EA maintains exclusive Madden NFL license

recma12

Member
First of all, I am just as bummed out as anyone by EA.
Football is my #1 sport and the American version my #2. Haven't bought a Madden since 2012 and FIFA since 2015.

EA will have to mess up really bad for the NFL to go elsewhere.

Yup. For every disgruntled old-timer that remembers the days of NFL 2K and PES (when it was still good) there will be 10 overhyped 12 yr olds that look forward to EA Sports titles, willing to pay money on MUT/FUT packs.
The NFL really couldn't care less about hardcore gamers and metacritic, as long as EA passes along that sweet MUT cash every year.

Foregone conclusion. There's only one game per sport now, except for soccer where Konami maintains a rearguard action.

Well, Konami and FIFA aren't really competing anymore. It's a pretty lopsided rivalry, where FIFA is the Patriots and PES is the Buffalo Bills.

EA has the exclusive licenses for the Premier League (by far the most popular league in the world) and the Bundesliga (Germany is the worlds biggest gaming market outside of the US).
That's about as good as having the NFL license.
Konami only has some deals in place with a handful of clubs and isn't even THAT much better than FIFA gameplay-wise.
Back in the PS1 and PS2 days, PES was so much better than FIFA that people were putting up with the fake names.


Oh well, who's going to invest in it now besides them anyway? 2K isn't what they used to be, they'd probably charge extra for every coach and cheerleader on the sidelines lol I used to love the 2K football games but they were very arcade like and easy compared to madden, I could run 300 yards a game with Phillip Rivers lol.

Problem is, no matter how shitty Madden has gotten, it would be pretty hard FOR ANYONE to buy the license and build a football game from scratch.
Sports games have gotten a lot more complicated since the 2000s, EA and 2K heavily rely on their pre-built assets.

Activision would probably have the cash to build or buy a studio, but remember how EA Sports had such a hard time to revive NBA Live?
Pretty sure 2K Sports would have similar issues getting a NFL game off the ground.
Don't believe anyone wants to pay the NFL a gazillion dollars for 5 years, when it might take them 3 years to figure out how to make a competetive NFL game.
 

PerfectDark

Member
Sport games were ruined 6 years ago so does not even matter anymore. We have no college sports, no football game even playable. Just dumb greedy people.

No idea why someone just doesn't make a football game with random teams and random generated players. NFL sucks anyways. College sports games were 1000xs better and you could randomize all names and ratings it didn't matter.

Nobody would pick a trash NFL game over a awesome generic football game.
 

GreatnessRD

Member
While this is sad, it isn't unexpected. The NFL ain't shit and just want the checks to keep flowing in. Hopefully one day we'll get back to the days of competition. But I ultimately think that's an era gone by.
 

recma12

Member
While this is sad, it isn't unexpected. The NFL ain't shit and just want the checks to keep flowing in. Hopefully one day we'll get back to the days of competition. But I ultimately think that's an era gone by.

Yeah, the old days (NFL Fever, NFL 2K, NFL Gameday, Madden etc) will never come back.
The NFL (and other sports leagues) figured out that selling exclusive rights makes them more money.

The math and logic behind it is simple.

Let's say EA pays 100m€ for the exclusive right to be the only game in town.
This mean they will pay 1m€ for 1% market share.
Only risk they take is that the market for NFL games goes down a lot (unlikely).

Would EA be willing to pay 50m€ for a license if 2K also gets one?
Very doubtful, because in this scenario EA wouldn't be guaranteed a 50% market share.
If NFL 2K is a lot better than Madden, they could end up with only 20% market share.
Moreover, EA would also have to spend more on development to compete with a rival game.
Same would apply to 2K Sports.

So basically, neither company would want to pay the NFL 50m€ because of the risk involved.
In total the NFL wouldn't make 100m€. That's why they look for an exclusive partner and it seems like EA are the only ones with deep enough pockets.
 

Faenrir

Member
Why bother, though.
Madden 19 is on PC, which means it can be used to have new rosters. I've only bought 2 modern madden games and 1 NCAA one.

The real problem with sports games is the focus on stupid card crap with random loot.
I couldn't care less about that, i play either multiplayer games or careers/seasons solo.
I wish they'd make better career modes in Madden. The draft for instance, is worse in Madden 19 than it was in Madden 13... =/
 
Last edited:

Guileless

Temp Banned for Remedial Purposes
Problem is, no matter how shitty Madden has gotten, it would be pretty hard FOR ANYONE to buy the license and build a football game from scratch.
Sports games have gotten a lot more complicated since the 2000s, EA and 2K heavily rely on their pre-built assets.

