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NFL gives Madden game manufacturer a break for 2011

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When faced with the prospect of no NFL football — and, thus, no fantasy football — for 2011, the next question from most fans is this:  “There’ll still be Madden, right?”

The answer is yes.  And the league recently gave the folks who hold a monopoly on NFL console video games a break for 2011, given the possibility of a work stoppage.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reported earlier this week that the NFL has reduced the fee to be paid by EA for 2011.  In exchange, the two sides worked out a one-year extension of their contract, through 2013.

“For one of our core partners in a difficult environment, we say let’s look at this, and maybe it makes some sense to extend something out longer and give our partner some relief in the short term but gain something on the back end,” Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver told Kaplan.

The amount of the reduction, and the value of the extension, isn’t known.  Kaplan points out that the Wall Street Journal reported last year that EA asked for a $30 million reduction.

EA, which has produced Madden football for more than 20 years, says it’s preparing for the worst-case scenario.

“In terms of the NFL, I can tell you that our base assumption going into the plan is a very conservative one,” Eric Brown, EA’s Chief Financial Officer, told Kaplan.  “[W]e’ve baked in, at least in our thinking, the most conservative assumption, meaning no season.  We’re optimistic it can be better than that and generate further upside.”

If it “generates further upside,” we’re guessing that EA will pay more money.

Meanwhile, the NFLPA has a separate deal with EA.  It’s unknown whether that deal will be adjusted in any way.  From the players’ perspective, there’s simply no reason to give anything back, especially since that money will be part of the lockout fund.

Bottom line?  If there’s no football on Sundays this fall, you can just spend those 12 hours playing Madden.

Good luck selling that alternative to your wife and/or significant other.

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60 Responses to “NFL gives Madden game manufacturer a break for 2011”
  1. nygdefenserules says: Feb 16, 2011 11:05 AM

    Still wish they would still make it for PC…….

    It was nice to have it on my laptop at work….just in case……

  2. jameswestphal says: Feb 16, 2011 11:07 AM

    BOOM!

  3. vicktator says: Feb 16, 2011 11:11 AM

    this monopoly is idiotic, i want madden to improve their game, and they wont, nor do they have a reason to, because there is no competition, this years game was garbage, and they will repackage it and still sell millions of copies next year, count me out of buying it

  4. cappa662 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:11 AM

    Every year, Madden gets worse… EA is just horrible. The NFL needs to give the license to 2K sports.

  5. ironhawk says: Feb 16, 2011 11:12 AM

    I’d think no NFL season would it Madden more popular, since it’d be the only “new” football available.

  6. bnwillard says: Feb 16, 2011 11:16 AM

    EA has just announced that Jerry Richardson will be on the box cover of Madden 2011 – now with conference room mode!

  7. mad55555 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:19 AM

    MADDEN SUCKS!!!
    NFL2K5 4LIFE
    But seriously the exclusive rights going to EA has been a huge determint to the progress of football as far as gaming goes. No compition= no serious advancement. Until the NFL license is available to more than just ea, NFL games will suck.

  8. toe4 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:20 AM

    Strat-o-matic.
    ActionPC!

  9. skoobyfl says: Feb 16, 2011 11:20 AM

    How generous of them. We as fans just want you to give that money back into the player pool & play ball, we could care less about the Madden fees.

  10. postfixer says: Feb 16, 2011 11:22 AM

    I’m an avid gamer and football fan and Madden Football is an AWFUL video game. EA as a game producer has gone way downhill over the last 5 or so years. They either need to give the rights to 2K sports, or Blizzard/Activision.

  11. dolphinphan says: Feb 16, 2011 11:22 AM

    will rex ryan be in it? promising superbowls and coming up short?

  12. jc1958cool says: Feb 16, 2011 11:23 AM

    is that $$$ shared with the owners, cause they’re going to need it, they’re broke!!

  13. djeg07 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:26 AM

    the older versions gave you more options to play, you could create players on the fly, change your team ownership, and there are never any great players in free agency anymore. espn’s had 2 years worth of draft picks you could trade, which was great. so ea sports take the year off too and redesign.

