, the Mike backer does the grunt work to stop the running game. No player personifies this trait more than Patrick Willis, who has amassed more than 100 tackles in five of his first six NFL seasons. Willis has an innate ability to pursue the ball and arrive with explosive intentions.

Madden Ratings Czar Donny Moore on Willis: “Nobody takes better angles to the ball carrier than Patrick Willis. In Madden NFL 25, he rates 98 in Pursuit. And with sub-4.5 speed that shows up even faster on Sundays, he has a 90 speed rating.”

To fit the mold of an All-Pro middle linebacker, it’s critical find the ball and make the tackle. Here’s how pursuit works in gameplay:

PURSUIT (PUR)
– Determines amount of time it takes to change direction while chasing the ball carrier
– Determines the chance for a hit stick when chasing the ball
– Determines how quickly a player update his pursuit path relative to the ball carrier
– Determines how quickly a player can break out of chasing the ball carrier

With guys like Willis and Smith on the squad, it’s easy to see why the 49ers will be one of the most used teams in Madden NFL 25. When you’re playing against these guys, you better get your throws out quickly and cover up the ball because they can make it a very long day for your offense.

Did you Know: Pursuit is used in combination with tackle and awareness ratings to determine the chance of committing a facemask penalty.

The top five linebackers in Madden NFL 25 can do it all. If you plan on shutting down offenses like the spread, read option or ground-and-pound, having a few utility knives on your defense is a great way to start.

Signature Celebrations in Madden NFL 25

 

 

Patrick Balanca is a Madden NFL designer who worked on new presentation features in Madden NFL 25. Read on to find out more about the all-new signature player celebrations.

 

NFL player celebrations have become a staple in the league, and you’ll find more than plenty of signature and common celebrations in Madden NFL 25. The best feeling in Madden is pulling off a huge play against an opponent and making them watch as your player celebrates in their face, and now more than ever those celebrations will feel like the real world of NFL football.

 

 

We’ve added more than 60 celebration animations for offensive and defensive players, including some of the league’s biggest stars like Colin Kaepernick, Alfred Morris, and Von Miller, as well as Clay Matthews, Arian Foster, and Victor Cruz. We also snuck in some classics too, so make sure to play with old school players like Deion Sanders and Dante Hall to see what they can do after a big play.

 

This feature started with one ambitious tester, RG, who mined hours of NFL footage from the 2012 season and edited 15-second video clips of different celebrations. Some of the celebrations were specific to a player; others were celebrations that we see throughout the league. RG compiled so much content, the team could only develop about half this year and already has enough reference for another batch of celebrations next year.

 

 

With this amazing reference material, the team spent two days in a MoCap studio with five actors practicing, rehearsing, and studying the reference over and over.

 

Lots of great stuff made it in. The list is loaded: Colin Kaepernick’s signature bicep kiss, Ray Rice’s flexing, and Antonio Smith’s sword fight celebration all made the cut. Madden NFL 25 also features celebrations from both Clay Matthews (the Predator and Dirty Dancing) and J.J. Watt (the Finger Wag and a take on Matthews’ Predator celebration). See the full list below.

 

 

SIGNATURE CELEBRATIONS

 

· Marshawn Lynch – Skittles Rain Dance
· Patrick Willis – Flex Muscles
· John Abraham – Got my Eyes on You
· Aldon Smith – Sack Swagger Dance
· Alfred Morris – Home Run Swing
· Antonio Brown – Bennie Biggle Wiggle
· Antonio Smith – Sword Fight
· Arian Foster – Disciplined Bow
· Clay Matthews – Dirty Dancing
· Clay Matthews – Predator
· Michael Crabtree – Crabshake
· Victor Cruz – Full Salsa Dance
· Deion Sanders – Primetime Dance
· Dez Bryant – X Arms
· J.J. Watt – Mock Clay Matthews Predator
· J.J. Watt – Finger Wag
· Colin Kaepernick – Bicep Kiss
· Gerald McCoy – Wave to the Fans
· Maurice Jones Drew – Touchdown Dance
· Cam Newton – Flip the Ball to Fans
· Shaun Phillips – Bowling a Strike
· Ray Rice – Flex his Bicep
· Robert Griffin III – Kneel and Point to the Sky
· Stevan Ridley – Kick in the Door
· Aaron Rodgers – Championship Belt
· Von Miller – Sack Swagger Dance
· Cameron Wake – Super Flex

 

 

COMMON CELEBRATIONS

 

· The Dougie
· Air Guitar
· Beating his Chest
· Beating his Chest v2
· Big Man High Steps
· Big Man Poses
· Can’t See Me
· Cat Daddy
· Heart, Kiss, Sky
· Dunk over the Crossbar
· Windmill Dunk over the Crossbar
· Layup over the Crossbar
· Dance and Spike the ball
· Brush Dirt off the Shoulders
· Fake Toss the ball to Fans
· Feed Me
· Gangnam Style
· Teammates pat the Players Helmet
· Hush Finger to fans
· Jump up and Flex
· Jump up after a Tackle
· Kick ‘em off the Field
· Kiss to the Sky
· Place the Ball and Crossed Arms Pose
· Place the Ball and Flex Pose
· Point to the Fans
· Pray and Point to the Sky
· Punch and Flex
· The Robot
· Power Spike the Ball
· Spin the Football on the nose
· Three various Swagger Dances
· Through the Legs Jumpshot… Nothing but net

 

The goal of the presentation team is to get as close as possible to broadcast televised football while delivering emotional moments that bring the Madden player into the game and bonding with their favorite players. Adding these celebrations to Madden NFL 25 helps capture the spirit and identity of the players we love watching on Sundays.