NFL owners will vote next week to extend EA Sports’ exclusive rights to produce and market NFL action simulation video games through at least the 2025 season with a chance to extend through 2026, a source said, assuring the continuation of the long-running Madden franchise well into this decade. The deal also includes non-exclusive rights to arcade-style games and “additional embedded companion apps/modes,” according to people who have seen the resolution.
If approved, EA’s extension comes two months after the NFL gave Take-Two Interactive, a key EA competitor, a license to produce non-simulation NFL titles, leading some observers to believe Take-Two is being groomed as a possible competitor for the key simulation rights now held by EA. However, this deal indicates that an open competition for those rights is still at least five years away. The possible one-year extension to 2026 for EA depends on the developer “achieving certain revenue goals,” according to a source. EA Sports’ current deal is set to expire after the 2021 season.
Owners will meet remotely on Thursday, when most of the agenda focuses on possible changes on the field, including a “sky judge” booth official and an option to execute an offensive play instead of an onside kick.
This article first appeared on Sports Business Daily.
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