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EA has exclusive license from NFL for a “couple more years”

2K5

A recent mention of the flaws inherent to the only available NFL video game prompted a positive response from many of you who lament the fact that the exclusive license EA obtained from the NFL and the NFLPA in 2004 removed any incentive for the Madden series to become the best game it can be.

Or, more specifically, to become as good as the game that prompted EA to obtain the exclusive license in the first place.

Rewind to 2004.  ESPN 2K5 arrived with a superior product for only $19.95.  EA panicked, slashing the price point of the Madden game from $49.95 to $29.95.  In lieu of innovation, EA went straight for the nuclear option, paying for an exclusive license that shut out the 2K series and any other company that would push EA to do something other than upgrade the game slowly and methodically so that people will plunk down another $49.95 every year into perpetuity.

The good news is that, per the league office, the exclusive EA license lasts only a “couple more years.”  The bad news is that, thanks to all the money earned over the last decade by selling basically the same game with different players in the software and a different picture on the cover (which has been hyped into something far more significant than it is), EA will surely be able to extend the exclusive license, if it wants.

The NFL has the power to keep that from happening.

The question for the NFL is whether it’s content to give its names and logos and other trademarks (federally protected or otherwise) to a product that isn’t as good as it could be or should be.  Perhaps the only factor that matters is the money, given that no one is complaining all that loudly about the fact that the fans ultimately are being scammed.

As we’ve recently learned, plenty are complaining.  But the complaints have gained little traction in the mainstream media.  Especially since ESPN — which licensed its own name to the great 2K5 game — has plopped into bed with the Madden series, presiding over the contrived bracket for determining the player whose image will be linked to this year’s version of the game.

Which ultimately may be the only noticeable difference between one year of the Madden game and the next.

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64 Responses to “EA has exclusive license from NFL for a “couple more years””
  1. lukarwarrior says: Jun 20, 2014 10:00 AM

    I’m not a huge fan of EA or the Madden series in general, but I feel it’s important to point out that the game has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years.

    The problem for EA is that it’s hard to sell some of the features that have been added. There’s no sexy way to market that a block that the stiff arm that was previously determined by a coin flip is now determined by a complex algorithm involving player sizes, speed, momentum, angles, and a host of ratings.

    Sure, the game isn’t as great as it could be, and I only buy it once every couple of years, but still, it’s a pretty good game once you tweak the sliders around.

  2. unlimitedcriticism says: Jun 20, 2014 10:01 AM

    Even if they did lose the exclusive license, it would likely be years before someone challenged Madden, unfortunately. Very tough to draft a new sports game from scratch and get it right.

    Much as I may lament the incremental improvements to Madden, it ain’t easy to get it right from the ground up.

  3. Schrammbo says: Jun 20, 2014 10:02 AM

    Madden is now $59.99 for the ‘basic’ edition.. for more limited editions you can be upwards of $100+. I was a BIG fan of 2K5, it was a much better game than Madden, and in some aspects, 10 years later, still is.

    And with NCAA officially dead in the water for the foreseeable future, what option is there? I have to have my summer football fix.. It’s the only way I get to see my beloved Rams win back to back to back to back to back to back to back superbowls.. ;)

  4. smcswaw1982 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:09 AM

    As someone who has played every version every year since 1989, I can tell you the game is stale and is what the columnist said it is, which is a redundant version of the same thing every year with a new cover. There is very little to no fan input into wha the game has in it for features, they still put stupid things in the game like Madden cards and garbage like that that takes up valuable digital space at the expense of cooler features like highlights from around the league and an actual meaningful studio show… The FA feature is terrible, the scouting process in miserable, all in all it is a bad product we are forced to buy each year because there is no competitor… This is what happens when there is no other competitor to push you to be great…

  5. dtob79 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:11 AM

    I’m so tired of hearing the “2K5 was better than Madden” fallacy. It wasn’t. All it had was the price point. Madden was a superior football game. 2K was good if you like arcade-style football, but it wasn’t better than Madden.

  6. motobus says: Jun 20, 2014 10:11 AM

    EA just switched last year from the same engine they were using in 1999…

    EA, not just EA Sports, is one of the most reviled gaming companies today know for putting out very inferior products.

