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NFL Owners Agree to Extend EA's Exclusive Rights Through 2025 Season

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Madden NFL 21

NFL Owners Agree to Extend EA's Exclusive Rights Through 2025 Season

The history of NFL video games is a long and winding journey. However, for the last 15 years, it has been dominated by Madden as EA acquired exclusive rights back in 2005. This changed the history of gaming as we know it.

So, when we heard a a few months ago that NFL 2K would start to work on an arcade-style NFL game, many had hoped that would mean an eventual return of the very popular NFL 2K series.

Unfortunately, that won’t happen in the next five years (at least).

According to Albert Breer, the owners passed a bill today that would extend Electronic Arts’ exclusive rights through the 2025 season. If Madden reaches certain financial barometers, the deal would extend through the 2026 season.

For many, this is not good news. That being said, it’s not unexpected news coming off what we heard last week. If the owners were getting ready to vote, it was more just a rubber stamp than anything as they had already approved the measure behind the scenes.

The only hope some fans have is that maybe EA will keep things fresh as they transition to the next-generation of gaming. Maybe they will spend more time making Connected Franchise a realistic representation of running an NFL front office. Maybe, they will bring back the ever-popular mini-camp mini-games. The list of things that fans would like to see implemented are endless, and with the exclusive rights now under EA’s control, the time for change is now.

Madden Ultimate Team is nice and there’s a place for X-factors and other arcade-like features. But what fans really want to see here at OS is a realistic representation of the sport we love.

In 2005, NFL 2K delivered (and so did Madden). And many fans have been hoping, praying for games like that ever since.

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  1. I dream of a day when I can play a football game that both is fun and realistically depicts the sport like a game in the 2020s should. That dream never seemed farther away. 
    Man, Bleacher Report Gridiron’s FB page just reported this, and the response is already overwhelmingly poor. 2K has to at least try to give fans a sim football experience with full customization and a franchise mode. People are tired of this being the only option for America’s most popular sport.
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    TheGentlemanGhost
    Man, Bleacher Report Gridiron’s FB page just reported this, and the response is already overwhelmingly poor. 2K has to at least try to give fans a sim football experience with full customization and a franchise mode. People are tired of this being the only option for America’s most popular sport.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    I'm still excited to see what 2k has up there sleeve & hope it's an actual console/PC 11 on 11 game.
    I saw this coming so I'm not that upset about it as I should be, but seeing this made my blood boil

    "plan of innovation"? Innovation should be the standard! the expectation! and they have failed for years to innovate. you know when we saw the most innovation from our football video games? back when there was competition. what a joke.
    Crazy to hear someone being quoted "EA made the best case and beat the competition soundly". I wonder if the "soundly" was the amount of money they offered.
    Surprised so many people thought the NFL wouldn't take the most guaranteed money they could get over competition.
    Inevitable, obvious move.
    2k cannot compete with Madden at this juncture in terms of an NFL game. They have no proven football engine, no dev team set, nothing. They'd go broke trying to steal the license away and basically create a game from scratch in the next 15 months. The only way this changes the next time the license is up is if they prove they can create an 11v11 football game that looks and plays better than Madden, and do it multiple years in a row.
    Royals Baseball: Catch the Thrill!
    ASZEMPLE
    I’m curious what they presented to the NFL to make them the clear winner.

    Whatever case EA made, they no doubt backed it with sales and MUT numbers. No other publisher has a proven and established record of $$$'s with the license in the last 15 years. This was a sales pitch. We can say what we want about the quality of Madden but it makes money and business-wise, EA is no joke. Not difficult to see how the NFL was easily convinced.
    Hopefully, with 2k now making NFL Football titles (arcade, semi-sim or otherwise), they will have a compelling argument of their own next time around.
    Anytime someone defends Madden to me with exclusive rights, I'm just going to say a Punter at QB won the Madden bowl. A PUNTER! Oh that is like as realistic as you can get. I hope my cards cut Kyler Murray and sign Marquette King to hand the ball off with no passes. Wait he is too good because he is quick. Better find a slower punter............ Exclusive rights brings out the best in companies........
    Definitely disappointed with this news...I’m a massive Madden fan and I play almost exclusively on Franchise mode. I feel that franchise has been neglected for so long due to EA not having any competition in the market place...I hope that EA has some big plans for Franchise mode, but I’m very doubtful.
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    oldmanonsilvercreek
    Just hoping 2k comes up with a generic game like Axis football or Doug Flutie maximum football.* I am sure it would sell well.

