Monday, October 19, 2009

Good News! NASCAR and EA to Part Ways!

EA Sports - which had an exclusivity deal with NASCAR to be the sole provider of branded games for consoles - has announced that there will be no NASCAR game next year.

Two words: THANK GOD!

NASCAR fans hoping for the full-fledged return for the series to console videogames will have to look in directions other than at EA Sports. Speaking with GameSpot News today, EA Sports president Peter Moore confirmed that the sports game developer has "no plans" for a new NASCAR racing game. From the news story:

"There are no plans right now for NASCAR from EA," Moore said. "We had a great relationship over the years that I thoroughly enjoyed when I first got here. Unfortunately…we had to make some tough trade-offs. We've had to redeploy some of those folks. A number of the NASCAR team has moved over now to EA Sports MMA, which will be shipping next year. [We're] still a huge fan of NASCAR, but no plans right now to develop any further games for NASCAR from
EA Sports."


As for EA Sports, it seems that organized motorsports videogames have been a tough fit for the company of late, something Peter Moore admitted to me back in March:

"So organized motorsports is a challenge. You know, we've been a huge licensee of NASCAR for many years. It's been challenging the last few years. I think a lot of it is the fact that we put out a game maybe every year, and there's not a lot of changes in NASCAR. I guess, [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] going from number 8 to number 88 and changing teams, is about the biggest thing that happened recently. But we've got to step back and figure out how we bring, whether it's NASCAR or any of the organized motorsports to life in a different way in the world of video games."

Yeah... that's the biggest thing that's happened. Not a complete switchover to an entirely different car, not the advent of Toyota, nope... Dale Jr. switching numbers was the biggest thing.

EA has created some of the most consistently ugly, shitty racing games ever, and really hasn't done anything at all innovative from a gameplay standpoint since NASCAR 2000 for the Playstation 1!

For 5 long years NASCAR fans have had to suffer from awful, ugly, clunky games written by people who have absolutely no fucking idea of what they are doing, have no idea what NASCAR is or how it works, and genuinely don't seem to have the slightest fucking clue about how to make a racing game in even the most basic fashion. The fact that most of the people are now going to work on a fucking wresting game shows how little EA put into this series.

If you ever want to give your kids an advanced economics lesson without sending them to business school, you can teach them that monopolies and exclusive licenses are bad and stifle creativity and innovation by just having them play any NASCAR game EA has crapped out in the last 7 years. They'll understand.

One name being batted around to pick up the ball is Codemasters - whose "Dirt to Daytona" was (and still is) light years ahead of anything EA did - and there will also be NASCAR cars and tracks incorporated into Gran Turismo 5.

So long EA and fuck off!

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