EA Does March Madness As Downloadable 360 Exclusive

Illustration for article titled EA Does March Madness As Downloadable 360 Exclusive

EA captures the tension and excitement of NCAA basketball's March Madness with an Xbox 360 exclusive downloadable special edition of NCAA Basketball 09.


Rather than a retail release of a special March Madness edition of their NCAA basketball title, EA is releasing NCAA Basketball 09: March Madness Edition as a downloadable exclusive for the Xbox 360. For 1200 Microsoft points ($15.00 real money), players will be able to play through the entire NCAA tournament, from the opening round to the Final Four itself, complete with a virtual replica of Ford Field court in Detroit.

"We really wanted to make our game available to a wider selection of fans that are drawn to college basketball by the passion, excitement and drama that surrounds March Madness," said Connor Dougan, Producer for NCAA® Basketball 09: March Madness Edition. "Fans will be able to experience the tournament, feel the adrenaline rush that comes with a single loss elimination tournament and write their own history."


NCAA Basketball 09: March Madness Edition will be available for download on March 11th, with teams from last year's tournament filling in until the March 18th, when they'll add in the official Selection Sunday brackets, with accurate teams with updated ratings.

It really is an excellent alternative to releasing the full game on store shelves, though I could have done without the whole exclusivity bit, especially when they say they wanted to make their game available to a wider selection of fans. Wouldn't giving the PlayStation 3 a little love widen that fan base?

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This has to be the most exciting news any Gamestop employee has gotten so far this year. Having worked at Game Crazy I can safely say that every single annual release, of every league, of every sport, piling up in the used game shelves was one of the biggest pains in my ass, and I have been waiting for years to hear that one of them would lead the way into downloadable territory and off the shelves.