NASCAR and EA Sports Part Ways

NASCAR fans hoping for the full-fledged return for the series to console videogames will have to look in directions other than at EA Sports. Speaking with GameSpot News today, EA Sports president Peter Moore confirmed that the sports game developer has "no plans" for a new NASCAR racing game. From...

NASCAR fans hoping for the full-fledged return for the series to console videogames will have to look in directions other than at EA Sports. Speaking with GameSpot News today, EA Sports president Peter Moore confirmed that the sports game developer has "no plans" for a new NASCAR racing game. From the news story:

"There are no plans right now for NASCAR from EA," Moore said. "We had a great relationship over the years that I thoroughly enjoyed when I first got here. Unfortunately…we had to make some tough trade-offs. We've had to redeploy some of those folks. A number of the NASCAR team has moved over now to EA Sports MMA, which will be shipping next year. [We're] still a huge fan of NASCAR, but no plans right now to develop any further games for NASCAR from EA Sports."

EA Sports' history with the NASCAR series goes back to 1997 with NASCAR 98 for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn and has continued through eleven iterations since. Despite the oval-racing thread that runs through the heart of stock car racing, the NASCAR series has seen its share of variety--from ambitious (if misguided) PC simulations like NASCAR SimRacing to family-friendly games like this year's NASCAR Kart Racing and many points in between.

A look at how the last few NASCAR games from EA Sports have sold:

Units Sold, All Platforms (NPD)
NASCAR Kart Racing - 172,554
NASCAR 09 - 443,116
NASCAR 08 - 677,596
NASCAR 07 - 189,429
NASCAR 06: Total team Control -- 452,993
NASCAR SimRacing -- 71,571
NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup -- 892,723

As you can see, while NASCAR 09 sales numbers were respectable, they were less than half of what the series was selling at its height on the previous generation of consoles and down a good chunk from the year prior.

Of course, with EA Sports ending its NASCAR game series, the question now becomes what's next? It seems like both parties are moving on without looking back. On consoles, the NASCAR license will next be seen in Gran Turismo 5--as Sony's upcoming racing game will feature official NASCAR cars and tracks. And there seems to be PC resurgence for NASCAR as well--earlier this year PC sim developer iRacing announced a partnership with NASCAR to develop an online racing series based around the NASCAR circuit. Already iRacing features a number of NASCAR tracks including well known locales like Daytona International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, and Infineon Raceway (among others) with more tracks on the way.

As for EA Sports, it seems that organized motorsports videogames have been a tough fit for the company of late, something Peter Moore admitted to me back in March:

"So organized motorsports is a challenge. You know, we've been a huge licensee of NASCAR for many years. It's been challenging the last few years. I think a lot of it is the fact that we put out a game maybe every year, and there's not a lot of changes in NASCAR. I guess, [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] going from number 8 to number 88 and changing teams, is about the biggest thing that happened recently. But we've got to step back and figure out how we bring, whether it's NASCAR or any of the organized motorsports to life in a different way in the world of video games."

Even as EA Sports moves its resources away from NASCAR and towards projects like EA Sports MMA, racing games aren't completely dead to the publisher--consider the upcoming Need for Speed: Shift, which represents a more realistic focus for the NFS series, with real-world locales and a more demanding driving model. It might not be the game that the NASCAR faithful were hoping for from EA, but it's something.

As an aside, the idea of someone bringing something new to oval racing is both exciting and all-too-rare in today's sports gaming environment of exclusive licenses. Here's hoping whomever it is makes the most of the opportunity.

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46 comments
sopny
sopny

Thanks this game cool! ;)

MagicMatt777
MagicMatt777

I just hope someone good gets their hands on the franchise..

MagicMatt777
MagicMatt777

I know Im late on this, but this is good news. EA was no good anyway.

huhh2
huhh2

this is great. now only good companies will be able to make nascar games. EA Sucks!!

gtracer65
gtracer65

it's both a bad and good thing. at least NASCAR is in the hands of the racing gods! but the games did suck...

