While 2K Sports has a football game on the horizon, it’s EA that has walked away with a coveted, multi-year exclusivity deal to make the officially licensed NFL simulation games. This announcement comes hot on the heels of an NFL vote concerning who to cement as the organization’s partner in the game, esports, and media sphere.
According to a press release from EA, this multi-year deal has been inked between the publisher, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), and the NFL itself. With Madden NFL 20 being the most successful game in the franchise’s history, and Madden NFL 21 due to drop later this year, now appears to be as a time as any for the NFL to capitalise on that momentum. A comment from reliable NFL source Albert Breer has confirmed that the deal “will run through the 2025 season” and further if revenue expectations are met.
— Madden NFL 20 (@EAMaddenNFL) May 24, 2020
The deal between the three bodies will encompass developing “games in new genres, expanded esports programs, and additional experiences for fans across more platforms,” as per EA’s statement.
The partnership with EA Sports looks to expand the NFL’s horizons in the gaming sphere, allowing for a greater focus on the highly-successful Madden NFL esports franchise that reached millions of fans in 2019 through its broadcasts.
EA has historically partnered with the NFL for over thirty years, and this latest vote cements them as the NFL’s exclusive maker of the titular simulation games. While 2K Games is contracted to produce an NFL game, it won’t be one of the mainline simulation or arcade games. This deal with EA looks to make the most of “increased competitive programs and broadcast content” on the esports side specifically, as well as “more forms of play and self-expression available on more platforms” for gamers.
Fans of the franchise will also be able to have their first look at Madden NFL 21 on June 1, which should mean that we can start speculating about release dates soon. With August and the Q4 being the usual time period that Madden games usually drop, it’ll be interesting to see how that pans out this year after EA announces more details.
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