  14. terrellochouno says: Feb 16, 2011 11:26 AM

    The world needs the new Tecmo Super Bowl.

  15. starks3 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:30 AM

    Hey PFT Staff, any chance we can get an answer to what happens if the Union Decertifies. I would imagine it would create a nightmare scenario where all players would have to be signed individually by EA.

    Could you imagine for example how much money EA would have to pay M. Vick, since he knows he is one of the few players gamers love to use and the leverage he would have.

  16. omegalh says: Feb 16, 2011 11:32 AM

    Madden ’11 with ’10 rosters?

    why bother “upgrading”?

  17. thespeaker08 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:34 AM

    What does Jay Feely think about this?

  18. kingbattle says: Feb 16, 2011 11:34 AM

    I was really hoping that they wouldn’t extend this contract. The game is horrbile but I play it only because it’s the only football game out there. The graphics and game play is horrible. They make slight changes every year, add the new people and sell the same version every year. We really need to get a boycott together so they make changes. The EA games are no comparison to 2K sports games, and the only thing thats keeping them in business is the Madden NFL Monopoly. If you dont believe me, check the web page on EA sports, then go to the 2K sports web page and compare them yourself. Just my .02..

  19. toe4 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:37 AM

    If its in the game…

    … lockouts and all?

  20. clawledge says: Feb 16, 2011 11:38 AM

    There shouldn’t be an exclusive license for the NFL. We need competition!

  21. BC says: Feb 16, 2011 11:38 AM

    Looking more and more like it’s gonna be NASCAR followed by college basketball for me this autumn.

  22. tdk24 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:42 AM

    That 2K sports football with TO on the cover is the still the best playing football game out there. I still have Tecmo Superbowl for the NES, still a fun game.

  23. gregjennings85 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:44 AM

    Madden is just so easy to cheat.

    1.) During the preseason, in-between games, the value of respective teams’ draft picks flip-flops; say the Packers, as the defending champs are slotted to have the least-valued 1st round pick, if you simulate the first week of preseason, their pick will be the highest-valued, and the corresponding teams around them will have the same value change in respect to their picks. I routinely trade the Packers’ top pick for the Browns’ 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounders. Even-steven. Please, EA, help me break free from this cheat. I need a challenge.

    2.) If I draft a stud player in the top of the 2nd round, say an 85-overall WR, he will demand money in the range of a top-10 pick. This is not how the NFL works, and you know it, EA. Change this.

    3.) I can trade Donald Driver and a 3rd round pick for Percy Harvin straight up, I can trade Ryan Grant and a 2nd round pick for Chris Johnson straight up. Get it together, EA. You need to put more value into younger players, as is consistent with the NFL in real-life.

    4.) For some reason, many teams’ recent draft picks and other young, core guys hit free agency in Madden, while in real life, nary a single, young, core player hits the street. Fix it.

    5.) I can take an 80-something overall FREE AGENT LB, like an Adalius Thomas, for example, and change his position to DE, and his overall will jump from somewhere around the lower 80′s to the high 80′s, and I can then trade him for a high draft pick, which I can use to land younger, better talent. Fix it.

    In closing, I hate cheating, but when you make it so easy, it’s hard not to, EA.

    In the last 10 years, not much has changed with Madden, but there are some major issues that still remain.

  24. 4dabears says: Feb 16, 2011 11:50 AM

    As a Bears fan, I cannot wait until Aaron Rodgers is placed on the cover and the jinx is in place.

  25. bananafish711 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:52 AM

    All this says to me is that the league still doesn’t have its priorities straight. The strong possibility of a lockout is closer to reality every day and they’re worried about making sure EA gets their precious chunk of change?

    Please. How about a focus on all of the people that are going to lose their jobs and health benefits in the event of the lockout? I’m not just talking about players, I’m thinking of stadium janitorial/concession staff, trainers, the equipment personnel…etc.

  26. ravensfreak00 says: Feb 16, 2011 11:52 AM

    I was hoping for a break from the mediocrity of the Madden franchise.

  27. beckzhere says: Feb 16, 2011 11:52 AM

    I’ll be the first on here to say I live playing Madden. If there were another NFL game available, obviously that would help both franchises with some friendly competition. But that is not the case. I wish they would put more into it each year and upgrade it more, but if they don’t, I’m still gonna buy it. Damn you EA Sports!!