  7. 700levelvet says: Jun 20, 2014 10:11 AM

    I prefer to watch games… Not play them

  8. damayan5 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:14 AM

    Another problem is EA has refused to make a PC version of Madden for a while now. But still have the exclusive license for that platform.

  9. justinnelson71 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:15 AM

    The 2K series were the best. I had them for Sega Dreamcast!

  10. arrowhead816 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:16 AM

    We gamers need competition, & choices. When you monopolize on a genre of games, you get sloppy. NFL 2K games were better then Madden during that span.

  11. joshr99164 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:17 AM

    The new franchise is an all time low. I’m drafting corners with the same strength as my defensive linemen.

    This game is broken, from top to bottom. It’s 2014, and we can’t get real physics? Receivers don’t know how to fight for the ball?

    2K basketball releases similar games every year too, with a few new features. I don’t expect 2k15 and 2k14 to play all that differently. But when you have a good product, you alter the features more than the gameplay.

  12. haydenpryor says: Jun 20, 2014 10:19 AM

    BRING BACK 2K

  13. joshr99164 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:19 AM

    Kudos to Florio for pointing this out. I hope this discussion moves from hardcore gamers and forums to the common gamer paying for a $60 roster update.

  14. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 20, 2014 10:22 AM

    It’s not as important how well the game has improved in relation to the standards that the game has established, it’s more important how great a game could be if others were able to compete in that space. The reality is still that there could be a much better gaming experience on so many levels, and that would only be good for the NFL and the sport and the fans of the game and the gaming options.

    Nice slogan on the cover pic, but what about the slogan of “the game you wish you had but don’t have since it flat out doesn’t exist”? That’s the problem with no present solution. That’s one heck of a game people, and you have no idea what you are missing out on.

  15. thepftpoet says: Jun 20, 2014 10:22 AM

    EA Sports has turned the “Madden” franchise into a monopoly.

    And ironically, Monopoly is still a better game.

  16. matthoover4 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:24 AM

    I know it’s concussion-related, but the NFL recently dropped Riddell as its exclusive helmet provider, leveling the playing field for other helmet manufacturers.

    Why not do it for video game manufacturers?

    We all know competition produces better results – look no further than the NFL salary cap.

    They just need to do the right thing. If we were lucky, they’d give them the Riddell raw dog deal and end their contract early.

  17. buck82eye says: Jun 20, 2014 10:27 AM

    “The NFL has the power to keep that from happening”

    Actually we the people have the power to keep that from happening. We can choose to boycott Madden by not plunking down $49.99 and force change. We can choose not to be selfish. I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to buying Madden every year to fulfill my own self serving wants. But, we have the power and just dont know it. When it comes to Madden, or the Redskins name, or anything really, we the people have the power to create change. BUT, we have to be united to do so. Vote with your dollars.

  18. justbust says: Jun 20, 2014 10:31 AM

    Just played my 2k5 , just as good as my madden on ps4. stands the test of time

  19. nirvana504 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:31 AM

    I’ve been playing the same Madden for the last 5 years. No need to buy a new one every year. 2K was by far superior in quality and price.

  20. vikesandravens78 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:32 AM

    EA and 2K actively compete in putting out NBA titles. 2K has outclassed EA in that venue time and time again. If the NFL is truly seeking to improve the quality of it’s product, it will end this stupid exclusive rights deal. The Madden games really only require a new purchase about once every five years.

  21. 12444uggg says: Jun 20, 2014 10:33 AM

    Interestingly enough, the last decent Madden was 05′.

  22. jakeblues68 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:35 AM

    I used to buy Madden and NCAA Football every year. There were multiple years where the exact same glitches would appear, and years where the game would actually regress.

    After I figured out what a waste of money it was, I switched to buying every other year. Now I own Madden 25, and I have no intention of ever buying another NFL game from EA Sports again until I believe that they actually care about putting out a quality product. The only way for that to happen is for EA to have to compete for business. If the NFL cares more about proper representation via the video game format vs. the money garnered from an exclusive deal, they’ll not renew with EA.