Activision would probably have the cash to build or buy a studio, but remember how EA Sports had such a hard time to revive NBA Live?
Pretty sure 2K Sports would have similar issues getting a NFL game off the ground.
Don't believe anyone wants to pay the NFL a gazillion dollars for 5 years, when it might take them 3 years to figure out how to make a competetive NFL game.

Agreed, the investment needed to buy the licenses and build a game from scratch would be prohibitive. It's never going to happen. The economics of game development are completely different than the good old days when I would buy Gameday, Madden, NFL QB Club, NFL Blitz, and NFL Fever in the same year.
 

recma12

Member
Agreed, the investment needed to buy the licenses and build a game from scratch would be prohibitive. It's never going to happen. The economics of game development are completely different than the good old days when I would buy Gameday, Madden, NFL QB Club, NFL Blitz, and NFL Fever in the same year.

I also think that online play and other features have made it tougher.

If you want to go up against Madden, NBA 2K, FIFA or MLB The Show you are not only competing against the actual gameplay, graphics and audio of these games.
You are also up against YouTubers, eSports players, Streamers and other influencers. Massive communities that play these games year in year out for hundreds of hours.
Back in the PS1 days, I bought FIFA and PES because after a while I got bored playing. Now with online modes, card games and stuff any sports game is a 365 days thing. No room for much else.
 
Since I know probably half the Madden dev team personally..... I am not ok with this. They are waaay too close to the forest to see the trees at this point. Many have been at EA Tiburon their entire career. They NEED competition. I was really hoping that the rumored new 2k studio in Lake Mary was true. Was supposed to be for poaching madden devs for a competing NFL game. Oh well, at least I hope teh terms are better and it does not require them to make more filler games (HeadCoach, Street, Arena Football, etc).

I met one of the EASports upper echelon guys at a family function in Eugene Oregon a few years ago. The dude was a major pompous ass dickhead to put it mildly. His arrogance tweaked me enough I let fly with a little passive aggressive joking around that it'd be cool if they could finally make a football game better than 2K5 after 11 years, smiled, and walked off. 😅
 

diffusionx

Member
EA will have to mess up really bad for the NFL to go elsewhere.

They have messed up really bad, the games are a joke now. They don't play like real football (see that Madden pro competition where the guy won by never throwing a pass) and are just designed to hook you into the UT casino. The NFL, though, primary cares about tying themselves to top brands with flashy sponsorships, which for some reason, EA is still considered to be. They don't care about putting an accurate representation of their sport out there.
 

teezzy

Banned
Really wish NFL itself can't be exclusively licensed to a single company.
Let there be a Madden NFL, an NFL Blitz 2020 and any other NFL game someone can imagine.

Madden being the only option for NFL is just rotten titties.

I just wanted to say that i adore your avatar. My favorite controller for the longest time.
 

anthraticus

Member
The real problem with sports games is the focus on stupid card crap with random loot.
For me the real problem has been how they've played. (I stopped playing before all that stuff you mentioned even became a thing)

The big problem I have with modern sports games is they want everything to be almost photo realistic in animations and presentation. So it makes the games feel cpu automated at times and not very responsive at all, controls wise. They aren’t twitch fun like sports actually are or like the older versions of the games were more like.
 
Last edited:

Kokoloko85

Member
Sucks
Really would like other companies to work with Madden and Fifa.

Without those yearly money makers EA would be dead.... and rightfully so
 

Cleared_Hot

Member
Oh well, who's going to invest in it now besides them anyway? 2K isn't what they used to be, they'd probably charge extra for every coach and cheerleader on the sidelines lol I used to love the 2K football games but they were very arcade like and easy compared to madden, I could run 300 yards a game with Phillip Rivers lol.
I'd love to see San Diego Studio tackle football. THE SHOW has always been fantastic.
 
Last edited:

Cleared_Hot

Member
Yeah, the old days (NFL Fever, NFL 2K, NFL Gameday, Madden etc) will never come back.
The NFL (and other sports leagues) figured out that selling exclusive rights makes them more money.

The math and logic behind it is simple.