    I don't think that's going to happen since they have a deal with the NFL for non simulation games.
    BleedGreen710
    "EA beat the competition soundly" what did they do? Have a punter give the proposal?

    They talked out of their backside. They lied. They backed up the brinks truck.
    disappointing...
    Milticket
    I don't think that's going to happen since they have a deal with the NFL for non simulation games.

    I think he means a generic football game like doug flutie/axis football are (which wouldnt need NFL permission).
    I'd do anything for another All Pro Football 2k game
    This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. 2K never had a chance to get sim game rights.
    Every time the license was ending, it was renewed with no other competition in mind. EA pays astronomical money and the NFL likes exclusive relationships.
    We'll most likely see the start of the "plan of Innovation" at EA Play Live and maybe a tidbit on Monday's Trailer. It is frustrating seeing that they considered opening license but went with EA's plan of innovation. Seeing that along with new genres and expanding to more casual crowd, my initial thought is "Can you at least get the core game(gameplay and franchise) set first before you try to be all innovative". I see being innovative, but at least make sure the game is improved first. Its like installing a new stereo into a car instead of fixing the check engine light issue lol.
    "the multi-year renewal of the partnership means more football simulation games from EA, as well as “additional, innovative ways to play through new genres, expanded esports programs, arcade-style and enhance mobile experiences, and more, across platforms.”
    When I see that, I think innovative is primarily "casual friendly". Especially "new genres". I think more arcade style modes. With NBA Live(not best example lol) having street mode, then Fifa having a street mode and NHL having an outdoor mode, it is very likely Madden implements a arcade style Street mode
    BleedGreen710
    I think he means a generic football game like doug flutie/axis football are (which wouldnt need NFL permission).
    I'd do anything for another All Pro Football 2k game

    I understood what he said, but why would they dump any resources in a generic game when they can put the NFL brand on their games now & probably actually sell it. They had 12 yrs since allpro to do a generic game...why would they start now. I doubt 2k was even at the table for this, since they already had a deal in place for non sim games. Sometimes you have to prove yourself until you can dance with the almighty NFL.
    BleedGreen710
    I think he means a generic football game like doug flutie/axis football are (which wouldnt need NFL permission).
    I'd do anything for another All Pro Football 2k game

    Seeing NFL emphasis casual approach for 2k, makes me worry that NFL will fully influence what 2k can do. I seen a lot of us making suggestions of ways 2k could get around the "non-simulation" restrictions. But I can see NFL wanting 2k's game to be a very specific theme and not allow any get around or a All Pro Football style games
    Connect the dots with the recent news. The NFL probably squeezed more of out EA by threatening to open the license to multiple companies. Plus, they secured additional revenue from 2K for non simulation games. The NFL probably made EA sweat. EA responded with the “innovation” pitch to meet NFL objectives. The NFL is keeping the pressure on with an aggressive option year based on revenue goals. Curious if EA’s pitch to the NFL was the same smoke and mirrors they use to market to consumers. My guess is the NFL never intended to open the license. They used 2K as a pawn to get a better deal from EA.
    Just my speculation. It appears the NFL used classic negotiation to get the best deals. Unfortunately, this isn’t a win for the consumer.
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    Milticket
    I understood what he said, but why would they dump any resources in a generic game when they can put the NFL brand on their games now & probably actually sell it. They had 12 yrs since allpro to do a generic game...why would they start now. I doubt 2k was even at the table for this, since they already had a deal in place for non sim games. Sometimes you have to prove yourself until you can dance with the almighty NFL.