  23. explosionsauce says: Jun 20, 2014 10:37 AM

    God bless you for writing this. Madden series has regressed ever since they got the exclusive contract. Each year they take something away then add it and call it a feature. The game is broken and can be exploited easily. Not even fun anymore.

  24. patriotsdefense says: Jun 20, 2014 10:38 AM

    I agree with Florio and calling out Madden was the first brave against the grain thing he’s done in years. The game turned bad years ago. I’ve stopped giving EA my annual $60 for a product that isn’t worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to play a great NFL videogame. It’s a shame there hasn’t been one released for several years.

  25. madmax80 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:50 AM

    Tecmo Bowl 2015!!!

  26. gedden7 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:51 AM

    This license talk is saddening… The NFL will continue to take EA’s money and EA’s money for the license. Yes it’s that type of shady business. As gamers become more and more ignorant or unknowledgeable to the past efforts, EA will never deliver a truly compelling football experience. It’s time for 2k to start thinking outside the box and just say the hell with it, we need to revive All Pro Football. And make an unlicensed franchise but give it the same treatment as they would have given NFL 2k5-NFL2k15 and the NBA 2k Series. Imagine a deep Myplayer mode but Pro Football Style with no limits to the story… Slightly like Blitz, SLIGHTLY. And also delivering that true football feel and experience on the field with NBA 2k graphics and last but not least a create a roster/team/Logo online share feature… Not to mention a deep franchise mode and online VS and Franchise features…

    I think in 2-3 years of dedication to that series would actually do 2k some good and the true winner is the gamer!

  27. luiste3654 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:52 AM

    I say it every year,EA Sports Madden only have the power because some of us in the gaming nation by the stupid garbage game that they put out every year..Madden never listens to the fans they only put what they wanna put in the game and they know because it has the NFL logo in players you’re going to buy it kind of like a drug and that’s sad.
    they never took advantage ESPN presentation halftime show stuff that the fans want better commentary instead of the same old stuff just look at NBA2K vs nba live.bottom line if you ever want to see 2k or any other company make a football game us as a gaming nation need not to buy Madden 15,16,17,18. NFL would not be the NFL if it wasn’t for the fans remember that

  28. ravens634 says: Jun 20, 2014 10:54 AM

    After Madden 04 or 05, the whole direction of the game changed. Its all about online play now. The casual gamer got screwed. I just wanna play as my team against the CPU and manage my team season to season. You can do do it, but the whole system is flawed, Enough of connected rosters, online rosters, its all crap.

  29. kaptingavrin says: Jun 20, 2014 10:56 AM

    It’s one thing to claim they’re making “slight improvements.” But there are areas where they take the game back multiple steps. They acted like Owner Mode and relocation was some huge new thing in Madden 25, but it was there in the game before that. They’ve taken out some of the camera angles. The announcers seem to have maybe 20 lines tops to read and I end up skipping their comments at the start of games because they’re so generic and redundant that it just destroys any sense of immersion. The game has dropped features, and manages to change some things for no reason other than to change them (i.e. the scouting and draft keep changing dramatically, and they still haven’t figured out how to make a draft class with players who don’t have a completely stupid mix of stats; for Madden 08 on the PC, people made a program to fix the draft classes, but you can’t do that for the consoles, and the problem should have been fixed by now).

    The game crashes inexplicably on me, which should have been fixed at some point during the year. Also, apparently they didn’t test their player mode (which is way stripped down from the Superstar mode of the past), because when it switches back to you being on the field, they’ll end up commenting (even in the 4th quarter!) that “It’s good to get that first first down out of the way” or something like that. That’s a simple thing, shouldn’t be an issue, but it still is. Along with, again, the ridiculously limited dialogue, which led me to hear the exact same comment three times the other night as I broke containment and ran for a TD on my QB.

    NCAA is so much better when the games are playing, I would love to have its presentation with Madden, and if they’re not making the NCAA game then get those guys into Madden!

    I know I’m ranting a lot, but damn… this is a series that has actually taken numerous steps back, and claims to be a “better” game every year. Just seeing all the stuff that used to be in the game… man. And they get to keep doing that for longer? Ridiculous.

