Why Is There No CFL PlayStation Game?

I enjoy playing Madden 21 on my PlayStation 4 and was wondering why there is no similar CFL game marketed in either Canada or the USA? I would enjoy seeing and playing the differences between the two styles of football. Do the marketing geniuses not realize this could be a money maker?

Because EA laughs whenever this is brought up.

And it has been, internally. Apparently.

Me I'd buy anything CFL and I don't even have a PlayStation. But I realized decades ago that my preferences are not reflective of the mass market.


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It's been brought up many many many times going back at least 16 or 17 years (or more).

EA wants too much money to do it. They wouldn't sell enough copies to make it back as Canada's population is too small.


Blame the CFL on this one not EA

The programming required to change number of men on field is negligible
Stuff like new graphics and names and rosters are insanely easy to do (many fan made sets with CFL rosters / teams already in Madden)

The big issue for EA is the CFL brand
CFL (& CFLPA) wants too much money for the licensing so as other mentioned there is no way EA will break even, much less make a profit

EA sold Arena League football
EA sold Aussie football
EA sold RUGBY games (tell me there is a "huge" market for those)

If CFL did not ask so much I am sure EA would do it


Wrong wrong and wrong.

The CFL has stated that they have asked EA and EA told them that they would charge the CFL X millions dollars to do it. EA's price was way out of range, NOT the CFL's.

It would be simple if all they had to do was add the uniforms and rosters, but to change the field size, add a 12th player, take away a down, rewrite all the playbooks, add the rouge and all the backfield motion, different penalties etc means a lot of work. It seems that EA's estimates for the costs outweigh the gains from selling to such a niche market. They would do it if the league footed the losses but of course the league can't justify it either.

I'm not sure when the last time the CFL has asked EA. Perhaps it could be a good time to ask again but I'm sure that the answer would be the same.


Wrong it's not that difficult it requires the input of players that is extends the cost that really is a time consumer for the product but it can be done reasonably it's just the CFL doesn't ever want to spend a buck to make a buck .

Most leagues understand that marketing of the league is loss leader and extends to all platforms and all store shelves .

Out of site for an entertainment product is great way to show the league doesn't care so why should we . The brand is what your selling not having a game to play is fn ridiculous at this point in time . The gaming industry has taken off and has probably more people watching other people playing on line other pro sports than the CFL has watching an actual league .

Pro leagues .... dump millions with sponsors help to make sure they are everywhere in cobranding .

This is just lousy marketing for a product they don't seem to see anyway to make a profit on .

The commish explained that years ago to people who are still thinking it's 1970 except for maybe Bob in Hamilton .

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Okay so tell me your numbers. If it's so easy tell me how much money to edit Madden and how many more copies it would sell with the CFL add on and how much money EA and the league would make.

btw - I'm a pretty decent coder myself and am a close personal friend of a couple others and I will tell you that project would not be so easy or I/we would have made some sort of game ourselves.

Depends on what quality you want . You want something 10 years ago it's 100's of thousands .

I would have been happy with 25 year old tecmo bowl at one time .

That is where the CFL should start at a level that can produce a game that can be played easily with stars of the past .

Call it sponsor All Star Grey Cup Game .

They never even bothered getting on the ladder they are stuck with magnet Coleco games from the 1970's .

You want something with today's tech and player spec input which changes yearly it's millions of dollars .

The cost is in the individual players input . It's a drain of time and resources . The huge roster being developed is the huge hole .

The turnover in the CFL is a big problem however with only 9 teams it does help with cost reduction compared to a NFL or a NHL .

But with cooperation with the CFLPA for players time and have some money from a company that wants to co brand they could pay for the costlier part of the players specifications being put into the game .

But for me understanding the CFL and it's horrendous turnover I would produce a Game with older Hall of Fame players mixed with other all-stars and not try to keep up with the costlier aspect of the yearly input .

Thus keeping the costs much lower and taking advantage of using older tech to make a game worth playing .

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Nope; I was the point person for these discussions in the last few years. The issue is that Madden game series engine is fundamentally coded to a certain field size, players, downs and various other rules, and millions of lines of code would need to be modified (more like thrown out and rewritten) if those fundamentals changed. The issue is absolutely the development cost versus the relatively small size of the potential audience.