    On a side note, NCAA football is a viable backup option.

  28. baseballstars says: Feb 16, 2011 11:57 AM

    I’d rather Tecmo be involved. Tecmo Super Bowl is still the greatest football game ever, and even with all of the Madden games throughout the years (and their monopoly), they haven’t been able to touch Tecmo Super Bowl’s greatness.

  29. biggerballz says: Feb 16, 2011 11:58 AM

    madden use to be awesome like john madden, then it got stale and became trash. I got an idea, how about instead of dumbing it down so a 2 year old can play fix the problems and improve the gameplay for hardcore players.

  30. thoff1525 says: Feb 16, 2011 12:03 PM

    I think that a time like this would be perfect for 2K Sports to ink a deal with the UFL. With the UFL gaining popularity and with the possibility of no NFL season next year it shows great promise of growing even more. It would be a great opportunity for both the UFL and 2K to combine efforts to make a great video game.

  31. Tim says: Feb 16, 2011 12:03 PM

    They should add a ‘Lockout Mode’ for Madden ’12. You get to design/create a billionaire, purchase/create a team, then get to insult players, demand more money, walk away from bargaining sessions, claim outrageous, etc. It would really add that ‘wow’ factor that Madden has been missing for so long.

  32. zone44blitz says: Feb 16, 2011 12:07 PM

    What will be the difference in rosters? If there is no league year, there won’t be free agency. The only new thing will be rookies. Yippee. Not worth 60 bucks

  33. fatguystrangler says: Feb 16, 2011 12:07 PM

    I thought Joe Montana SportsTalk Football and Sega NFL ’94 was better in those early days. Madden ’95 got things going, though.

  34. jc1958cool says: Feb 16, 2011 12:07 PM

    4dabears: just jealous cause one legged cutler will never be on there! we can beat da bearssssss with matt flynn!

  35. toe4 says: Feb 16, 2011 12:14 PM

    Can I draft Shane Falco yet?

  36. wtf__seriously says: Feb 16, 2011 12:21 PM

    dolphinphan says:

    will rex ryan be in it? promising superbowls and coming up short?

    —————————————-

    I’m not sure about Rex, but I am confident Dan Carpenter will be in it, since he’s the only player on the Dolphin’s roster that…well, PLAYED this past season!!
    However, I’ve heard rumors about an easter egg in the game that makes Sparano do back handsprings in a cheerleader skirt and halter top when a field goal is kicked.

  37. martinmayhew4president says: Feb 16, 2011 12:26 PM

    For the last 6-7 years we have been playing the same game. EA has screwed us each time telling us IT’S A NEW GAME! All they do is change the controller, update rosters and enhance their previous graphics. Now you lose to players that can’t play but they can glitch the sh!t of you or they run the same play over and over again.

    DAMN I WISH 2K COULD MAKE MADDEN OR EA would buy VISUAL CONCEPTS.

  38. ninjapleazee says: Feb 16, 2011 12:27 PM

    jc1958cool says: Feb 16, 2011 12:07 PM

    4dabears: just jealous cause one legged cutler will never be on there! we can beat da bearssssss with matt flynn!

    ———————————————–

    righttt… and you BARELY beat the Bears with 3rd stringer Caleb Hanie

  39. bigdogg34 says: Feb 16, 2011 12:29 PM

    I don’t think that I’ll be buying next year’s Madden.

  40. bradshawlives says: Feb 16, 2011 12:31 PM

    Maybe if some of you who think the games sucks so bad would stop playing it, Madden would be forced to improve. How do you know it sucks year after year of you’re not playing/buying it year after year?

  41. panther17 says: Feb 16, 2011 12:36 PM

    Why did they have to add another year? I buy Madden but I know competition is only for the best for both Madden fans and 2K Sports.

    What a joke.

  42. sowcrates says: Feb 16, 2011 12:43 PM

    Madden 2006 was, in fact, the best Madden of all time.

