The Madden franchise will continue to be a part of the gaming universe for at least the next six years.
NFL owners on Thursday approved an extension of their deal with Electronic Arts, continuing a relationship that has existed for 30 years. It was also recently approved by the NFL Players Association.
The current contract was set to expire after the 2021 season. The extension means that EA Sports will continue to be the league's exclusive publisher of football simulation games through 2026.
âEA Sports executive vice president Cam Weber said the two sides had been talking for months. Many wondered what the future of the relationship might be after 2K Sports signed an agreement with the NFL in March to produce non-simulation games.
The current edition of Madden has seen a 30% increase in unique players. According to Electronic Arts, more than 330 million hours of the game have been played since it was released last August. The company also has seen large increases in game play during the past couple of months as people have been confined to their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic, with many tournaments taking place among friends and on television.
Rachel Hoagland, the league's vice president and head of gaming and esports, said keeping the Madden franchise at the core of their video gaming strategy was important, especially with the emergence of new platforms and gaming systems. Sony and Microsoft have announced new generations of gaming consoles that are expected to debut by the end of the year.
"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," she said.
Madden NFL 21 will come out in early August with the first looks at the game coming next week.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was last year's cover athlete. Baltimore quarterback and reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson said in April that he would be on the cover this year, but EA Sports has not made an announcement.
Competition breeds innovation and Madden hasn't had any real competition since NFL2K5.
Ever since Christmas 2003 when I got Madden 04 I have had a love/hate relationship with the game. Even back then in middle school we would joke about how they made the same game every year. All they do consistently is update the rosters. With the exception of the failed QB vision experiment in Madden 06 what major innovations have come to the game play the last 15 years? (Hit Stick debuted in Madden 05)
Despite being the only NFL video game, the majority of Madden players think the game itself sucks. It's full of glitches and for the most part hasn't improved in 10 years.
I love John Madden as a football guy and have gotten a lot of pleasure in my life playing his video game, but there is no debate......Madden needs serious improvements. The graphics are below standard, the gameplay sucks, Superstar factors have ruined the game and don't even get me started on how ridiculous interceptions are. Madden and EA have been pure evil for years. They know football fans are hooked and they still put no effort in the game. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at EA to see all this innovation they're talking about?
"Should we change the kicking meter again?"
If you need any further proof at how bad Madden game play is CLICK THIS. The NFL needs to realize taking the bag up front from EA is so short sighted. If 2K got the rights it would be bigger than Madden within three years. They could blow it out of the water. I love Madden, but they need to step it up. Maybe they'll figure it out by the time I'm 40 and already dead for four years? (this is a fat joke; relax)