  30. abnparatrooper says: Jun 20, 2014 11:00 AM

    I have never liked madden. When ESPN 2k5 came out I bought an XBOX ( the original) and bought one game (ESPN 2k5) and I played the crap out of the game. I loved that game and i only got rid of my original xbox and ESPN 2k5 within the last 6 Months. And I only got rid of them because I didn’t have time to play them anymore because I am a single father with primary custody of my daughter.

  31. luiste3654 says: Jun 20, 2014 11:00 AM

    a good comparison to EA Sports Madden is Floyd Mayweather makes all the excuses in the world why he can’t fight Manny Pacquiao but still wants to say he’s the best ever. to be the best you gotta compete against the best and win.

  32. harrywarden15 says: Jun 20, 2014 11:02 AM

    Someone mentioned EA having a monopoly. Well, they also have Monopoly in that they have the license for the board game video game as well. EA is huge and could probably buy the license for the NBA as well if they thought it was worth the money. Apparently, they don’t.

  33. DonRSD says: Jun 20, 2014 11:06 AM

    As much as I love playing online football, I can’t play Madden.
    Same plays always work and don’t get me started on the WR/DB interaction and OLine/DLine interaction.

  34. ninerrob52 says: Jun 20, 2014 11:13 AM

    Thank you for this post. 2K fans got royally jobbed by that deal. Madden has ruined football gaming for nearly a decade

  35. terryleather says: Jun 20, 2014 11:15 AM

    The reason Madden is the same every single year, is because people WANT it to be the same every single year. There has to be some consistency. Call of Duty gets the same gripes.

  36. hpac1337 says: Jun 20, 2014 11:15 AM

    I have been boycotting Madden ever since this happened. 2k5 was infinitely better than Madden and I was so furious when EA decided rather than build a better product, they would buy the ball and take it and go home.

  37. VondyP says: Jun 20, 2014 11:20 AM

    Madden is joke and most people realize it, especially after Madden 25. 25 was supposed to be “Anniversary Edition” celebrating 25 years of Madden. What did they do to “celebrate”? Classic teams? Nope. Upgraded features? Nope. Decreased Price? Nope. NOTHING. They did absolutely nothing to celebrate it and the only reason I bought 25 was because I stupidly assumed they would have some classic teams involved.

    I love the connected careers, playing in the same league as my friends online is great, but they need to update it other than just the look! Owner mode was nothing different except now you can build a new stadium and move the team. It’s nice but it’s not completely customizable like it should be, they could easily have allowed us to make our own uniforms, upload our own logo’s, create our own team name and city, but they didn’t…

    Also I love ultimate team but that hasn’t changed in ages.. seasons in this version is nice but I’m so high up that now unless I have a 99 overall team I get smoked every time.

    Competition gives results and John Madden is no longer relevant in today’s NFL. For the love of god at least make it Gruden or something.

  38. kylexitron says: Jun 20, 2014 11:26 AM

    Cool story but at a 20 dollar price point, the myth that somehow the 2k series would revolutionize football video games is quite a stretch. One year or less is not a lot of time for game development, especially when the content is to reflect the ever changing landscape of the NFL where we have cine to know there is no off season. I’m not a strong believer that another competing product at a lower price point would do anything but result in two mediocre products a year. I’m in no way saying I believe ea should retain excusive rights. But the idea that another product would result in a dramatically improved game in either case is a little overblown and not the foregone conclusion everyone seems to think.

  39. tvguy22 says: Jun 20, 2014 11:27 AM

    I play in a coach mode 2k4 league online with a bunch of older guys. It was the best version for online leagues. Shame that they stopped making the PC version in 2008.

    That’s personal computer, not politically correct.

  40. gthobbes says: Jun 20, 2014 11:34 AM

    Thank you Sir for shedding light on this issue. Us football game players have gone a full decade without a quality game, and the media’s done nothing about it since most are in bed with EA (say anything negative, and they get blacklisted from free review copies of the game).

    I’m 43 years old now, and I’m never getting the last 10 years of my life back. Maybe now, that someone in the media has finally spoken out about this decade long national nightmare, something will change and the NFL will listen to its fans by ending EA’s monopoly.

