We’ve all seen these sites that give out strategies and tips that help you elevate your Madden game. We all know someone who has spent money on getting one of their Madden guides. We all have searched for counters to some glitches we’ve seen online and seen their site come up in the search results. No matter what your view is of these sites, you’ve heard of them and you know them and they may becoming to an end as we know it.
Now before you read the rest of the article, I want to clarify something. Not all Strategy and Tip sites show glitches. Hate to say that but that’s what some people think of when they hear the names of some of these sites. The truth is that for the most part these guys that make Madden Strategy Guides are doing just that, showing you strategies to give you an edge on your opponent. These guys spend countless hours playing the game, breaking down the game, and finding plays that work in the game that someone us don’t have the time to do. A lot of the Madden Strategy Guides that you would purchase today have real football strategy. Real X’s and O’s. Do some of the tips show ways to manipulate the AI and get a lot pressure on the QB, yes, but some of them don’t and that’s another story.
In case you haven’t heard some of the biggest and best Madden Strategy Guide websites were given a notice by EA to stop selling strategy guides. Not only were they told that they couldn’t use the NFL logos, stadiums, players, names and such to create videos for their guides but some were told that they had to shut down their website by COB today Monday August 15th, 2011. Most have taken down their guides that they were selling and are looking for answers.
I reached out this past week to a number of Madden websites that sell Madden Guides and inquired about the issue and if they received a letter from EA’s Intellectual Property Office. So far, I know about 4 websites have received this letter and some haven’t received the letter yet but fully expect to be put on notice soon. Most don’t want to be identified but was kind enough to share their thoughts on this matter.
My biggest question is “Why now?”. Some of these guys have been doing this for years; they are not doing anything new now. They’ve always sold guides with videos that broke down their tips in a better fashion than just a PDF that told you how to set it up in text. So what’s the big deal? Some of these guys are just passionate about the game and breaking down plays. I’ve had the pleasure to meet some of these guys in person and I remember this one guy started breaking down plays with french fries. His site is among those that are being shut down.
After talking to multiple people, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not EA at all that is demanding that these sites get shut down. It is my opinion that the popular strategy guide company Prima Games is putting pressure on EA to shut these sites out. Now these are strictly my opinions and one else’s but it all makes sense.
I’m a big supporter of Prima Games and the guides they sell for NCAA Football and Madden NFL Football games. Their strategy guides are good and with my good friends Sgibs and Zfarls doing the guides this year, I expect them to be even better and the NCAA Football 12 one I have is better just not as detailed as some of these NCAA Strategy guides that others have created. I didn’t think Prima would let them create that kind of guide. The Official Strategy Guides that Prima prints are just bare knuckle, basic stuff even though I did see some new things this year with Sgibs and Zfarls at the control. That being said it has never competed with the details that these website were giving out with the video breakdowns. Prima has never been able to compete with that …… until now.
I got an email from Prima Games, asking me to go check out their new website http://primamadden.com and now I see what is happening. On the Prima Madden website they are selling playbooks, one-on-one sessions, and subscription to a weekly video show. Prima Games has moved from print and gone digital. The playbooks (Electronic Strategy Guides) are selling anywhere from $10 to $46 for complete playbooks with Video Strategy via the web.
Now I’m not going to lie. When I first heard EA was trying to shut down these sites, I was a little upset, now that I feel it’s more Prima trying to wipe out the competition I feel better. You see Prima pays a lot of money to become the “Official” strategy guide for NCAA and Madden as well as other games. So I understand what’s going on and their need to prohibit guys from doing what they are doing and not paying any money. They have every right to do what they are doing, but there has to be a medium I think.
One owner told me that he made close to $10,000.00 selling his strategy guides in a year and there are some owners that have made more than that. This was of his job, not just part time gig and it’s the same with other sites that are in the same situation.
The problem that most of these owners have is that this has come out of no where. I guess they’ve always sort of know that they shouldn’t be using the game to get paid, but because they had been doing it for some time, didn’t think anything would happen. I’ve reached out to a couple of EA SPORTS employees to get answers and even an EA SPORTS employee told me the same thing when I reached out to the company. “If they are charging people [for tips], they are wrong ….” one person told me from EA SPORTS.
I’m just trying to get answers and so are the guys who received the letter and who are afraid they might get a letter. As one owner told me … “I’m just trying to see what my options are?” Do they have options, I would imagine so, because there are a couple of sites that went through a similar situation before for whatever reason and they had to make some changes, but they are still selling guides.
Hopefully we’ll get some answers, because there has got to be a way that these guys can still do the things they love without shutting down their sites and businesses.
There are some other underlying issues that I’ve found out during my talk with these guys that I may touch in a separate article, for now let’s try to get to the bottom of this and get answers.
People have asked me, why do I even care? I care about the Madden Community and these guys play an integral part of the Madden Community weather you like what they do or not. Some of these guys are my friends, some are guys I have met and others are guys I have heard about or talked to indirectly. This may affect tips sites this week, but how long before your favorite Madden Fan site is subject to the same thing?