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Former Xbox Employee Claims That EA Forced Them To Cancel The Game


Microsoft appears to have had to cancel a planned game in order to get EA games on Xbox

Electronic Arts has always wielded considerable power in the video game industry, with franchises such as Madden, NHL, and FIFA selling millions of copies each year; a system lacking these games may struggle to compete with those that do.

Microsoft has apparently gone to great lengths to keep EA happy since the launch of the original Xbox. Former Microsoft developer Garrett Young stated in a new interview with the Kiwi Talkz podcast that the company was working on a first-party soccer game for the original Xbox, but it was canceled to ensure the system received support from EA.

Microsoft is doing what Sega is not:

Surprisingly, the Sega Dreamcast was one of the primary motivators for Microsoft to collaborate with EA. In the interview, Young discusses how the Dreamcast received no support from EA and died quickly.

While there are several reasons why Sega’s system only lasted a few years on the market, Microsoft cited a lack of EA games as one of the primary reasons. Microsoft signed a contract with EA to ensure that Xbox received strong publisher support, but Young claims that one of the terms was “no first-party soccer game.” As a result, Young’s soccer game was scrapped, and he moved on to other projects for the company, including Project.

Microsoft logo

At the end of the day, the deal appeared to benefit Microsoft. The company was clearly concerned about following in the footsteps of Sega, which left the console business to become a third-party publisher. Instead, Xbox has been around for more than two decades, and EA games are likely to have played a significant role in the company’s continued success.

Competition from EA Sports:

It’s understandable that EA would refuse to support Microsoft while developing competing games for the Xbox. However, gamers have long been frustrated by the lack of competition for EA Sports titles. NHL and Madden had competition in the form of NFL Blitz and the NHL 2K series on the original Xbox. Unfortunately, there has been far less competition in recent years, especially since EA has exclusive rights to produce NFL-themed games.

Many sports fans have argued that EA’s lack of true competitors has resulted in inferior products year after year; because EA’s developers don’t have to worry about other publishers releasing NFL or NHL games, there isn’t any incentive to release games that show significant improvement year after year.