    Since then, they took away QB vision, the ability to call multiple plays in the huddle before going to the line of scrimmage, and added gang-tackles that basically make it impossible to tackle a RB when he’s in the sequence of breaking 8 tackles no matter how many Ray Lewises, Vince Wilforks, Justin Tucks or Troy Polamalus are trying to tackle him.

  43. steelersmichele says: Feb 16, 2011 12:56 PM

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Goodell and the league could sit down and negotiate a new deal with EA but can’t do the same with the PA.

    Goodell keeps saying the 18 game season, the fines, the new rules, etc. are all about making the experience better for the fans, but this latest development continues to lean more towards it being all about the money.

  44. galvestontexans says: Feb 16, 2011 1:05 PM

    top 3 nfl video games

    Techmo Bowl nintendo

    Blitz nintendo 64

    NFL2K5 PS2

  45. thingamajig says: Feb 16, 2011 1:07 PM

    Real men don’t play Madden.

  46. majikalmushr0om says: Feb 16, 2011 1:16 PM

    @wtf_seriously

    I’m not sure about Rex, but I am confident Dan Carpenter will be in it, since he’s the only player on the Dolphin’s roster that…well, PLAYED this past season!!
    However, I’ve heard rumors about an easter egg in the game that makes Sparano do back handsprings in a cheerleader skirt and halter top when a field goal is kicked.
    ======================================
    I heard about another easter egg in the game where the NYJ kicker doesn’t wear shoes, ya know, to appeal to Rex Ryan better.
    Theres another preseason minidrill to see how many old washed up Free Agents you can sign, Jets have an uncanny head start though,,,,

    Last but not least, to emulate the authenticity, they have the NFL Play 60 where the players get to do warm up drills and scrimmages with children…its weird that Sanchez’ tends only to work out with females though…

  47. canadianvikingfaniii says: Feb 16, 2011 1:19 PM

    They need to stop making Madden games for 1-2 years and remake the whole gaming engine. It is garbage, and they need to fix all the problems instead of candy coating them.

    Pass defence especially players blatantly dropping picks like they were the Vikings secondary and receivers are by far the worst aspect of the game.

  48. godofwine330 says: Feb 16, 2011 1:31 PM

    @gregjennings85

    I use every single one of those cheats in my franchise. I try not to…but they are so easy I can’t help it.

    Also, I have noticed that the 2nd round player rated 85 wants top 10 money. Try cutting him and resigning him…he’ll take less. Try this with all of your picks, they all take less.

  49. bojack34 says: Feb 16, 2011 1:33 PM

    I agree with the guy above who said make a UFL game.

    I think 2k should make a combo UFL/USFL game or 2 separate games. I’d love to play a USFL game with the real rosters from the final season. Probably be hell to get all the players to sign off though…

  50. meso0rnery says: Feb 16, 2011 1:41 PM

    I’ve got a solution… Turn this year’s Madden into a Grand Theft Auto type game. Call it “Madden ’12, The Off Season” You can select your guy, and have him go through the team’s city. You could be Albert Haynesworth, and drive through the streets of DC at high speeds, slamming into people’s cars, then get out and punch them in the face. Or you could be Donte Stallworth, get in a car, then start running people over on the sidewalks of Baltimore. Then you could “Make it Rain” in a Cincinnati night club with Pacman Jones, and punch a stripper. Thirsty for blood? Take a trip through the dark areas of Philly with Michael Vick, and go watch some dog fights! Feeling a little frisky? Travel to Pittsburgh to troll bars with Big Ben… The possibilities are endless…

  51. zone44blitz says: Feb 16, 2011 2:04 PM

    meso0rnery says:
    Feb 16, 2011 1:41 PM
    I’ve got a solution… Turn this year’s Madden into a Grand Theft Auto type game. Call it “Madden ’12, The Off Season” You can select your guy, and have him go through the team’s city. You could be Albert Haynesworth, and drive through the streets of DC at high speeds, slamming into people’s cars, then get out and punch them in the face. Or you could be Donte Stallworth, get in a car, then start running people over on the sidewalks of Baltimore. Then you could “Make it Rain” in a Cincinnati night club with Pacman Jones, and punch a stripper. Thirsty for blood? Take a trip through the dark areas of Philly with Michael Vick, and go watch some dog fights! Feeling a little frisky? Travel to Pittsburgh to troll bars with Big Ben… The possibilities are endless…

    I would pay a lot of money for this type of game.