  41. tylerhutchison2005 says: Jun 20, 2014 11:45 AM

    An enormous defensive lineman isn’t as fast as Kaepernick or RG3, that was the most frustrating thing about Madden 25, they really need to improve that crap!

  42. DonRSD says: Jun 20, 2014 11:46 AM

    Go play NFL2k5 of APF2k8.
    Watch the WR/DB interaction and how the WR attempts to release off the “jam”.
    Watch the OLine/DLine interaction and how NFL2k5/APF2k8 “hand off” defenders and even the double team blocks.
    APF2k8 did it right with NO rating system. Everyone was a 50 across the board, then “attributes” added such as ball hawk, route god, etc to make players stand out.

    Look how NBA2k has crushed NBA Live. NFL2k was about to do the same thing to Madden.

    PSN: DonVCorleone
    Nintendo Network ID: DonRSD
    #NFL2k

  43. sowcrates says: Jun 20, 2014 11:54 AM

    I personally feel that madden 2007 was the best. I was a fan of QB vision, how it led to more realistic pump fakes and made playing as a safety in coverage more interesting. Other things were tacked on from when 2005, blah blah, not expecting to persuade that 2007 was the best.

    HOWEVER, 07 was also the last Madden until the new generation of gaming consoles came out. Madden has inherited all of the negatives that come with monopolistic complacency, but it also has fallen victim to emphasizing glam over gameplay in order to justify the graphics of new TVs and new gaming systems.

  44. phillycannon says: Jun 20, 2014 11:56 AM

    Stop crying about a game!! If you dont like it….dont buy it. Plain and simple!!! Your $60 isnt hurting EA. What most of you wont pay…..their is 20 more people waiting in line to buy the game.

  45. lacarious says: Jun 20, 2014 12:04 PM

    I’d like to meet an EA exec so I can punch him in the mouth

  46. thebirdofprey2 says: Jun 20, 2014 12:16 PM

    Thank you Mike Florio for doing this story. Year after year football and gaming fans talk about this issue. Produce stories but like you said there is no traction and its a dead issue in mainstream media.

    I fell in love with sports gaming as a kid. 2K5 was best football game made to date even NFL Fever 04 had passing features that didn’t reach Madden until 6 or 7 years later.

    EA and EA Sports have been on the decline for years but they have a monopoly on football. I smartened up and stopped buying games in 2010 when it felt like I was just get roster updates. Got tricked in ’13 purchased “Best Madden Ever” where they must have paid premium dollar to game review sites only to find a game loaded with glitches in both online play and a disastrous franchise/career mode. NFL throwing their names on weak products like this they will be that juicy pig Mark Cuban was talking about.

  47. chase70 says: Jun 20, 2014 12:36 PM

    madden is not a terrible game, but it is average at best. It’s the worst of the four major sports games. mlb14 the show>nba2k14>nhl hockey>madden

  48. lrical says: Jun 20, 2014 12:38 PM

    All I know is that I got money back from EA in the class action lawsuit. All the games I bought totaled to about 60$ cash money lol even though I spent 10 times that amount. But all you pay is for a roster update.

  49. lrical says: Jun 20, 2014 12:40 PM

    And the only reason why I buy it every year is because one of my friends buys it and we do the online leagues… Go cowboys

  50. therealwags says: Jun 20, 2014 12:48 PM

    All I want is a roster update, is that too much to ask for?

  51. godofwine330 says: Jun 20, 2014 1:18 PM

    Madden is so horrible I started buying the game a year late for $5 used, getting the NCAA Draft classes to have the NCAA players in my my game and not the #1 pick being a WR from Navy, but in Madden 13 they even messed that up. They got rid of the “franchise”feature for some idiotic connected careers mess that doesn’t allow you to bring NCAA players into the game. I never played online and used the franchise to build my Browns into a competitive team over a period of years and they messed it up and I can’t even do that.

    I will never buy another Madden game ever again, used or new. The game is horrible and with no competition they keep rolling the same game out to fans who keep on buying it and don’t know why.

  52. floriosnuts says: Jun 20, 2014 1:18 PM

    A nice reminder of why a stopped buying Madden back in ’05. One if better off waiting a while and buying a used copy on the cheap. You save $$ and you don’t support EA!

