Competition for NFL video game license will be at least six years away

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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.

15 responses to “Competition for NFL video game license will be at least six years away

  1. That’s a shame. EA barely puts any updates into these games and they know they can get away with it, of course they’ll hit the revenue targets when they have a monopoly on the most popular sport’s only video game offering.

  2. This is great news! I miss NBA Live, and could never get used to the terrible controls for NBA 2K. Glad I won’t have to give up another sports game title.

  3. I played 2k back in the day. It wasn’t necessarily better, the two games played differently. EA had to do more than just update the rosters, and both games were better because they stole features from each other. Now, all EA does is introduce one new gimmick each year to market and that’s it. This is a major loss for gamers.

  4. This is no different than the NFL granting exclusive ‘Sunday Ticket’ rights to DirecTV. Surely our at-home experience would have improved over the last 20 years if DirecTV had any sort of competition.

  5. Why is EA afraid of other NFL games? Why is the NFL afraid to let other companies pay them for a license?

  6. That’s funny. I was wondering why they quit on this years madden. Turns out they wanted to make sure they didn’t have to make a good game for the next five years. If they pull this off I will not purchase another Madden.

  7. They haven’t upgrade the playbook in last 10 years I’ve been playing it.

  8. EA sports has essentially purchased the ability to not do any work on their product because competition is nonexistent due to logos and names. Charge EA 75% of what they are now and let a competitor pay the same to use the logos and names without any exclusivity. The result would be more revenue and better actual games. The alternative to EA is to simply lose THEIR ability to use names/logos which would essentially tank the entire Madden franchise.

  9. John Madden wanted this game to become a coaching tool. Of course, it has evolved into an unrealistic arcade foolishness under EA Sports. For a reason best known to EA Sports, players cannot use the “Coach” function in an online game. That, of course was the very essence of what John Madden envisioned – a thinking man’s football game, not a contest of the fastest fingers.

  10. I have Madden ’04 and it’s full of glitches. Everytime I play with thr depth chart too much, the game FREEZES. What a sham. When I call for help they act like they have no idea what I’m talking about. Worst customer service ever.

  11. EA makes lazy, money-grabbing video games. They are not passionate about the content of the game, they care only about money. Rodger Goodell is so far off the mark on this one that it’s insane.

    Bring competition back and make me a produce a high-quality game. It will reinvigorate high quality football games for an entire generation of youth.

  12. I have no idea what anyone is talking about. Absurdly, I only came here to tell everyone that I have no idea what they’re talking about. I’ll show myself out.

  13. 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.

    Only 7% of americans use Twitter so who really cares what Twitter users think? I wouldn’t base anything on what just 7% of the country uses!

    I know hundreds of people and I don’t know a single one that’s a Twit, or at least they won’t admit it to anyone! This must be something those that live in mom’s basement uses.

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