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NCAA and Madden on XBox Live!


It's time to bring it!
Sweet confirmation from EA themselves http://www.easports.com/e3/2004/xboxlive.jsp


Agreement With Microsoft brings Madden NFL, NBA LIVE, FIFA Soccer, NCAA Football and other blockbusters to Xbox Live this year
Redwood City, CA. - May 10, 2004 - Electronic Arts today announced one of the most anticipated events in the history of videogames: EA and Microsoft have struck an agreement that will allow players of EA SPORTS™ and EA GAMES™ titles to compete and play online through Xbox Live™. Players will have access to voice communication, tournaments, ladders and all the fun of online play. Terms of the agreement were not released.

The first game to include Xbox Live capability will be NCAA® Football 2005, scheduled for release in July. Madden NFL 2005, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 2005, NASCAR® 2005: Chase For The Cup, NBA LIVE 2005, NHL® 2005, and NCAA® March Madness™ 2005 will follow. EA GAMES titles on Xbox Live include GoldenEye: Rogue Agent™, Need for Speed™ Underground 2, Battlefield: Modern Combat™, Burnout™ 3 and TimeSplitters Future Perfect™.

"Microsoft has always been one of our best business partners," said EA Chairman and CEO Larry Probst. "This agreement took time because we needed to get it right. This agreement enlists EA to further expand the Xbox Live community and allows us to build a business around premium content. The agreement is good for Microsoft, good for EA and most of all, good for the players."

"Since launching the Xbox Live service less than 18 months ago, we already have nearly a million subscribers in 24 countries around the world," noted Microsoft Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach. "The addition of blockbuster EA franchises to the Xbox Live service promises to reinforce our strong online position and bring even more gamers into the Xbox Live community." EA's Xbox Live titles will provide features that bring the unified Xbox Live experience to the millions of EA Xbox gamers. EA's Xbox Live features will deliver world-class EA games, as well as an online community through EA online. EA Xbox Live features include Quickmatch and Optimatch, as well as supporting current Xbox Live Gamertags and voice communication. EA also will support the existing Xbox Live friends list, and additionally offer the EA Messenger service for easy communication amongst other Xbox Live friends.

Official Features lists at:
DaytonBuck said:
I'm suprised Microsoft went for this one. Online play was the only thing proping up NFL Fever over Madden.
MS has conceded their sports games this year. They are taking a one year sabbatical from them to re-design each of their sports games so that they can better compete with the EA and ESPN sports titles.

MS has always wanted EA's games online, but EA wanted more content control for their games and revenues from the online system. MS has made changes with their online setup that now allows companies to host the online games on their own servers so that they don't have to allow MS to run them. I've seen screen shots from an online questionaire by EA that asks prospective XBL players whether they would pay EA additional money to participate in leagues, tournaments, and additional features that EA might supply for additional costs. The following links show some of the survey questions:

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