EA, NASCAR swap paint over license

Publisher puts brakes on new games as license expiration looms; racing league reportedly considering going for nonexclusive deals.

NASCAR has gone around the track many times with Electronic Arts, but it appears the wheels may be coming off the partnership. Electronic Arts today confirmed reports from ESPN and Sporting News that it has no plans to release any more NASCAR games this year. Furthermore, the licensing deal between the two is set to expire before 2010.

Why even put a roll bar on that kart?

That means EA's annualized sim series will be taking some time off, as this summer will not see a follow-up to last June's NASCAR 09. According to Sporting News, both parties had begun to question the need for annualized releases in the series, considering that the drivers and tracks didn't change much between years. Additionally, NASCAR licensing managing director Blake Davidson told the site the racing league was also rethinking the need for an exclusive deal with a gaming publisher.

The most recent NASCAR product released by Electronic Arts was NASCAR Kart Racing for the Wii, which arrived in stores earlier this month. Timed to coincide with the start of the season, NASCAR Kart Racing was a lighthearted take on the sport, with a variety of real-world and fictitious tracks and drivers.

Although EA has been making NASCAR games since 1997, it has had exclusive rights to the license only since 2003. Prior to that deal, the field of competing NASCAR publishers also included Sierra and Atari.

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62 comments
stopdroproll001
stopdroproll001

finally. ea's last decent nascar game was nascar thunder 2003.

Kris024
Kris024

How can they say that most drivers haven't changed during years. From 2008 to 2009 only about 5 drivers stayed in the same cars. Everyone else has either changed sponsors, paint schemes, teams or manufacturers. NASCAR 09 is so 2008 by now and I think many people are waiting for a new game that is more current. And it says the contract expires in 2010. EA could make at least 1 more bloody NASCAR game in that time and I don't mean that NASCAR Wii Kart game that looks like something I could pick up at McDonalds in a Happy Meal. Besides I don't really picture anyone else making NASCAR games other than EA. They just need to do better like in NASCAR 06 and NASCAR 05.

jcopp72
jcopp72

well i cant say that i'm mad about this, as EA has been a disappointement more and more year after year, i just hope that someone will start making this game again and actually make it better.

MAJORMOIST
MAJORMOIST

Best news I've heard. I'm a big NASCAR fan and EA keeps letting me down. The only one I enjoyed from them was the 2005 Chase for the Cup (with Harvick on the cover). They changed things up a bit. Then they kept a RE-RUN going with that new idea. I think hard core fans want better A.I. cars, handling cars, drivers from all three series,etc. Sierra made a pretty awesome sim on computer. It would be awesome if they would come back and try making a console version with a good stock car wheel- with feedback- could be purchased. They could also provide better online servers rather than EA's crappy, lag experience. Ea's problem: never listening to it's gamers at least in NASCAR. I hope their Kart game fails because of their greed before customer satisfaction principals.

warlock3
warlock3

There has not been a decent playable NASCAR sim since NASCAR Racing 2003.EA 's attempts were a disgrace at best.Unplayable and un-fixable. Papyrus and Sierra had a fine thing going for sim racing fans before the 200 lb gorilla showed up(EA)

dmjohn22
dmjohn22

Good .......Anything that takes EA down a notch is wonderful. Even with all their money they cant seem to take time on a project to perfect it.

lanmanna
lanmanna

Doo doo doo doo. Can I get a Daytonaaaaaaaaaaa?!?! Lets go away(lets go away). Anyone? Anyone?

pjr2682
pjr2682

THANK GOD! this is the best news i've heard since my g/f told me she's dropping twins on me! OH YEAH!!! Nobody should have exclusive rights to anything when it comes to games. Variety is the fruit of life afterall. Nascar games have gone downhill lately so I can handle not have a new release if it means that us the people get better products out of it. YOU GO NASCAR! No more EA greed!

ckat609
ckat609

Thank you NASCAR!!! EA's other games should follow this "non annual release" initiative... It gets tiring and expensive having to shell out $60+ every year!

turb06
turb06

give it to simbim, then we will be able to play a decent NASCAR game.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Maybe the games would be better then

nate_c-12
nate_c-12

Sweet. Competition keeps the games innovative.

sherif77
sherif77

THANK YOU GOD. THANK YOU GOD. I am so happy to hear this. Please give the lic. to someone that knows how to make racing games fun. I can only imagine if this type of game is made by someone like Code Masters, or giving it back to Sierra/Papyrus, or even the makers of Forza 2. Anybody but EA please. THIS IS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD NEWS.

Stec13
Stec13

PLEASE bring on the Sierra/Papyrus Nascar games where it was done right!!!!

reichmtk
reichmtk

Yeah! Maybe We'll see the return of Sierra/Papyrus quality games!

