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EA and NFLPA deal ensures Madden will be the only NFL sim through 2025

EA will continue to have exclusive rights to develop football simulators thanks to new deal.


The Madden franchise has become one of the premiere titles under the EA banner. As the only licensed NFL simulator, football fans flock to Madden to play as their favorite athletes. EA Sports’ deal with the NFLPA keeps exclusive rights to develop these games within EA, but was set to expire in 2021. The companies have inked a new deal, extending this partnership through the year 2025.

With Madden 21 on the horizon, fans were set to get their final dosage of the franchise before the series flips over to the next generation of consoles following the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The previous deal between Electronic Arts and the NFLPA was set to expire next year, opening the door for another developer to swoop in and get a hold of the coveted NFL license. Of course, this is no longer the case.

It wasn’t too long ago that the NFLPA announced a partnership with 2K, allowing the developer to make football games. However, they explicitly stated that these titles would not be simulation games, as that right remains exclusively with EA. Many fans had hoped this news meant we were inching closer to the return of the NFL 2K franchise, but those wishes will need to be put on hold.

Whether you’re happy or not with where EA has taken the Madden franchise, it’s hard to argue that this new deal doesn’t make good business sense for both parties. Madden is constantly among the top selling games every year. In fact, Madden 20 was the most successful entry in the series to date. Not much is known about the upcoming Madden 21, other than it will feature Raven’s superstar Lamar Jackson as its cover athlete. We expect to learn more about the game during the online EA Play event.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

From The Chatty
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    May 29, 2020 8:40 AM

    Donovan Erskine posted a new article, EA and NFLPA deal ensures Madden will be the only NFL sim through 2025

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      May 29, 2020 10:48 AM

      Nfl2k5 was the best one. Bad news for making progress in the genre

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        May 29, 2020 10:50 AM

        As if a new NFL2k won't be loaded up with VC like NBA2k

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          May 29, 2020 11:10 AM

          2K doesn't have any competition in the NBA space. Maybe they change that VC "gameplay mechanic" if they had to compete with Madden?

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      May 29, 2020 11:08 AM

      And we’re ensured years more mediocrity

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        May 29, 2020 5:16 PM

        All the major sports games have kinda fallen into serious ruts. Minor and inconsequential upgrades to gameplay systems and visuals, heavier emphasis on microtransactions, more focus on story based modes.

        I have been waiting, I don't know now, 6 years? More? just for NBA2k to get away from their extremely latency heavy delay based netcode. It kinda ruins anything where strict timing is involved, like every single jump shot and playing competent defense. It makes no fucking sense how it's still in there.

        Waiting for all of them to provide some actual online cooperative modes (seasons/tourneys/leagues/etc) against AI, especially FIFA. Their "online coop" year after year, is still 2v2 humans v humans only. I don't fucking get it! The games all have local coop vs cpu, when playing online the rest of the teams are still controlled by the cpu, but you still cannot coop vs cpu with friends online at all. It's so frustrating.

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      May 29, 2020 5:42 PM

      Only tecmo bowl can save nfl gaming

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