Let's say EA pays 100m€ for the exclusive right to be the only game in town.
This mean they will pay 1m€ for 1% market share.
Only risk they take is that the market for NFL games goes down a lot (unlikely).

Would EA be willing to pay 50m€ for a license if 2K also gets one?
Very doubtful, because in this scenario EA wouldn't be guaranteed a 50% market share.
If NFL 2K is a lot better than Madden, they could end up with only 20% market share.
Moreover, EA would also have to spend more on development to compete with a rival game.
Same would apply to 2K Sports.

So basically, neither company would want to pay the NFL 50m€ because of the risk involved.
In total the NFL wouldn't make 100m€. That's why they look for an exclusive partner and it seems like EA are the only ones with deep enough pockets.
Brand name is everything though and it would take years again for 2k football to match Madden sales. But then again, 2k5 released for $20 and was, without a shred of doubt, the superior football game. If they could do that, it would be easier to catch up.

All-Pro Football 2K8 is, to this day, the best football game ever made.
 
Last edited:

nordique

Member
Remember when Madden releases were a big thing? Maybe they still are in some circles but it feels like the general press doesn't really care as much anymore.

Game prress doesn't care, gamers such as myself don't care (not an american football fan), and none of us in that category would really hit up IGN to see videos of the latest Madden or gameplay impressions...it doesn't matter to me and many people who enjoy more story drive hardcore games (that said, I am a FIFA fan because its damn good fun...but I am not picking it up every year)

But Madden itself s a consistent and persistent chart topper. Its still one of the best selling franchises, most people who own video game systems are not on even the largest gaming forums and they contribute to the general sales
 
Last edited:

THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
This is bad news, was looking foreward to the possibility of a 2k team working on nfl game, it just felt more connected to the actual players overall. In the absence of this, is there any way to convince ea to study 2k basketball in a big way and come up with a new control scheme, or at least something as an alternate scheme?
 

EDMIX

Member
Everyone seem unhappy about this, but still everyone buy the game. So it will stay the same.

Everyone? Maybe everyone doesn't hold that opinion as to why the game still moves millions of units. Remember when "everyone" was unhappy with Battlefront? So unhappy it moved 14 million units making it the best selling Star Wars game of all time.

I think maybe folks need to seriously relax with this "everyone" concept. Nothing is wrong with a few having different opinions regarding something, but we seriously can't be out here saying stuff like "everyone" this or that. So its staying the same because that opinion regarding Madden is not shared by the majority of Madden fans.

Most of this board literally is not the majority of that series fanbase to really try to pretend as if they really, really speak for the majority lol I don't know how many are really buying a game they don't like, but I think many folks need to conceded that not as many people REALLY share their views regarding this series as much as they'd like to believe.


be like "oh the series ruined bro", I bet Its going to do soooooo bad, its going to break records....

diffusionx diffusionx "They have messed up really bad, the games are a joke now"

Evidence that they have "messed up really bad" is the games are "a joke now"?

That just isn't really a compelling argument. Its simply saying you are upset. If the game continues to break record sales, you will continue to see EA hold that license. "They don't play like real football" not stopping it from selling. "designed to hook you into the UT casino" not stopping it from selling it.

I'm failing to see the "messed up really bad" part here for the publisher. If anyone wants to see the license gone from EA, we'd have to do better then the game a "joke". NFL only cares about the record sales EA moves for them, you or anyone thinking the game is a joke doesn't mean jack if THE MAJORITY don't care, don't agree and still buy Madden.

Look at it like this.

It would be like me saying Call Of Duty is messing up REALLY BAD BRO. "designed to hook you into the UT casino with MT" and or "They don't play like real shooting in real life" and or a joke. That view of COD is NOT shared by the majority as its sales reflect otherwise, thus such a view means next to nothing to Call Of Duty fans, it simply means I MYSELF have a want for the series that MOST do not really share considering the games current sales. Nothing wrong with having that view, but at the least understand its a view you and very few share. Not enough to make a dent in Madden's core install base for anyone to even bat an eye...
 
Last edited:

RayHell

Member
Everyone? Maybe everyone doesn't hold that opinion as to why the game still moves millions of units. Remember when "everyone" was unhappy with Battlefront? So unhappy it moved 14 million units making it the best selling Star Wars game of all time.

