"It's in the game!"
|Electronic Arts Sports Network (1991-1993)|
Computer and video games
Andrew Zlaket (President, EA Labels)
(EVP, EA Sports)
|Revenue||US$4.02 billion (2008)|
|US$339 million (2008)|
Number of employees
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 imitate real-life sports networks by calling themselves the "EA Sports Network" (EASN) with pictures or endorsements with 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 EA Blackbox, Vancouver, British Columbia and EA Tiburon in Maitland, Florida. The main rival to EA Sports is 2K Sports. Notably, both companies compete over the realm of NBA games.
Unlike some other sports game 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 of the 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 released in 2004 (FIFA 2005 was also the last PlayStation title to be released); and NCAA Football 08 had an Xbox released in 2007. Madden NFL 08 also had Xbox and Nintendo 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. EA Sports brand name is used to sponsor English Football League One team Swindon Town F.C. from the 2009-10 season onwards and the EA Sports Cup in the Republic of Ireland.
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.
|Series||Sport||First Release||Latest Release||Upcoming Release|
|Madden||American football||(1988) John Madden Football||(2016) Madden NFL 18|
|PGA Tour||Golf||(1990) PGA Tour||(2015) Rory McIlroy PGA Tour|
|NHL||Ice hockey||(1991) NHL Hockey||(2017) NHL 18|
|FIFA||Association football||(1993) FIFA International Soccer||(2016) FIFA 17||(2017) FIFA 18 (WW: 29 Sept, 2017)|
|NBA Live||Basketball||(1994) NBA Live 95||(2017) NBA Live 18|
|UFC||Mixed martial arts||(2014) EA Sports UFC||(2016) EA Sports UFC 2|
|NCAA Football||1993-2013||College football|
|Mario Andretti Racing||1994-1996||Auto racing|
|Australian Rugby League||1995-1996||Rugby league|
|Triple Play/MVP Baseball||1997-2007||Baseball|
|NASCAR||1997-2010||Stock car racing|
|AFL||1998-1999||Australian rules football|
|NCAA Basketball||1998-2010||College basketball|
|Arena Football||2006-2007||Arena football|
|EA Sports Active||2009-2010||Training|
|Grand Slam Tennis||2009-2012||Tennis|
|FIFA Manager||1997-2013||Association football management|
|MMA||2010||Mixed martial arts|
|Superbike||1999-2001||Superbike World Championship|
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In 2002, EA purchased the license to NASCAR for six years, ending competition from Papyrus and Infogrames. They lost the NASCAR license in 2009 and the NASCAR license would be owned by Polyphony Digital for the Gran Turismo series starting with Gran Turismo 5, and also Eutechnyx for NASCAR The Game series until its inception in 2015.
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 from 2K Sports and Sega. 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 PC platforms (Microsoft Windows and/or Mac OS X). The NCAA Football series hadn't been released on the PC since 1998, The Tiger Woods series' last PC game was Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08, the NASCAR series hadn't had a PC version since NASCAR SimRacing in 2005, and the Madden series' last PC game was Madden NFL 08. The NHL series' last PC game was NHL 09. Likewise, NBA Live 08 was the final PC version for NBA Live.
The head of EA Sports at that time, Peter Moore, cited piracy and the fact that 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."
EA Sports released FIFA World as a free-to-play massively multi-player game which is exclusive to the PC on the 12th November 2013.
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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 any time. 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 went 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 jerseys were 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.