Just when you thought Take-Two Interactive was building football momentum to possibly bring back NFL 2K on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii when EA’s exclusive agreement with the NFL and NFL Players expired, Peter Moore and EA Sports swooped in and extended the exclusive agreement well into the next decade.
As officially announced by Electronic Arts, the gaming studio has re-upped their exclusive agreement with the NFL and NFL Players through the end of the 2012 season. The official end date for the agreement is February 2013.
As with the previous agreement, EA has exclusive rights to use the NFL and NFL Players in “all aspects of the interactive experience, including console and handheld games as well as console-based online features.” So Madden will continue to be the only NFL game on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii. In addition, EA has full access to NFL Films and, interestingly, the NFL Network.
Where does this leave Take-Two Interactive and their 2007 return to football gaming? As with last summer’s All-Pro Football 2K8, the only option available to the publisher is tapping into retired players from yesteryear. And we all witnessed how well that worked out.
More importantly, where does this leave us? Without real competition, there is nothing to stop EA from cranking out slightly tweaked versions of Madden year after year. Peter Moore, say it isn’t so.
“We are excited about the opportunity to extend and expand our relationships with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS,” said Peter. “For nearly two decades, EA SPORTS has been bringing sports fans closer to the great game of football through the breakthrough interactive experiences of our videogames. Game quality is our top priority, and we’re committed to pushing our gameplay innovation, connecting football fans via rich online experiences and delivering the most visually stunning sports games on the market.”