    I agree. Nothing has prevented 2k from making a fully fictional APF. 2k definitely wanted to wait for NFL license to come available. 2k definitely cares about sales. 2k dropped it's struggling sports series to focus primarily NBA2k. They had the 3rd party MLB license and still couldn't compete with a console exclusive. EA was quick to point out when the 2k deal was first announced that "our deal always allowed for non-simulation licenses". So I question, why now for 2k to jump into non-simulation market. 2k must have to prove themselves first. If this 2k deal was done a few years ago and 2k had a couple successful games under their belt at the time of exclusive license voting, it could be a different story. 2k is in situation where it really has to hit it out of the park with whatever they're making or Hope Madden doesn't hit that revenue benchmark to get to final extra year. If Madden hits the revenue benchmark, then NFL will for surely keep extending the license.
    The "NBA Live of American Football" continues it's reign as king of the virtual gridiron.
    Money ($$$) talks, walks and gets exclusive rights.
    It's all about the money. $$$
    This could have been presented as "Rocky and Bullwinkle Football" by EA and they still would have gotten the award from the NFL because of...wait for it..............money. $$$
    Did we expect anything else from a bunch of old guys who have never seen Madden in action let alone play it? We are now stuck with another 5 years of a monopoly. Madden will continue to be trash until the suits get out of the way and give the devs full creative freedom. Which we all know will never happen.
    I lost all hope for Madden improving under the current direction of this dev team when Clint said the reason for dive and inside zone plays being so effective is due to the fact they have to program the OL to get a 1-2 yard push up front at the snap, otherwise the OL will trip up the QB on his drop back. So instead of fixing that major legacy issue, they just toss a bandaid on it, so they can work on finishing whatever flashy "Back of the box" feature the suits mandated they include in the game.
    In other words EA are the Dallas Cowboys. Ownership (the suits) refuse to get out of the way and let the football people (the devs) do their jobs, resulting in a lackluster product every single year.
    Sent from my SM-G965U using Operation Sports mobile app
    So while the whole 2K vs EA thing never got off the ground the same way the wrestling war over ratings between WWE & WCW did, I've always thought of it the same... almost. Sorry for you non wrestling fans who won't understand what I'm about to say. After the buyout of WCW by Vince McMahon, WWE had some great years and put on solid shows for years. Madden after the exclusive license, had some great games released in the first several years of the exclusivity license.
    Sure wrestling fans complained about the product growing stale and complaints about WWE being content without competition. Guess what? Vince knew at the end of the day the fans were still going to watch, and EA knows the exact same thing. They know we will still buy the game no matter what, until people vote with their wallet and sales drop, then we have something to talk about.
    It sucks that we'll go another whole console generation without a competing sim game but it's a very good thing that the NFL added an incentive to get that last year of the deal. Hopefully the NFL will have changed their mind by then and re-open the simulation license up at that point but it is a sad day in the football gaming community.
    Considering the numbers being celebrated by EA over Madden 20, I expect little in changes for actual Simulation of American Football and merely more revenue generating methods being implemented to reach the goals set by the NFL in the next 5 years.
    Yeah nothing is going to change with out some one else making a football game to push them. Madden during ps2 gen was amazing. Ea also made good basketball games during ps2 and mvp baseball was good to. So its not that ea can't make good sports games its just why try if there is no one to push you? I know madden sales have dropped from back then but not enough as i am sure they are spending way less money to make the games then they used to when you count inflation+ all the money they make with things like ultimate team.
    4thQtrStre5S
    Considering the numbers being celebrated by EA over Madden 20, I expect little in changes for actual Simulation of American Football and merely more revenue generating methods being implemented to reach the goals set by the NFL in the next 5 years.

    But here’s my thing, why not let EA continue that route and open up it up for someone else to make a more “sim” game.
    If EA doesn’t want madden to be sim it doesn’t have to be, but what they have a monopoly on is basically a genre of game they aren’t even bothering to make. Give someone else a chance to make a good franchise mode since the majority of madden players and EA themselves don’t even care about it.
    SolidSquid
    But here’s my thing, why not let EA continue that route and open up it up for someone else to make a more “sim” game.
    If EA doesn’t want madden to be sim it doesn’t have to be, but what they have a monopoly on is basically a genre of game they aren’t even bothering to make. Give someone else a chance to make a good franchise mode since the majority of madden players and EA themselves don’t even care about it.

    Pretty sure EA's position for the past, uh - *checks notes* - thirty years is that Madden simulates real-life American football. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    SolidSquid
    But here’s my thing, why not let EA continue that route and open up it up for someone else to make a more “sim” game.
    If EA doesn’t want madden to be sim it doesn’t have to be, but what they have a monopoly on is basically a genre of game they aren’t even bothering to make. Give someone else a chance to make a good franchise mode since the majority of madden players and EA themselves don’t even care about it.

