Monday, February 28, 2005

Ubisoft Surprise

Here's something interesting out of left field that I just saw on Ubisoft is going to make sports games. They're starting out with a golf game endorsed by Vijay Singh.

I assume there will be an "verbally abuse your caddy" option, but no word on that yet.

Here's more:
Ubisoft also announced that it has acquired the technology, tools and source code shipped in Microsoft Game Studios team sports games, including NHL Rivals (hockey), NFL Fever (American football), NBA Inside Drive (basketball) and MLB Inside Pitch (baseball). Ubisoft plans to develop games for all platforms and will initially concentrate on consoles, including Xbox® and next-generation.

How they work around the exclusive NFL licensing agreement, and the third-party exclusive licensing agreement in baseball, I don't know, but it looks like they're in.

I should have seen this coming. Sales of sports games count for a huge percentage of total console game revenue (it's over 30%, if I remember correctly). EA wasn't just going to be given that action forever. And maybe EA realized it, which is why they've bought up exclusive licenses as fast as they can sign the checks.

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