Just like I said. Thx sully. :+1: :coder brofist:

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That's actually the easy part. Spend a weekend entering all the data then send it to the testers to play the rosters for a couple of weeks to make sure that they perform realistically.

Changing all the AI for unlimited motion and all the special teams, I would imagine that would be tons and tons of man-hours and testing.

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With the CFL it seems they change teams on a dime and lose players overnight .

The game would be out of synch with the league every year if they tried .

A game that can be produced that has some staying power has more flexibility .

For Flutie example I would produce the game so he be allowed to be signed up for BC , Toronto or Calgary .

I would input players so the key positions could be traded to another team for league play if they played for that team in their career .

All time Edmonton with Jackie Parker playing QB or Warren Moon playing Tom Clements or Russ Jackson at QB for all time Ottawa would be the selling point .

I would love to play those type of games But I Love the old Avalon Hill Games and would play the hall of fame baseball games with stats and dice to play . It was a great game and you learned about MLB greats .

Madden takes 1 single programmer to assign all 40 numerical values to the 2,600+ players

The other changes are insanely simple (conversion of 4 downs to 3 downs, adding an extra player on field, even the rouge which I admit I had forgotten about in my earlier post)

If 1 guy can handle numerically rating 32 NFL teams rosters I fail to see why 1 guy is incapable of numerically rating 9 CFL teams rosters (and note; Madden INCLUDES WLAF and XFL teams and stats as well... so diff rulesets have certainly been done before)

They also have added special unlockable teams (eg Fantasy Teams; Big Tent Island Clowns + 18 others), Developer Teams (4), Elite Teams (16), Pro Bowl Teams (6), Longshot Teams (10), etc etc

In Hockey as an example they also went so far as to add the actual minor league teams, and international leagues (German, Russian, Scandinave, Super etc)

The biggest hold up is the licensing which means CFL or CFLPA is the issue
9 Teams could easily be added to the game

I do not know if it has changed but Donny Moore (was?) is solely responsible for all players ratings in Madden

Why would field size be an issue?

In theory I agree the 3 downs, rouges, etc are more of an issue than player ratings I find it odd a small change would result in redoing code (eg Madden DOES support WLAF, and their sister EA game DOES support Olympic / European hockey leagues and rules, which also have larger ice surfaces)

The other oddity to me is how no other publisher would bite
If NFL license is owned by EA, you would think some other brand would prefer to take a CFL license vs a generic game with generic cities

Probably because it changes the AI.


This is exactly why. The AI in video games isn't actually intelligent; it just has thousands of rules painstakingly entered that reference field size, players on the field, the down, the distance, the ruleset - and based on all of those inputs and more decides what to do. It's not easily swapped out for the CFL equivalent.

I was thinking the logic of a rouge being 1 point (and not a missed field goal) would be harder

The in motion is different but as following a simple set of routes I do not think as difficult (despite the fact it gives Americans fits)

Let's do a project analysis. I admit that these numbers are very very round and quickly thrown together and bound by chewing gum and guesswork but it should give us some sense of the where the ballpark might be located.

How many people would purchase a CFL video game or CFl version/add on for Madden?

Start with how many CFL fans are there. Judging by TV ratings an average of say 750k Canadians are watching each game (just to keep things simple we'll ignore international streaming etc).

How many of these would be in the demographic that would play a football video game? One-third? Let's go with that. So 250k.

How many of those would be willing/able to fork out money to buy a copy? two-thirds? Let's round it 150k.

How many of these already buy Madden without CFL in it? Nearly all of them? Let's just two-thirds. So 50k. Maybe?

So you can see that it's a small market to sell to. If EA knew that they could sell a million copies, they'd do it, but when the costs outweigh the potential profits EA can't justify it unless the CFL marketing budget compensates the difference and EA really gets to set that price. I wouldn't see much room to negotiate for the league. They are not in a position of power here.

The only real negotiation tack that the league could try is that once the code is made, it can be used every year. If they could work out a licensing payment deal spread out OVER TIME, maybe it could work, but if EA wants all the expenses up front it won't work.

It'd be nice to get madden to even put a downloadable roster of CFL teams or something. Won't happen but it'd be cool