Twitter didn’t react well to the news that EA Sports is in line for a contract extension with the NFL for the Madden video-game series. Twitter is going to hate this bit of news.
According to Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily, the proposed contract would extend the exclusive arrangement between the NFL and EA Sports through the 2025 season. A one-year add-on that would take the deal through the 2026 season hinges on EA Sports “achieving certain revenue goals,” Fischer reports.
Thus, there will be no competition for Madden for at least six years, maybe seven. Maybe longer.
Gamers desperately want to see a return of the 2K series, the popularity of which prompted EA Sports to buy an exclusive license for NFL video games in 2005. The new agreement that owners are expected to approve next week would stretch the exclusivity to two full decades.
Some wondered whether the door would be open for 2K to make an NFL-licensed video game, given the recent decision to allow 2K to create “non-simulation video games.”
Of course, 2K and any other developer are free to make a football game. The problem is that the game wouldn’t have NFL team names and logos, or NFLPA-represented players. However, the developer could purchase the names, images, and likenesses of former players or simply make up names. If the game itself is sufficiently fun to play, the question of whether the quarterback’s name is Tom Brady or Brady Thomas wouldn’t really matter.
There seems, however, to be little or no appetite for rolling the dice on that possibility.