EA Sports vs. 2K Sports

The makings of the war for complete sports video game supremacy has been in the works for a long time. EA has had a serious stranglehold over the market for a very long time but with the rise of 2K and the slow but obvious decline of EA, the war is finally here. 2K seems to have finally ammassed a large enough market share of the sports video game industry to make their first real push into EA’s territory. So the question is, who will win?

EA has been here for far too long to be pushed out in one single blow. They own way too much of the market and have too devoted and loyal a fan base to be seriously hurt by 2K or anyone for that matter. Described as “the evil empire”, Electronics Arts has dominated the sports video game industry with titles in every sport including Madden, NBA Live, NHL and many others. They spend more money than anyone to develop and fine tune their games in order to ensure that their titles are the best available however, recent titles from EA have been less than perfect and have raised many questions concerning EA’s attention to detail. A number of bugs as well as a lack of original and innovative ideas have left their games open to a number of bad reviews. EA has avoided criticism for many years thanks in part to great game development but also thanks to a lack of competition. 2K’s arrival to the forefront of the sports video game industry has given EA’s games something to be compared to and the comaprisons have drawn mixed reviews. While some feel that the combined effect of EA’s loyal following and their practically unlimited supply of money is just too big a hump for 2K to overcome, others feel that 2K’s innovative ideas and different approach to the sports simulation concept (they are much more of a simulation while EA is more arcade) has already brought them this far and can only bring them further. EA released NBA Live 07 way before it was ready and was criticized for the many bugs and lagy online gameplay that plagues the game while NBA 2K7, although suffering from poorer graphics, benefits from its many different gameplay modes (including Street Mode) and all around better performance and was rewarded with better reviews. 2K’s games have begun to outperform EA’s and that is a serious threat to EA’s “monopoly”.

So the question is clear…which company will prevail?
Not really a fair question since chances are both will survive and most likely thrive in this lucrative industry.

So the real question is…where does your loyalty lie, EA or 2K?


Posted in MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL. 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “EA Sports vs. 2K Sports”

  1. Matt Says:

    I think having the competition is a great thing for the market of sports video games as a whole. The competition should lead to better products from both companies than either would produce if they had a monopoly. In terms of which company is better, I think it varies depending on which sport you are looking at. I’m not sure EA will ever be dethroned on the football side of things. “Madden” has been the industry’s standard for so long and is EA’s “franchise” game, if you will. The engine is updated and improvements are offered every year to keep it at the head of the pack. 2k Sports offers some features that draw attention (such as their “first person football”), but overall simply can’t match up. Add in that EA basically ports the “Madden” engine to its NCAA line of football games, and they have another clear advatage on that front.

    However, the pendulum swings when you turn to basketball, where 2k sports blows anything that EA does out of the water. 2k’s NBA and NCAA franchise of basketball games is probably the second best set of sporting games out there, following very closely behind the “Madden” franchise.

    Baseball is essentially a toss-up, with EA taking a big hit now that they’ve lost the MLB lisence and have been forced to use the “MVP” engine as an NCAA game. Although, perhaps they can capitalize on a growing niche marker of college baseball fans who were previously without a game.

    The NHL market seems to be one where both companies could survive and do very well (if only the hockey market were bigger), as they have both built completely different games. EA has an arcade-like feel which will attract the casual hockey fan, while the purists can go to 2k Sports for a more realistic portrayal of the sport.

    All-in-all though, a healthy competition can only bring good things to the world of sports video games.

  2. benbca Says:

    I like most sports games fans was a EA sports loyalist. If they produced it (in the 90s) it had to be good.

    But somewhere along the way they got into this “big arcade” thing where anybody who liked to play the game the way it’s played in real life could no longer do that.

    I don’t play basketball, so I can’t speak on that, but Madden scores were 60-60 for either side, hockey saw 8 breakaways per team per game, and baseball was just a home run derby.

    I don’t think it’s any coincidence that 2K has emerged as an alternative. When the product first came out, it was retailed for $19.99 compared to EA’s $50-60, and most people were fed up with EA brand of games.

    It’s a shame that sports leagues wouldn’t just allow for fair competition, instead they opted for monopoly’s (MLB, NFL), so EA now only has to compete in NBA and NHL, and don’t think for a minute that EA hasn’t attempted to wipe out 2K from those markets as well, just have not ponied the money up yet.

    Anyone who is still an EA fan because they have not tried 2K. Do yourself a favour and rent one. The 2K NFL was awesome. Had a “User Memory” thing where it stores information about how each user with a controller plays, so that basically some night you can play against the computer but give the computer characteristics of your buddy, and how he plays the game.

    2K NHL is the only one I’ll play. No stupid “big hit” button, no “hammers” and “bullseyes”, no slow motion breakaway cam. No instead you can play dump and chase hockey, cycle the puck, hit and grind, carry a powerplay from behind the net of even better at the point. Plus every player is completely editable, face, name, age, etc, so when real players retire, you can just edit their name and change the attributes to match new rookies coming in the game.

    I just hope that the NHL and NBA don’t see the $$ from EA enough to gain exclusive rights.

  3. The Experience Bar | Electronic Arts loses important legal battle over NCAA likenesses Says:

    […] were the franchises from 2K Sports, which were generally considered to be the superior game experiences (but not always).  With the exclusive rights to the NFL granted to EA, competitors were forced to […]

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