AcidRainPain
AcidRainPain

This is good news. The franchise can finally find a development company that wants to actually engineer some creative and fresh ideas into the series. EA was sinking the series down more and more.

fish11220
fish11220

Why isnt EA NOT DOING DIRT 2?!?!

Kris024
Kris024

EA is NOT doing DiRT 2. Codemasters made DiRT 2.

edub272
edub272

isnt EA doing Dirt 2? they shoulda mentioned that. That game is gonna be siiiiick!!!

walker48
walker48

okay i am a big nascar fan my favorite driver is no. 48 johnson. and nascar 2005 was awsome but nascar in gt5 will be so awsome!

Kris024
Kris024

Hopefully NASCAR can find a game company that actually puts effort into their games. EA obviously didn't do that in their last 3 NASCAR games. NASCAR is in Gran Turismo 5 though and that will be more realistic than anything EA could ever dream of putting together. EA you suck!!!

joshua690
joshua690

Sorry to say but the franchise lost my business when they did away with the "Couch Multiplayer" I mean come on, xbox live is awesome but damn. Who didn't like playing there friends and hitting them in the arm when they passed you on the track. The whole share the controller "tournament style" was awesome. Damn you EA damn you!

mrclortho
mrclortho

With EA games, I usually wait until the latest version has come out and then get the previous version for $10 at the local used game store. I do that about every 4 years and it is worth it. There is no way in hell I would pay for a new 'slightly different' version of the game each year but people do, year after year...wierd.

mechberg
mechberg

@Iceking1 -- You make some interesting points but I will say that I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to put out an annual NASCAR game, one that tried to appeal both to hardcore NASCAR videogame fans who expected realism, as well as as to casual fans of the series who were just looking for cool stuff to do. I honestly wish they would have taken two years in between releases but the realities of paying for an exclusive license trumped all.

Iceking1
Iceking1

@xmetcalf Ea is like an old computer that comes out with new buttons every year that don't do anything but light up. For a child or a simpleton that is great but for a person or people who appreciate substance Ea can never and will never be a company of choice for many gamers who want depth in their games. No matter how many monopolies they make or anti trust laws they break. The reason being because too many people are either content with their mediocre games and or to many of us are frustrated and feel they do not listen anyway.

irishboy24
irishboy24

nascar is going to the gran turismo franchise not forza.... sorry

sherif77
sherif77

They r so clueless they think the biggest change is Jr going from 8 to the 88. Nascar had a whole NEW car that changed everything. EA sucks ballllllllzzzzzzzzzz. Here is hoping Forza 3 gets Nascar as a DLC later on.

RAZER83
RAZER83

This is a good thing for NASCAR, they needed to get away from EA. I had not played NASCAR for sometime (on PS2) then when I got my PS3 I downloaded the 09 demo and I was shocked the gameplay as just the same as the old PS2 games what a joke. And I think putting NASCAR in GT 5 is just going to be a quick fix for now. The partnership with iRacing will be great but where does that leave console gamers?

xmetcalf
xmetcalf

@iceking1 I usually don't comment on reads like these.... but your post was/is excellent.... I couldn't agree more.... EA is the main reason I still play 2K5/APF.... EA could care less about putting out a quality product in any way shape or form....

blackbeard269
blackbeard269

Well EA Sports not making any more Nascar games is no big deal because when they did make them it was not worth the money of the new year just as it is with Madden. They do little tweaks year after year that's not worth buying if you have the year before. I like to see Accolade make some for the Consoles or someone who wants to make an awesome Nascar game and not just worry about how deep their pockets can get.

