EA Bars Porsche, and Why I Doubt it Will Work
By Ben C. - Mon Sep 05, 2:44 pm
As any Forza fan has probably heard, EA decided to prevent Turn 10 from using Porsches in their upcoming game: Forza Motorsports 4. Why? Because EA has reserved the rights to “Porsche” for their Need for Speed franchise. Now why would EA do that? Well, to force die-hard Porsche fans to stick to their home-grown racing series!
However it’s not that easy, EA.
They’re basing this (in my opinion hasty and unwarranted) decision on the assumption that people will gravitate towards Need for Speed in an act of desperation. The problem is, the games are so drastically different from one another that this won’t happen. Forza is the prized “Racing Sim” for the Xbox 360. Need for Speed was (and still is) an arcade racer. There is very little “realism” behind the SHIFT series, and this comes from someone with a fair amount of track racing experience behind the wheel.
Why would someone who came for a racing sim leave with an arcade racer? This isn’t going to win customers, this isn’t even going to strong-arm buyers into buying a game that simply doesn’t appeal to them. Instead, it’s going to anger fans. EA should probably examine their franchise before impeding on others. This decision might have been strategic if it were similar to the Gran Turismo/Forza battle. It’d even be like EA reserving rights to Heckler & Koch weaponry for Battlefield 3 in an attempt to snuff out Modern Warfare 3 sales. Unfortunately for them, though, Need for Speed is hardly a heavy hitter in the simulation department, and they’re going to have to do a lot more to convert simulation gamers over to arcade racers.
Thanks to the massive publicity this issue has gotten, no one was left out of the loop. A quick look at EA’s Facebook, especially around the time of the announcement, reveals that fans are well aware of who’s behind this malfeasance.
This is a low blow, but that’s competition. I’m just shocked that the suits at EA genuinely believe that this kind of exclusivity will corner an audience and increase sales…
I only hope that Forza can manage with the RUF license, as Forza 3 was alive and well with over 35 types of Porsches.