T Nation

NFL and EA Exclusive License...


... and why videogame football sucks these days

NFL Extending Exclusive License with EA Sports By One More Year:

"Another year of an exclusive NFL license is significant for EA. The companyâ??s first deal in 2005 gave the publisher sole rights to league and player marks and intellectual property, eliminating vibrant competition from 2K Sportsâ?? â??NFL 2Kâ?? series. That ushered in a wave of full- and semi-exclusive deals in sports video game licensing. "

I really like NFL football and it sucks to think there may be a lockout this season. That said, I'm also a huge sports video game player. Lately I've been playing the hell out of NBA 2k11 - and I'm not really a big NBA or basketball fan. The game is just sick. This company really should make an NFL game but can't, because of the exclusive license deal.

The last few years I've tried the Madden games and they are just real shoddy products. Compared to other genres, there is no competition and therefore EA doesn't have to try hard to make a great game. I gave my brother back his copy when I beat the computer 70 somthing to 14 on all pro. I wish there was another alternative.


play on ALL-Madden? in that setting u drop all passes, fumble all runs, and usually throw nothing but INT's


My only complaint about NBA 2k11 is the online play is bad - mostly because Take-Two isn't a big enough company to have a network of servers like EA - a huge company that publishes many solid games (Mass Effect probably my favorite of all time).

The issue here is without competition, there is not need to up the budget and wow consumers. Madden will sell millions of copies because people love the NFL in this country. But I've read in a few places that Madden sales are down year over year.


Is that what Miami did this year.

:slight_smile: What up vinnie.


pretty much... god it hurts so much being a fins fan esp after marino retired back in 2000...

oh and OP play online madden is better when u play against people... or start a league with ure friends... thats the easiest way to find value in madden... i've played nfl2k before and it was a solid game, but it will never catch on... for every person that hates madden is 10 more that love it... any change or competition will just be out marketed by madden and EA... every year there's still people that preorder madden... and u can't say they haven't been innovative the QB vision feature they had a few years back is prolli the most accurate way to play a football game but people bitched and moaned about how difficult it was to play with it on so they scrapped it the following year...

hi DJ :stuck_out_tongue:


I feel you man... I still play some 2k5 football some of these days. However I don't think the NFL is wrong. They gave EA the job bc the last football game 2K released really wasn't that good. Competition is good for the consumer, but the exclusiveness might be better for overall profits.


I'm not bashing the business move - it is money in the bank. 2k sports (and any other company besides EA) has not been allowed to make an NFL game since EA bought the license. 2k5 was the last serious competition and sold only 1/3 of the units as Madden. 2k made a football game called All Pro football which was essentially a graphics overhall to 2k5, with improved physics. The game did not sell well at all. Because it had made up teams and players, no one felt the need to try it. The game itself has superior physics and play mechanics than any other football game (Backbreaker has awesome physics but is totally over the top).

Many still think that NFL 2k5, with its ESPN presentation including a half time show with Chris Berman, was the beginning of something great. Madden 2005 was also a fantastic product, many purists saying it was the best Madden. Both companies had to be at their best to keep the money rolling in.

I'm sure Madden 11 online is fun. It has to be, it is the only NFL game. It would be nice for a game in 2011 to have features that were in a game six years ago. Where are the physics? The halftime show with highlights. NFL games are the slickest sports presentation on TV, probably of any live event (sports or not). Why hasn't Madden caught up? Because they don't have to.

Trust me, try NBA 2k11 and then tell me Madden couldn't do far more to improve the game. Madden might be the only NFL we see this year, it may as well be good.


i did like the espn highlights... but after two franchise seasons i just wanted to play football... the first time i played through it though it was neat....


The 2K5 actually sold extremely well because if it's high quality and its superb presentation. There are STILL large groups of people who update their roster on the game and and play out their seasons on the original XBL until it was shut down a couple years ago.

EA paid big money to get the exclusive license and added an condition in the contract that the NFL gets a minimum percentage per unit that will insure that the game can never be sold at the $20 price point again. EA hasn't made a good madden game since '05. Since then the innovation has been lacking. The last Madden game I played had a rewind feature so you can do over bad plays... how fucking stupid is that?

Madden needs competition, I will always prefer madden over any other NFL game but I want to see some actual effort being put into the game I buy. The shit they put out now is like their saying "your gonna have nothing new and like it god dammit!"

Also I think the OP might be right about 2K games someday surpassing Madden, look what happened to NBA live...


I didn't buy Madden when I got my PS3 b/c majority of reviews bashed it.

I only picked up a used copy of 2010 b/c it was $10, and must say I don't see why all the hate.


At the heart of it, it is still Madden and it's going to be fun. It's just the lack of innovation, it's almost an exact facsimile of the last one that came out. They might as well just make each new Madden just a DLC that you pay $15 for instead of 59.99 for updated rosters and a couple new tackle animations.


Ok, that I agree with. why people rush out to buy the newest copy is beyond me.

Heck, I bought NHL 09 and love that game. Sure, I could have paid $60 for the ability to see some broken sticks, but whatever