China is putting together plans to bring an end to a ban on video game consoles that has lasted for over a decade, the South China Morning Post reports.
In a detailed policy blueprint supported by Premier Li Keqiang, the Chinese government is expected to end the ban on the production and sale of consoles, first introduced in 2000, under the condition that foreign firms such as Sony only produce products in Shanghai’s new free trade zone.
But the real issue lies neither with the publisher nor the market. Even if EA Sports wanted to make an NCAA basketball game again, and even if there was a market for the game (both of which are doubtful), there’s is zero chance an NCAA basketball game gets made anytime soon for one simple reason: Ed O’Bannon. The massive lawsuit that could one day implode the NCAA’s entire foundation actually began because O’Bannon saw his likeness being used in one of the games’ classic teams modes and wondered why he hadn’t received some compensation for the use.
Most of the focus of the O’Bannon analysis has been on what the case means for the NCAA, but EA Sports was an initial co-defendant in the suit, and O’Bannon’s lawyers even submitted screen shots of former Georgetown center Roy Hibbert — excuse me, “Georgetown Center No. 55″ — from one “NCAA March Madness” edition as evidence that the game was blatantly copying current players’ likenesses. Similar arguments extend to the college football title, but at least those players wear helmets. In “NCAA March Madness,” the relative likeness was as naked as basketball players themselves.
Nintendo has been struggling to live up to its own legacy ever since it released the Wii U console last November to middling sales and a chilly critical reception. And while the company has done its best to spur interest in the Wii U with new rounds of “Mario” and “Zelda” games, it has suffered from a persistent lack of third-party content.
Now, Nintendo is trying to change things up in a way that has surprised gamers who’ve come to see the company as reliable, predictable, even boring. Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s creative director, said in an interview with influential Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (as translated by Kotaku), that he’s working on a “new franchise” for the company best known for sticking to its stable of tried-and-true franchises — many of which Miyamoto first created himself.