EA Cricket was a game that a majority of us loved to play during our school days. For most of us, EA cricket was what made us fall in love with gaming in the first place. Needless to say we were all devastated when we learnt that EA Sports is going to discontinue its cricket franchise from 2007. But if reports are to be believed then EA Sports is going to REBOOT one of its most famous brands for the huge cricketing audience that still exists in the market.
EA Cricket had been successful for the EA Sports franchise as it sold 50 million copies in Asia, South Asia, England, Australia and New Zealand alone. But an increase in pressure to create a more well-rounded FIFA product forced EA to transfer its limited resources from cricket to football.
The FIFA Street series needed a lot of time and resources which led to a tough decision for the EA franchise which eventually led to them scrapping the cricket series.
Another issue was their conflict with the BCCI over the player rights which was another reason why EA was unwilling to continue with its cricket brand. But things have become better now with several positive meetings between the two parties with hope that a partnership can finally be agreed upon.
“Yes, the board is currently contemplating on how to move forward with the cricket game. We did a market study and realised that close to 15 million people still play the game, even after we stopped producing in 2007. Hence, it only makes sense for us to acknowledge a strong potential there. We are also aware that there are hardly any competitors within this market. But, our primary objective if the game comes out in 2019, will be to acquire ICC and BCCI rights for the players.
“It’s no secret that India will be our primary sector of sales, and this time if we do venture back into the market, it will be with player rights. Our representatives have already had meetings with BCCI members, let’s see how talks progress.”
“The game will be distinctly different from the previous editions, and will include a narrative similar to The Journey, where a budding player will begin his career in a country of his choice. All domestic competitions including Big Bash, Indian Premier League (IPL) will also be included.
“We are currently talking to all parties who can help us acquire these rights. For the India deal, we have an office in Hyderabad which is coordinating this matter. As I said, it’s very important for us to get the player rights, only then will we move forward. EA doesn’t want a repeat of 2007.”
It looks like we might finally get the game that we have all been waiting for. While it may still take a couple of years before the game comes out, EA can be pretty sure that when it does release the game, the returns pay off handsomely.