  52. jagerbolt says: Feb 16, 2011 2:09 PM

    They extended their deal for another year?

    Looks like one more year of not purchasing an NFL game.

    This is a prime example of how they value $$$ over quality. The game has been stale for years now and they seem content to let them produce crappy games. Maybe someday they’ll see the light?

    Who am I kidding they’ll just give them a 10 year extension after the lockout. Only amusing thing that game has done is give players curses.

  53. DonRSD says: Feb 16, 2011 2:40 PM

    2k is/was the best football SIM game ive ever played.
    you dont have to play madden for years, yet you know ‘what works’

    the monopoly ea now has with the nfl license killed the genre.

    look how good 2k sports is.
    they outsed the mighty ea out of basketball, made ea change their basketball name THEN ea couldnt release their product because 2k has surpassed them.

    there is a reason why nascar didnt resign with ea and now nascar is on GT5 and plays how it SHOULD PLAY.

    ea ruins every game.
    hopefully for the new deal the nfl will give out multiple contracts, with one of them being the nfl 2k series.

    i usually buy madden used so i dont give ea any profits as i dont support anything they do with the nfl license.

    sure its not all ea’s fault as the nfl was the one to bid this out…..but i do old ea accountable for being stagnant in the past 6 years due to no competetion.

    there is a REASON ea went out for the license and thats because nfl 2k5 sold for $20 and was better in every facet than madden. which cost $60
    god forbid ea can be 2nd fiddle.
    since the contract, every madden has been $60.

    im an avid football gamer, but ea has killed the genre

  54. johnnyb216 says: Feb 16, 2011 2:47 PM

    There hasn’t been a reason to buy this game in years. Basically you pay $60 for updated rosters. And I’m pretty sure you can just download the updated rosters from xbox live. No reason what so ever to blow $60 a year on this piece of crap. ITS THE SAME GAME EVERY YEAR!!!!!!!!!!

  55. gregjennings85 says: Feb 16, 2011 3:26 PM

    godofwine330:

    “@gregjennings85

    I use every single one of those cheats in my franchise. I try not to…but they are so easy I can’t help it.

    Also, I have noticed that the 2nd round player rated 85 wants top 10 money. Try cutting him and resigning him…he’ll take less. Try this with all of your picks, they all take less.”

    __________________________________

    I’m insulted that you would think I didn’t know that. That was my point, I end up cutting all of my high picks or highly-rated players that I pick, just so I can sign them as free agents.

    __________________________________

    It is nice, though, to know there are others out there cheating in the exact same ways as I do.

  56. gregjennings85 says: Feb 16, 2011 3:29 PM

    Suggestion: What they should do is take the advice of an actual current or former NFL GM, explain to them the way the game works presently, and see what the many discrepancies are, and address as many as feasibly possible.

  57. tbbucs1638 says: Feb 16, 2011 4:17 PM

    u guys r idiots!! 2k football games r the worst, they gave 2k a chance and they blew it

  58. kingbattle says: Feb 16, 2011 4:21 PM

    @godofwine330 and @gregjennings85

    you should see how i cheat.. I go in and change players to alternate positions then resign them so that i get them for cheap.. then change them back to thier original position. I also do the same for players before free agency on other teams so i can pick them up for cheap because them computer automatically drops em.. gotta love EA, when its that easy to cheat.. its so hard to turn down, but they dont change anything on the game..

  59. shallowfan says: Feb 17, 2011 8:15 AM

    @meso0rnery

    Great post.

    I was going to post something about EA abandoning madden and doing a game about bickering billionaires, but I won’t even go there now…

  60. raidernation53 says: Feb 17, 2011 9:41 PM

    Wow, really shocked with all the hate for Madden 2011. This years madden is soo much better than the last few years, it’s a harder game to pick up and play but much more realistic and more fun once you learn the ropes. People generally hate things they are horrible at so maybe buy a strategy guide or something and you will have more fun.

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