Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) has signed a "multi-year" renewal of the simulation sports title "Madden NFL."
The agreement has ensured the NFL and NFL Players Association would not open up the simulation license to other game publishers. EA will continue to hold the contract and carry the exclusive ability to "manufacture, market and distribute NFL-themed realistic action simulation video games."
While the renewal was technically up for a vote on Thursday, EA confirmed all parties had agreed to the terms ahead of time. However, financial terms were not revealed. An NFL representative confirmed the new deal will run for six years "starting today," which will push the exclusivity contract through May 2026.
According to MMQB's Albert Breer, the deal includes a possible one-year extension depending on if EA can hit certain revenue targets.
Per source, NFL owners just voted to approve an extension of their deal with Electronic Arts. This one will run through the 2025 season (and through 2026 if revenue markers are hit).
So when it comes to that kind of game, it'll be Madden for a while.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 28, 2020
New Contract Comes At Important Time
The NFL's past deal was scheduled to expire in 2022, and rival Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) revealed in March it will partner with the NFL to produce a series of "non-simulation" games. While EA will hold exclusive NFL representation in-game, Take-Two could introduce a dose of competition that hasn't existed in a while. The last football title Take-Two released was "All Pro Football 2K8" in 2007.
With EA's agreement only applying to simulation games, other types of experiences like arcade-style games are open to anyone.
Despite the competition, EA's new deal has helped the company. Shares rose 3.4% to $121.35, the company's highest since August 2018.
“The expansion of this partnership is not only about the continued success of the Madden NFL franchise but also the creation of new avenues for our fans to connect with the sport they love,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told Polygon.
Photo by Sean Do on Unsplash
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