Frenoir
Frenoir

i for one am sort of glad that EA sports is not makeing the game but i was really looking forward to a new one because the EA servers for the online on the 360 suck a** on Nascar 09 the last good nascar game that i enjoyed was Nascar simraceing even though the online does not work the last console on i liked was Nascar 2005 chase for the cup even though it didn't support 4 player i was kind of mad when i found out that they got rid of the 2 player split screen in nascar 08 and 09 maybe who ever takes over the games they will put the 4 player split screen of nascar thunder 2003 back in

rarson
rarson

Finally! Maybe NASCAR has finally realized that they can get more exposure and better quality products on the shelves if they don't let EA hoard it all to themselves. As for the idea of Simbin making a NASCAR game, no thanks. Simbin has repackaged the same game over and over again. It would be GTR all over again (for like the tenth time) with NASCAR textures. Simbin doesn't know how to make a good racing sim. Papyrus made, far and away, the best racing games ever. Some of the ex-Papyrus guys have started a company doing proffesional-quality sims at iracing.com.

littlehayes7
littlehayes7

yes EA sports games sucked, Sierra/Papyrus defintely sets the bar for ALL racing simulators

jsnowbordr47
jsnowbordr47

Yeah, the Nascar games from Sierra/Papyrus still hold the bar for Nascar simulators. Copies of those games go for upwards of $80 on ebay, and some current Nascar drivers still use it to learn/practice on tracks.

daabulls23
daabulls23

Sierra did wonders with its NASCAR games. Could you imagine how good the Nascar Racing games would be had it not been for the exclusive?

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

In other words EA screwing over people who are fans of NASCAR and the Wii. MarioKart sales so well but thats no excuse for putting out a cheep immitation using a major license and charging as much as a major title. About the Wii version of NASCAR racing.

robfield
robfield

is NASCAR exclusivity even that profitable? I don't get it.

Speed21
Speed21

NASCAR was foolish to go exclusive with the license in the first place. Papyrus made the best NASCAR games, hands down. I still play NR 2003 to this day. I'm not really sure who could make another solid NASCAR sim, particularly for the PC. I suppose SimBin could pull it off but only if they are interested in this license.

GordonFan92
GordonFan92

NASCAR Thunder 2004 (the first year of the license) was the best NASCAR game they have made. But by not releaseing a game this year they got some work to do. They better release some sort of update for NASCAR 09 because that game is so out of date thanks to all of the team changes and new paint schemes/sponsorships.

XanderZane
XanderZane

They need to lose the exclusive rights for the NFL, FiFa, and every other sports game they have exclusive rights too. Anyway, I could care less about Nascar. The last Nascar game I played was for the PS2 and I got it free from EA as I was doing a review for it. I haven't played a Nascar game for any of the new game consoles. I'd rather play Midnight Club, Test Drive, Forza or Burnout, then play any Nascar game made by EA.

GamingGuru512
GamingGuru512

Time for EA to go down! Good for Nascar wanting to leave. I have always liked the franchise and will be glad to see other development studios give it a try.

Threesixtyci
Threesixtyci

racing is a sport? anyway...maybe the publishers of that GTR2 series can take a stab of a true PC racing sim version of Nascar, now....

Gastman
Gastman

I am not into NASCAR game and I am not into the redneck sport. Before you say I am a racist but the games were nerve been that good.

PCbadjer
PCbadjer

The last EA NASCAR game I played thru was 2k5. The last one I liked was 2k3. I try the demo's every year but nothing seems to raise the bar. They just add gimmicks it seems and the graphics and physics have never pushed the envelope or evolved. Not to mention the framerates are usually yuck.They polished this turd franchise long enough. Hopefully this is a lesson learned. Competition is greatly needed and welcomed.

robx360
robx360

I really don't see how they can take NASCAR futher. I disagree with the EA/NFL deal. However who could do a nascar game thats better. It's just lame in general. I would much rather play NFS or Midnight club. Gran turismo or Forza. So this is a good thing in my opinion.

HyruleanLink
HyruleanLink

Maybe it's time for someone else to take over the NASCAR reins. EA can't have everything.

firedrakes
firedrakes

i hope ea dont get it again for years

VolcanoMan001
VolcanoMan001

Could this be the end of the EA monopoly on every sports license? One can only hope. Maybe we will see 2K Sports make a racing game in the future. :)

LucianoJ
LucianoJ

Papyrus made better NASCAR games. I never uninstalled NASCAR Racing 2003 Season.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

I wonder if there are any roll overs in that Kart racing game... Honestly that has to be the ugliest graphic design I think I have ever seen. @viewtiful_jay - your comment should have a lot more thumbs up IMO. Best thing I think EA could do for it's franchises.

caketoo
caketoo

The drivers dont change much? every year youd buy this game cause of its late release the in game roster was always out dated. Whoever picks up this license dosent have a tough act to follow thats for sure. Its such great news

LooseChangepor
LooseChangepor

Wait, Rednecks dont own game consoles. Why is this a big deal

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

Let them all make a game just like they should all make a NFL game.

Kakua_Omari
Kakua_Omari

wow, making left hand turns all day, fun for all -_-

Crono21
Crono21

Please, Please, PLEASE Nascar go non exclusive. Being exclusive with EA was the worst thing to happen to the Franchise. Let other developers have at it again and we could see a real Nascar sim like what Papyrus used to give us. Hell even a new Nascar Heat would be LEAGUES ahead of anything EA has put out.

gnbfd
gnbfd

inb4NASCARisn'tasport which it isn't tbqh

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

codemasters should buy the rights then it would be a much better game. ea can't make a decent non street racing game.

Lostboy1224
Lostboy1224

Well, maybe they will actually make the game different and better if they only do a game every 2-3 years. I miss building your own team and car from the ground up like in 2003 edition.

BulletsnOctane
BulletsnOctane

Good for NASCAR. Thank you for waking up. The series has been god-awful for years. Let's hope that they find a much better dev. team/studio that knows and cares about NASCAR and what it represents. Oh, and please no more arcadey BS. I chuckle when I hear that EA's NASCAR is referred to as a simulator. There are educated people and race fans that do love NASCAR. Start catering to those people, as well.