  53. tazrex says: Jun 20, 2014 2:11 PM

    While I agree that lack of competition has eroded the quality of the Madden franchise, I think blaming the whole situation on EA is unfair. The NFL approached EA (ad well as the other game developers) with exclusivity deals, not the other way around. The NFL decided they wanted a singular representation of their product in the video game realm and EA ponied up the most dough to protect their most valuable franchise. If SEGA and the 2K team had made the deal we would be lamenting the loss of zMadden and things like the Hit Stick or Liquid AI (so, so bad).

  54. djshnooks says: Jun 20, 2014 2:32 PM

    2k games suck. If they came back in place of the ea sports games, I’d get rid of my consoles and never play a game again.

  55. djshnooks says: Jun 20, 2014 2:37 PM

    The “great” 2k5 game? You’re an expert at everything, huh? Madden does improve every year, with better gameplay, graphics, and all sorts of other stuff. 2k5 was horrible in every aspect compared to Madden.

    Gameplay, graphics, realistic rosters, etc.

    Which is the main reason it was $20…I mean, think about that genius! If something is so cheap, you think it’s going to be good quality, with a lot of effort put into it? Nope!

  56. garricbates says: Jun 20, 2014 8:02 PM

    The NFL 2K series was a rival to Madden for several years. 2K dropped the price to $19.99 and released a week or two earlier than Madden to get people to try it out because Madden and EA had a stranglehold on video game football and 2K felt they had a better product than Madden, which they did. The people did try 2K and they loved it. Then EA and the NFL formed a pack that ruined (stagnated) football for video jockeys

    If you compare Madden to all of the best games in other sports, the football game pales in comparison to the other major sports as across the board, especially in innovation:

    MLB the Show
    NBA 2K
    EA FIFA
    EA NHL

    What all these games have in common is that there was healthy competition between all these games. NBA 2K had NBA Live, MLB the Show had MLB2K, FIFA had/has Pro Evolution Soccer, NHL had NHL 2K. Heck, even EA PGA golf has competition from Mario Golf.

    Football would be an awful sport if the Dallas Cowboys just practiced against one another all season long. Football is an amazing sport because of the competition. The NFL should have know when entering into this agreement, they would kill any sort of innovation because there was no reason for EA and Madden to get better. I know many non gamers will say just boycott the game, but many virtual jocks want to do what they can’t or their favorite teams can’t do and that’s play the game at it’s highest level. And gamers would prefer to do it with the best game possible. Too bad Madden and the NFL is not allowing that to happen.

  57. lonewolfproject says: Jun 22, 2014 12:36 AM

    I don’t know…I always saw the $20 price tag as being a desperate ploy by 2K because they were getting slaughtered by Madden every year anyway and, with or without an exclusive license, would have driven 2K away anyway. Also, 2K5 had some outstanding presentation, leaps and bounds ahead of Madden even today. However, there were some fatal flaws in that game as well. Tom Brady traded to Chicago for Brian Urlacher? In 2K5 trades like that happened all the time. I even played against Pittsburgh in dynasty mode and Big Ben was returning kickoffs. I kid you not. Very buggy/ weird things happened all the time in my experience with the game. Gameplay wise…always preferred Madden.

  58. macross33 says: Jul 7, 2014 1:36 PM

    Thank god someone in mainstream media reported this finally. The fact is not that 2k sports made a better football game at the time, but that they innovated and added things new to it. While it was not taking down Madden with those moves, it was showing Madden for the rehash pile it had become and continues to be. They will never change their ways the NFL owes its fans a competitive market to drive their sports games to higher levels.

  59. jamescarter007 says: Jul 17, 2014 4:48 AM

    This might be a little long so bare with me:

    I started playing Madden ’03 with my brothers, we used to rent that game every week it was so fun. Yeah it had its flaws but it was new and exciting to me especially, prior to that I never was into video games like my brothers. By the time Madden ’04 rolled around I was a stark raving football fan! And Madden ’05 to me is still the best game they ever made.

