EA didn't think that XBOX live was a "bad idea". It was a business decision made to reflect the fact that MS keep all of the subscription money and was not willing to share a piece of the pie with 3rd party developers.
Harry, I agree with that assessment. However, I believe that EA didn't think XBOX Live would be successful (especially without EA). What kind of gamer in their right mind would pay subscription fees for games that you can play for free on other systems including the PC?
I didn't see the XBOX Live strategy as being successful especially considering many kids would have to get their parents to pay for it.
Anyways, my point is that if EA had known how successful XBOX Live was going to be they would have signed on. They thought they had leverage over MS.
Does anyone have the details of the EA/MSFT deal? How much, if any, is EA getting out of it? EA is having to pay for its own servers, which up until this point has been a huge mistake. They need to get this problem fixed ASAP if they want a good market share on the XBOX console.
Didn't see your Q's before I posted, but they're all the pertinent ones. I still think ERTS has leverage over MSFT, given the lack of goood X-box exclusive content, despite MSFT's spending big bucks on buying development companies. After Halo (and Halo 2), there's not much MSFT has to offer, exclusively. (Halo 2, however, is their one saving grace assuming it's as good as the first - once once completes the game, online is a continuing, and satisfying blast - their acquisition of Bungie was one of the few things they've done right, IMO.)
---They do, why do you think EA is getting to use their own servers, as just one example of concessions MSFT made? This goes beyond, in fact, getting a piece of the Live subscription fee and doesn't even imply EA will charge for online content via Live, PC, or PS2. Again, you just don't have enough information. Reading quarterly and annual tax reports is a good start.
Right you are, harryriot. It was a business decision. I've always been curious to see what ERTS extracted out of MSFT for the support. I'd be interested if anyone has any info/documentation of what that agreement consisted of. My uneducated guess is that ERTS decided to pickup the revenues for this cycle, and then make MSFT concede a fair portion of their control of the subscriber base when the next console cycle comes around, given the kinds of numbers of subscribers ERTS can draw with their games. But I'd be interested in facts, if anyone's got 'em.