EA gets 3 more years for NFL exclusivity

by: John -
Can't say I'm a big fan of this one when it first happened and now I feel the same as EA and the NFL and NFL Players are extending their exclusive licensing relationship by another three years which will now end in 2013. That's five more years of minor updates to the Madden franchise since no one else can make a game using real teams and players. Thank goodness I can play NFL 2K5 on the 360 via backwards compatibility.
EA Extends Interactive Videogame Agreements With NFL and NFL PLAYERS

Exclusive Agreements Renewed Through 2012 Season

REDWOOD CITY, Calif--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced an extension of its exclusive licensing relationships with the National Football League and NFL PLAYERS to develop, publish and distribute interactive football video games. These agreements – which were negotiated separately and are extensions of contracts originally signed in December 2004 – provide EA continued rights to NFL teams, stadiums and players for its critically-acclaimed and best-selling football videogames through the end of the 2012 season, which culminates in February 2013.

Both agreements include all aspects of the interactive experience, including console and handheld games as well as console-based online features. The agreements also provide EA access to both NFL Films and the NFL Network to enrich its game experiences. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

"This is all about bringing authenticity and realism to NFL videogames," said Eric Grubman, President of NFL Ventures. "EA SPORTS continually works to maintain the cutting edge for NFL products across a variety of gaming platforms. We like the fact that they never rest."

“This is great news and it means we can continue to produce the best interactive experience possible. It also allows NFL PLAYERS, the NFL and EA to continue to build our brands,” said Gene Upshaw, Chairman of NFL PLAYERS and Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association. “We offer a very unique experience. “

"We are excited about the opportunity to extend and expand our relationships with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS," said Peter Moore, President of EA SPORTS™. "For nearly two decades, EA SPORTS has been bringing sports fans closer to the great game of football through the breakthrough interactive experiences of our videogames. Game quality is our top priority, and we’re committed to pushing our gameplay innovation, connecting football fans via rich online experiences and delivering the most visually stunning sports games on the market.”

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2008, EA’s Madden NFL franchise has consistently been one of the videogame industry’s best-selling and top-rated products, generating more than $2 billion in retail sales. Madden NFL 08 earned awards from the 2007 Game Critics Awards at the E3 Media and Business Summit, The SpikeTV Video Game Awards, and the GameSpot Readers Choice Awards last year. The game is available on the PLAYSTATION®3 and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment systems, Xbox 360™ and Xbox® videogame and entertainment systems from Microsoft, Nintendo DS™, Wii™, PC, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, mobile handsets and Mac. EA also produces the arcade-football game NFL Tour which hit stores in January 2008, and NFL Head Coach, which was released in 2006. EA SPORTS recently hosted Madden Bowl XIV in Scottsdale, Ariz., as part of Super Bowl XLII festivities.

Both agreements grant exclusive rights for action simulation, arcade-style and manager games on the PC, handheld game devices and consoles.
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