Leave a Comment

The biggest franchise in sports video games won't be coming back to PC for 2009 - or perhaps ever again. EA Sports prez Peter Moore announced on his blog that there will not be a PC version of Madden 09.

Moore said that "the PC presents some very serious business challenges to us in the sports category" because most gamers prefer playing sports games on consoles. The sales figures bear that out; in August, the Xbox 360 version sold almost 900,000 while the PC version's sales weren't even a tenth of that. Any sports gamer can tell you the reason for the discrepancy: the game is a lot more fun with a gamepad than a mouse and keyboard. Most PC gamers won't buy a gamepad for their PC because they know they'd only use it for sports games. Plus, most of those games are available for every console they might conceivably own anyway (Madden 09 for example, will be available for the eight-year-old PS2).

EA Sports doesn't plan to completely give up on the platform, though. "We do have ideas for how to revitalize the PC for sports games and the types of games that are best suited to the platform, and we'll continue to explore those," Moore said.

Strategy and simulation games are still very much a mainstay of the PC and I expect EA Sports to explore that front more. If that were the case, though, why wouldn't they release NFL Head Coach 09 on the PC? It shows either a lack of faith in the sales potential of Head Coach or the PC - or maybe both. Perhaps we'll see a really in-depth NFL owner or GM simulator on the PC someday but I'm skeptical. They want something with big sales potential. EA will probably just end up making a sports-themed expansion pack for The Sims...or maybe World of Maddencraft.