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EA Sports perfecting mediocrity

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A group of NBA Live '07 fanboys have had enough of the series' annual increase in broken gameplay and have written a letter to EA expressing their displeasure. Although the focus of the letter is on NBA Live '07, with YouTube links showing the latest issues with the series, it touches on the general unhappiness with other declining EA franchises like Madden and FIFA. "At one time, EA was producing the best titles money could buy and one had little reason to look elsewhere. Now gamers have a sense that if you want the best, it's not EA."

And as an aside, more than a few eyebrows were raised when press copies and reviews of NBA Live '07 came trickling in a week after the game went on shelves, almost as if EA knew they produced a sub-par product. Hollywood employs this same tactic on bad movies so they can get as much money back before the word gets out how bad things really are.

Although the issues expressed by the fans of NBA Live '07 are positively valid, there is the alternative NBA 2K7 from 2K Games which was released the same day as NBA Live '07. This doesn't help Madden fans who experienced similar issues with Madden '07, but have no recourse because of EA's NFL exclusivity deal. In the case of Madden, EA also shows apparent ignorance toward reasonable proprosals by fans to fix the series.

It's certainly cause for concern that EA Sports is taking the "we'll patch it later" stance toward console games this early. This is the first generation capable of console patching and ideally should be used to fix subtle errors. Instead EA is following the PC model that console gamers have fled from: ship first, patch later. It's probably time for sports gamers to show consumer activism and take their money to other franchises. That'll get EA's attention faster than any letter.







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