    Madden ’06, the next gen titles for xbox 360 and the ps3 were the biggest let down. It’s downright pathetic when you think about it. And this can all be traced back to the fact that EA has no competition in the marketplace anymore, whether the 2k series was successful or not, good or bad, their existence alone was enough to push these guys to at least TRY to make a great game.

    Honestly, there needs to be a movement to boycott the Madden series. A Facebook group something needs to be done because the way things are we can whine and bitch about it but bottom line unless WE do something and let the NFL know of our displeasure, NOTHING will ever get done and things will stay the same. The last thing the NFL wants is to piss of prospective customers as a result of EA’s incompetence. We just have to make a lot of noise.

    I got into football because of Madden ’03. Now, I not only do I no longer play the Madden series I’ve stopped watching football altogether and trust me I was the dude who used to buy jerseys and all of that. The NFL needs to realize its decision to continue to allow EA’s monopoly is hurting the NFL’s image and costing them fans eg. future customers.

  60. elyknoslen says: Aug 8, 2014 3:14 PM

    AllPro 2K8 was a fantastic game. You drafted your team from the pool of all the retired NFL guys. That actually gives the game a lot more lifetime because you aren’t distracted by having current roster that matches real teams.
    I popped that back in a week ago to once I started to get the urge to play some football on the Xbox.
    Madden has sucked for long time and EA has no reason to improve their product when they own exclusive rights to make a NFL licensed game and people keep throwing money at them for an updated roster.

  61. meechyaboy says: Aug 21, 2014 9:20 PM

    The only part not realized is that 2k5 wasn’t the only great football game they made…people forget about 2k-2k4 because for the most most part they were on dreamcast and no one was buying console just for 2k and sonic at its price point but on the dream cast they had the video memory card where you could call plays without looking at the tv so cheaters couldn’t look while you call plays

    They’re games always competed with madden rating wise but ea was the bigger name it’s until 2k sold all they’re games at 20$ that year ea was in charge of everything… That was also the year 2k started to take the reigns from Live so you could see where madden was heading

  62. bxphenom7 says: Aug 21, 2014 11:00 PM

    Man, thank you for this. EA and the NFL have gotten away with this for too long. I haven’t bought a Madden game since 2007 because I was upset nothing had changed. Trying the more recent versions and looking at actually well written reviews showed me not to buy the game. Gamers and disgruntled consumers have complained for years, but our voice hasn’t been loud enough. $ seems to be all that talks. Unfortunately, people aren’t disciplined enough to not buy Madden, since they want a football gaming experience. Thanks for taking time to address this from where you sit. You can definitely help be a voice for us. Games, all products, need competition. I feel if you made a petition, people would actually get wind of it and sign it. There are many people who feel strongly about this, but we seem to be too disorganized, and quite honestly, too intimidated to take action through a petition of some sorts. Please be a voice for us.

  63. benmooreeatingdisorder says: Aug 25, 2014 1:59 AM

    I totally agree with 2k being a far more better product than madden. What disgraces is the experience you don’t see on Sundays. Like the playoff games don’t have that thrill to it a Seattle preseason game in real life is better than the playoffs in madden….the Super Bowl celebration is still the same…not good introductions…commentating is not that good….pre game ,halftime nd post game is garbage…equipment has not been approved….what happen to the mouthpiece….what happen to hairstyles….what happen to tattoos….the game needs interviews…press conferences….just the overall experience…maybe if 2k can do it they can bring in different commentators based on how big the game is….maybe flex scheduling…how about a ticker to update you on other games…make the pro bowl playable with the team helmets….the 49ers foghorn shouldn’t sound like the patriots horn or on the kickoff I don’t hear the music the Niners play in real life….when the packers defense takes the field that’s when go pack go should be chanted not when you pick up a first down on offense it’s unrealistic it’s so much you can add to this game and madden is not really doing that but you can’t get madden because they do work hard I just want to see a dramatic change to the product not adding and subtracting features

  64. askanison40 says: Aug 31, 2014 1:35 PM

    Hopefully in a “couple more years”, the NFL will wise-up and allow more than one publisher access to the license. 2K Sports makes a superior product. If you need proof, just look at their NBA series compared to EA’s NBA Live series. Comparing them is disrespectful to NBA 2K.

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