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Take Two to publish Sega ESPN games...


dogbert
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In Take Two's quarterly report, they mention they've signed a multi-year deal with Sega to joint publish and distribute all of Sega's ESPN range of games.

 

Take Two's subsiduary, Jack of All Games, will distribute them worldwide.

 

The games will be coming out at a "value price" and Take Two are looking forward to their "relationship with Visual Concepts".

 

I suspect T2 will be buying VC before long.

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Sometimes the market perceives value pricing as an inferior product. Walk into a store, and you see two things right next to each other that look the same, but one costs 10% more than the other. Absent any additional information than what is on the back of the box, do you consider the cheaper one to be a bargain, or do you consider the more expensive one to be better, maybe... Lower price doesn't always mean better sales.

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While this is true in some respects, the Sega ESPN brand is hardly Tokyo Xtreme Racer. (Just a random "value priced title")

 

And a good pick - TXR3 has sold around 125k copies on the PS2, ESPN NFL has sold around 200k, last figures I saw on GamingAge. Not a /huge/ difference in sales...

 

Obviously the ESPN brand is bigger & well known, but it's failed to translate to more sales for Sega's sports games.

 

BTW, the games are going to be branded Sega/GlobalStar as publisher - GlobalStar is TakeTwo's budget line, another indicator that this is going to be "value pricing".

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This is really a marketing issue. I work for a publisher that deliberately restricts its web content with password-protection solely to create a higher perceived value. It is amazing how we consumers are manipulated. I recall a music focus group where CDs sold better at $17 than at $9.99 when CDs were first being market tested.

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EBGames Link

oh my! that is cheap.

 

i think this is a good move. madden had so many blind followers who will be willing to take a look for 20bucks. i'm sure a bunch of them will be swayed.

as well, can you imagine the choice a parent would make if they had to choose between a 20dollar espn nfl football and a $50 madden?

 

plus a lot of ppl that don't buy a football game every year probably will now. i know i will if this is true and not a misprint

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This is potentially a huge move in the industry -and one of the smartest I've ever seen.

 

How many challengers has Madden faced? I recall Gameday being fairly highly regarded back in the Playstation days. Still, it was unable to dent EA's stranglehold on the sports market. A scenario followed by countless sports games over the years.

 

The ESPN 2004 NFL game was the highest quality challenger to Madden in quite some time. Quality graphics, gameplay and fun weren't nearly enough to break the perception that EA's games are always the superior product.

 

Fast forward to 2005 where, by most accounts, the ESPN 2k5 game has made some impressive improvements while Madden still looks like Madden. If history has taught the gaming industry anything it's that even a superior product is at a disadvantage when its chief competitor is Electronic Arts. A better game doesn't earn Sega anything.

 

If quality doesn't earn a competitive advantage try selling it for 1/2 price. It's a risky yet bold attack against EA that will be very interesting to watch. At $20 a huge number of Madden fans are going to give ESPN a shot. Even if they still buy Madden it's only $20 to experiment with ESPN. The goal isn't to remove Madden as the defacto standard among NFL games -it's to build mindshare so future ESPN/Visual Concepts games may compete against EA's seemingly invulnerable position.

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I was gonna skip Football this year as I didn't really play ESPN enough last year to justify the $70 I spent on it... but at this price (29.99 here) it's a certain buy, especially with the much improved online features which has been my main issue with the games the past few years.

 

It'll be interesting to see how it plays out... I'm worried that if it fails, we might not see any more sports games from Sega.

 

How many challengers has Madden faced? I recall Gameday being fairly highly regarded back in the Playstation days. Still, it was unable to dent EA's stranglehold on the sports market. A scenario followed by countless sports games over the years.

 

Sega was doing it's damndest to challenge in the 16-bit days with it's Football games that never quite lived up, All Star Hockey which was terrible, and World Series Baseball which was probably it's best stab at EA, especially since EA didn't really have a solid baseball series until Triple Play which was their 4th Bball game.

 

Sony got a huge boost in the early Playstation days because they did make some quality sports titles (the original Gameday and Faceoff were pretty damn good games that showed off their new 32-bit system quite well). But EA dropped the ball with the switch to the 32 bit systems and scrapped almost all of their 96 games, which meant Sony's were really the only game in town. It took EA a few years to get that ground back as Gameday did continue to improve the first few years, and Madden was still a bit weak, even with that extra year (and NHL was atrocious).

 

EA hasn't dropped that ball like that since, and they've only slipped up a few times with PC releases of Live getting canceled and Triple Play really taking a dive (which the MVP relaunch has more than made up for).

 

No matter what Sega, or anyone else does, it's going to be really tough to break the EA image stranglehold.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Originally posted by Carlucci@Jun 22 2004, 04:50 PM

ESPN videogames made it official today. $19.99.

 

What I want to know is if the Coke bottle caps will still get you $10 off.

 

the website still has it listed as being eligible on 9/9/2004. Would be even more awesome to get it for $10!!

 

Carlos.

I agree. Don't think it'll happen,though...

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