Jrfanfreak88
Jrfanfreak88

Well I guess today is a bad day to be a NASCAR fan and 360 or Wii owner. Now NASCAR fans will only have one console to play a new NASCAR game on, and that is the PS3.

yellowbud
yellowbud

GT-5 has nascar and it looks great.

byrdcjb100
byrdcjb100

Gran Tuorismo 5 showed nascar in the new trailer

hotrider12
hotrider12

think its codemaster will do nascar after formula 1 or inbetween dev.

icytower
icytower

I'd like to see someone else pick up the license for consoles. I mean PC racing is cool and all, but I really don't want to have to pay for iRacing to get my NASCAR fix.

killerdante93
killerdante93

Codemasters might be on the list for the license being that Formula 1's video game license is currently under their control.

alexLmx6
alexLmx6

there really isn't any point to releasing a new game each year for something that really doesn't change (except to try and squeeze out sales from idiots, which judging by those numbers didn't work) so i think this is definately best for everyone.. and me personally i think its difficult to make an entire game just out of nascar, i mean i have 08 and its fun but a good racing game needs variety, so i think it will be best as an added mode in other racing games, this will give the sport more exposure and will be a better gaming experience overall

earnhardtfan77
earnhardtfan77

i agree with dchimilio1...i really do hope code masters gets some of the nascar license, they make awsome racing games

Iceking1
Iceking1

Alot of you are missing the point who cares if you like the game or not. The real point should be EA inability to put out quality racing sims . After NFS underground 1 and 2 ea has don nothing worth wild with that section of gaming. Also the lack of insight to these games is also an amazing fact to me because ea has so much money to go so much deeper with the games they develop. Some one please tell me why cant EA create a racing game that rivals any Grand Turismo game? You know why EA believes that the people who buy these games do not care about true detail to their prospective sport and this hold true to all their sport games. as long as it looks good who cares about game play, physics, and what really happens in the sport... as long as it looks good and nerds and children can find our glitches in our UN finished product who cares they will pay for the crap. And until people truly start speaking up and voicing their opinions or stop buying the unfinished crap they will continue to feed it to us.

ZedX-14Pilot
ZedX-14Pilot

Best thing for nascar. ea wasn't taking care of the license as it should. ea should pay nascar for the crappy games it produced. ea should take a big hit for this, PR wise, but they probably won't. This years Madden is, in my opinion, the biggest change in Madden since its HD debut. Overall just another example of exclusive licensing damaging a product, and why lack of competition is bad in this industry.

knoetgen
knoetgen

EA does bare minimum when it comes to making there games better, NASCAR games have been the same for like 5 years now come on. Just look at a screen shot looks like PS2/XBOX graphics not even close to next gen and thats unacceptable. I love NASCAR but stopped buying the games because they were just terrible.

Unassigned
Unassigned

EA failed where Papyrus succeeded.

Ehggsz
Ehggsz

My favorite part of NASCAR is turning around and going for a head-on collision. I don't quite follow NASCAR and I won't miss it from EA. I'll be getting all the NASCAR I need with GT5 anyways. Keep the gurney ready!

jimy1475
jimy1475

i played nascar 08 but its like nothing new will happen, old stuff just stick to the old fashion thats all

akmex
akmex

nascar sucks anyways.

dkslade
dkslade

If EA would have included a roster trade feature or( D/L update) this game would have done better. nascar starts in feb, only to have EA have the game come out in aug 07, and june08 with outdated teams.

dchimilio1
dchimilio1

I hope CodeMasters gets a part of the the Nascar license for them to make a a game series. They make really good racing games

Savages_Havic
Savages_Havic

People will buy your products if there worth buying. EA decided to make a arcade style racer, while most people involved in nascar want a simulation. With the emergence of Iracing.com things look very bright for nascar.

