EA and Microsoft have struck an agreement that will allow players of EA SPORTS and EA GAMES titles to compete and play online through Xbox Live. Players will have access to voice communication, tournaments, ladders and all the fun of online play.
The first game to include Xbox Live capability will be NCAA Football 2005, scheduled for release in July. Madden NFL 2005, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2005, NASCAR 2005: Chase For The Cup, NBA LIVE 2005, NHL 2005, and NCAA March Madness 2005 will follow. EA GAMES titles on Xbox Live include GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, Need for Speed Underground 2, Battlefield: Modern Combat, Burnout 3 and TimeSplitters Future Perfect.
"Microsoft has always been one of our best business partners," said EA Chairman and CEO Larry Probst. "This agreement took time because we needed to get it right. This agreement enlists EA to further expand the Xbox Live community and allows us to build a business around premium content. The agreement is good for Microsoft, good for EA and most of all, good for the players."
"Since launching the Xbox Live service less than 18 months ago, we already have nearly a million subscribers in 24 countries around the world," noted Microsoft Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach. "The addition of blockbuster EA franchises to the Xbox Live service promises to reinforce our strong online position and bring even more gamers into the Xbox Live community."
EA's Xbox Live titles will provide features that bring the unified Xbox Live experience to the millions of EA Xbox gamers. EA's Xbox Live features will deliver world-class EA games, as well as an online community through EA online. EA Xbox Live features include Quickmatch and Optimatch, as well as supporting current Xbox Live Gamertags and voice communication. EA also will support the existing Xbox Live friends list, and additionally offer the EA Messenger service for easy communication amongst other Xbox Live friends.