Business Casual: NFL and EA Extend Madden Video Game Contract Through 2026


Selling more than 130 million copies since it started in 1989, thus, making it one of two video sports games ever to sell more than 100 million copies, the Madden franchise will continue to be a part of the gaming world for at least the next six years. Recently approving an extension of their contract that was set to expire after the 2021 season, the NFL and Electronic Arts (EA) are continuing a relationship that has existed for 30 years, making EA Sports the league’s exclusive publisher of football simulation games through 2026. Worth $1 billion to the NFL and $500 million to the players, as well as $500 million in marketing commitments, this deal tightens the ‘Madden’ grip on the video game market.

NFL VP-Head of Gaming and eSports Rachel Hoagland believes that keeping the Madden franchise at the core of the league’s video gaming strategy is vital, commenting, “EA has done a nice job of ensuring the game matches the experience during a game week. The new technology will allow richer content and add more realism.”

Daniel Litwin, Taylor Bagley, and Tyler Kern take on all things pigskin on this Business Casual snippet. First, the hosts break down the various parts of the new contract, EA’s exclusive rights to NFL simulation games that have existed since 2005 versus the NFL’s recent deal with 2K to debut a non-simulation (arcade-style) NFL game, and the loosening of NCAA football videogame licensing restrictions that will now allow college players to profit off their likenesses. But the Business Casual tag-team also discuss how optimistic conversations centered around the NHL, NBA and MLB reopening their seasons soon will impact the NFL’s decision to retake the field, as well as the NFL Players Association’s stance on player safety.

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