Glazkrak
Glazkrak

I don't know. Maybe i'm a bit blind but I think it's best to read between the lines on this one. (Especially since this is coming from Peter Moore) For now there are no plans for a new Nascar release game but that's not to say it's completely discontinued. Maybe in a few years they'll shift a team back over for a release then rinse & repeat with MMA or NFS. I am curious to see what PD creates. PD quality vs EA quantity.

thomanji
thomanji

No wonder that EA dumps this, nobody outside the US is buying a game that goes around circles. So this is a extremely limited audience. Racing games like NFS Shift have a wider appeal and can be marketed worldwide and therefore make more financial sense. Lets dump this to Sony so maybe they get a few more people to buy the PS3, I think it will be still bad because this will even make it harder to get sales numbers for NASCAR because it will be limited to one console only. I do not really care anyway since NASCAR is "Yawn Yawn" boring and a waste of my time. I need shifting, Breaking and corners in both directions to be challenged.

Phoenix534
Phoenix534

I think it's a good think Sony has the NASCAR license for now. They'll do a much better job with it than EA has.

mechberg
mechberg

NASCAR fans hoping for the full-fledged return for the series to console videogames will have to look in directions other than at EA Sports. Speaking with GameSpot News today, EA Sports president Peter Moore confirmed that the sports game developer has "no plans" for a new NASCAR racing game. From the news story:

"There are no plans right now for NASCAR from EA," Moore said. "We had a great relationship over the years that I thoroughly enjoyed when I first got here. Unfortunately…we had to make some tough trade-offs. We've had to redeploy some of those folks. A number of the NASCAR team has moved over now to EA Sports MMA, which will be shipping next year. [We're] still a huge fan of NASCAR, but no plans right now to develop any further games for NASCAR from EA Sports."

EA Sports' history with the NASCAR series goes back to 1997 with NASCAR 98 for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn and has continued through eleven iterations since. Despite the oval-racing thread that runs through the heart of stock car racing, the NASCAR series has seen its share of variety--from ambitious (if misguided) PC simulations like NASCAR SimRacing to family-friendly games like this year's NASCAR Kart Racing and many points in between.

A look at how the last few NASCAR games from EA Sports have sold:

Units Sold, All Platforms (NPD)NASCAR Kart Racing - 172,554NASCAR 09 - 443,116NASCAR 08 - 677,596NASCAR 07 - 189,429NASCAR 06: Total team Control -- 452,993NASCAR SimRacing -- 71,571NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup -- 892,723

As you can see, while NASCAR 09 sales numbers were respectable, they were less than half of what the series was selling at its height on the previous generation of consoles and down a good chunk from the year prior.

Of course, with EA Sports ending its NASCAR game series, the question now becomes what's next? It seems like both parties are moving on without looking back. On consoles, the NASCAR license will next be seen in Gran Turismo 5--as Sony's upcoming racing game will feature official NASCAR cars and tracks. And there seems to be PC resurgence for NASCAR as well--earlier this year PC sim developer iRacing announced a partnership with NASCAR to develop an online racing series based around the NASCAR circuit. Already iRacing features a number of NASCAR tracks including well known locales like Daytona International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, and Infineon Raceway (among others) with more tracks on the way.

As for EA Sports, it seems that organized motorsports videogames have been a tough fit for the company of late, something Peter Moore admitted to me back in March:

"So organized motorsports is a challenge. You know, we've been a huge licensee of NASCAR for many years. It's been challenging the last few years. I think a lot of it is the fact that we put out a game maybe every year, and there's not a lot of changes in NASCAR. I guess, [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] going from number 8 to number 88 and changing teams, is about the biggest thing that happened recently. But we've got to step back and figure out how we bring, whether it's NASCAR or any of the organized motorsports to life in a different way in the world of video games."

Even as EA Sports moves its resources away from NASCAR and towards projects like EA Sports MMA, racing games aren't completely dead to the publisher--consider the upcoming Need for Speed: Shift, which represents a more realistic focus for the NFS series, with real-world locales and a more demanding driving model. It might not be the game that the NASCAR faithful were hoping for from EA, but it's something.

As an aside, the idea of someone bringing something new to oval racing is both exciting and all-too-rare in today's sports gaming environment of exclusive licenses. Here's hoping whomever it is makes the most of the opportunity.