NFL Expected To Re-Up With EA Sports As Video Game Producer
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 '25 season with a chance to extend through '26, 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 '26 for EA depends on the developer “achieving certain revenue goals,” according to a source. EA Sports’ current deal is set to expire after the '21 season. 2K still expects to produce non-simulation titles with NFL rights. 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. SI first reported the EA extension.