I think maybe folks need to seriously relax with this "everyone" concept. Nothing is wrong with a few having different opinions regarding something, but we seriously can't be out here saying stuff like "everyone" this or that. So its staying the same because that opinion regarding Madden is not shared by the majority of Madden fans.

Most of this board literally is not the majority of that series fanbase to really try to pretend as if they really, really speak for the majority lol I don't know how many are really buying a game they don't like, but I think many folks need to conceded that not as many people REALLY share their views regarding this series as much as they'd like to believe.


be like "oh the series ruined bro", I bet Its going to do soooooo bad, its going to break records....

diffusionx diffusionx "They have messed up really bad, the games are a joke now"

Evidence that they have "messed up really bad" is the games are "a joke now"?

That just isn't really a compelling argument. Its simply saying you are upset. If the game continues to break record sales, you will continue to see EA hold that license. "They don't play like real football" not stopping it from selling. "designed to hook you into the UT casino" not stopping it from selling it.

I'm failing to see the "messed up really bad" part here for the publisher. If anyone wants to see the license gone from EA, we'd have to do better then the game a "joke". NFL only cares about the record sales EA moves for them, you or anyone thinking the game is a joke doesn't mean jack if THE MAJORITY don't care, don't agree and still buy Madden.

Look at it like this.

It would be like me saying Call Of Duty is messing up REALLY BAD BRO. "designed to hook you into the UT casino with MT" and or "They don't play like real shooting in real life" and or a joke. That view of COD is NOT shared by the majority as its sales reflect otherwise, thus such a view means next to nothing to Call Of Duty fans, it simply means I MYSELF have a want for the series that MOST do not really share considering the games current sales. Nothing wrong with having that view, but at the least understand its a view you and very few share. Not enough to make a dent in Madden's core install base for anyone to even bat an eye...

So we both agree none of that affect the sales of the game. The thing we disagree is that "everyone" (it's a figure of speech btw) is mad about it because this gives the industry no room for healthy competition and monopoly is never a good thing for consumer. But since it's their only choice people still buy the game cause their crave for playing an NFL game is bigger than the will of making a statement. You cannot look at the sales number and say "nobody care in the end". Put a real opponent against EA and see if people switch the the new guy.
Back in early 2000 EA was slacking on Madden quality and 2K became the top NFL game that everyone enjoyed. Instead of stepping up their game up, they strike that deal with the NFL and boom 2K Sport was out of the game. Also sales numbers are irrelevant for the NFL the only thing relevant for them is the big paycheck they receive from EA in exchange of the exclusivity.
 
Last edited:

EDMIX

Member
But since it's their only choice people still buy the game cause their crave for playing an NFL game is bigger than the will of making a statement.

They don't buy by default, they clearly enjoy something from it to part with their money. Most I don't really believe are buying or not buying something to make statements.


You cannot look at the sales number and say "nobody care in the end"

I can look at them at understand most don't enough to not buy it. That is the ultimate measurement that we can really take from this. Those are just not issues enough for the fans to not buy something they enjoy, I just don't believe most are buying something by default or out of spite etc.

Put a real opponent against EA and see if people switch the the new guy.

Who knows, if such a thing happened it could see sides shift, but we just don't see enough sales lost to really suggest that much are really displeased with the product being put out.

. Also sales numbers are irrelevant for the NFL the only this relevant for them is the big paycheck they receive from EA in exchange of the exclusivity.

I don't know about all that. I don't know the details of their deal, but I doubt NFL is not taking a cut from each game sold.

Its not saying its not an issue for some, simply that those with the issue just don't make up enough of that install base to make much of a difference when you have Madden breaking records in sales still. Consider, I don't care for Call Of Duty today, I enjoy the classic 3 killstreak combo with COD4. I don't make up ENOUGH of that install base to argue that the current way that everyone is "unhappy" with it, when a game is moving record units. It simply means I'm the odd man out.

Regarding Madden, I think its really safe to say some here are the odd men out as those sales are just waaaay too high to really entertain any majority is unhappy with it.
 

Pejo

Member
Sports games are dead, and have been for the last 10 years. Fuck EA and the NFL for keeping this shitty practice going.
 

theclaw135

Member
The NFL grew wary of the war between competing games, and decided to put a stop to it. I doubt there would be NFL video games anymore if EA had refused to agree to exclusivity as a condition of their license renewal.
 
Top Bottom