The owners will decide on the future of NFL games in a virtual meeting, next week.
The NFL Owners are set to vote on the continuation of a licensing exclusivity deal with EA Sports next week. The deal would lock in the Madden franchise as the exclusive home of the virtual NFL through the 2026 season.
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Senior NFL Reporter Albert Breer detailed the specifics of the agreement on Twitter: “People have asked if EA Sports’ deal will be exclusive. Here’s the language: ‘the exclusive right to manufacture, market and distribute NFL-themed realistic action simulation video games.’
“Rights are non-exclusive on ‘arcade-style games, youth games, and casual/mobile games.'”
2K Sports announced they’ve reached a multiyear agreement with the NFL in March; however, no specifics regarding the type of games 2K aims to make have been released.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explained the context surrounding the situation this week writing, “EA Sports absorbed plenty of criticism for shutting down the 2K series, which many gamers preferred to Madden. There also have been concerns that the lack of competition has prompted EA to become complacent when it comes to innovating the Madden game.”
EA first purchased exclusive rights to produce NFL games in 2004. Prior to that, both companies released NFL games annually.
The vote will take place during next week’s virtual owners meeting.