I am going to do something I rarely do – cross post. In this case I figured it was worth while to post here, my recent post to the Sports Gaming Nation message board concerning Take Two’s newly acquired deal with the MLB. If you have not checked out SGN, it is a wonderful hangout, and one of the few places that I actually bother to post to these days.
I figured Take Two was rather small, but they actually have a market cap of 1.64B.
“Some analysts had speculated last week that despite Take-Two’s claim that the deals were “exclusives,” EA might be able to team up with Sony, say, to develop a baseball game for the PlayStation 2. But the agreements appear to close that loophole.
After the baseball players association announced its deal with Take-Two last week, EA officials dismissed the move, noting that baseball was one of the company’s least popular sports titles.” [reference]
Say what you want about exclusives, but it does not seem very smart of any sport to exclude EA … they are just two big, too popular, and have too much marketing money. It figures that the MLB would have its collective head so far up its ass that it would do something like this.
I bet at some point (if this is a long term contract) Take Two will be looking to dump this license.
OOTP is a great baseball game without a license, but I do not see EA or anyone else putting in the time or effort because I do not see an unlicensed baseball game making much of an impact in the console market. 10-15 years ago … maybe … but not today.
I have been pretty silent on the NFL exclusive deal because I do not see it being a big deal to the majority of football fans. EA and the EA Sports brand is huge. They already have the top selling football game in Madden, and the EA Sports brand already has exclusive deals with NASCAR and FIFA. Acquiring the NFL and eventually the ESPN brand just made business sense.
Not so with Take Two and the MLB. Perhaps I am coming across as an EA Fan Boy. Whatever, but I see Take Two and the MLB doing very little with the license other than blocking EA from making officially licensed baseball games. Maybe twice as much as Konami and the MLS did with their joint venture, but we all know that amounted to pretty much nothing.
In the end the mass market may not care. They may come to associate MLB = Take Two, but I would not be shocked if Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo (all of which are allowed to make their own MLB branded games) put together baseball games that sold better than Take Two. In the end, this deal (depending on actual finical terms) could hemorrhage Take Two and their stockholders.
I am sure others will agree that all does not see well with the world of sports gaming right now.