    Agreed 100%.
    I can't understand why so many get caught up on the licensing. A company just needs to come up with a football game; that has a solid foundation of game-play, a deep franchise mode, and detailed customization that allows editing of teams, players, etc. Licensing is trivial. Licensing just gives EA permission for a team at Madden, to create the uniforms (this community has that), and a team to create the players and rate them (this community has that). We can create the uniforms, helmets, etc... we can create and ACCURATELY rate the players. We just need a game that provides it to us.
    All I'm saying is... if someone can come up with a solid playing football game, that offers the tools for customization; that's all that is needed, and we can forget about Madden, at least until they get things in order, or at the very least, listen to the entire community.
    burter
    Anytime someone defends Madden to me with exclusive rights, I'm just going to say a Punter at QB won the Madden bowl. A PUNTER! Oh that is like as realistic as you can get. I hope my cards cut Kyler Murray and sign Marquette King to hand the ball off with no passes. Wait he is too good because he is quick. Better find a slower punter............ Exclusive rights brings out the best in companies........

    ...and your viewpoint would be quickly dismissed by many, there's never been anything sim about competitive Madden - by design. I don't understand why so many have been so willing to be duped by their own bias against EA to lean into that. I get that it illustrates that it is the kind of situation that could be accounted for in some forms (and we all hope it is), but has little to do with exclusivity.
    scitychamps87
    Just throwing this out there, couldn't EA's exclusive dealing relationship with the NFL be challenged under antitrust laws, as harming competition and the consumer?
    Sent from my XT1650 using Operation Sports mobile app

    NO.
    The NFL has the right to license their brand to whomever they like. 2K can make a simulation football if they like, it just can't be with the NFL branding.
    Nobody can force the NFL to license their images to someone.
    As someone mentioned already, when you have the audacity to flaunt your video game to the public & the "best" player wins with a punter at QB, not running a single pass play all tourney, it's an absolute embarrassment.
    The game peaked in the PS2/OG XBox era, and the game has gotten worse & worse & worse through the years. Madden 10-12 on 360/ps3 was probably the most sim/fun experience of football in that time span and it was still worse than the Madden 04-06 PS2 era.
    Introduce the frostbite engine with the XBOne/PS4 era, & the games feel even more cartoony & arcadey. Features are being stripped left & right from the PS2 era and the game is getting really bad.
    Then you have Madden 20, a game where passing the ball is an absolute nightmare & running the ball is too easy. A game where they continue to build MUT as the money making machine & even introduce an even more arcadey mode called SUPERSTAR KO that lets you play as rappers that have powerups.
    What has this game come to?
    willyfantastic
    well at least it saves me $60 every year until 2025

    Maybe next year they'll convince you that spending a decade lurking a forum for a game you don't even play is also a waste.
    willyfantastic
    well at least it saves me $60 every year until 2025

    If you buy Madden 20 on PC and utilize the available mods and utilities (and learn how to make your own mods), you can get a much better football game, and adjust the roster and schedule as you see fit. You could even create a 17 game schedule, if I'm not mistaken, by simply removing all the bye weeks and manually doing the schedule each season (have not tested this yet, but will within a few weeks).
    There is so much you can do. Heck, I adjusted kickoff times for the 49ers to reflect local time so their games aren't unrealistically covered in shadow. I mean, there is a LOT you can do with the PC version, not even looking at manually adjusting gameplay (or using gameplay mods).
    stinkubus
    Maybe next year they'll convince you that spending a decade lurking a forum for a game you don't even play is also a waste.

    To be fair, Operation Sports isn't Madden.com.
    El_Toro50
    Agreed 100%.
    I can't understand why so many get caught up on the licensing. A company just needs to come up with a football game; that has a solid foundation of game-play, a deep franchise mode, and detailed customization that allows editing of teams, players, etc. Licensing is trivial. Licensing just gives EA permission for a team at Madden, to create the uniforms (this community has that), and a team to create the players and rate them (this community has that). We can create the uniforms, helmets, etc... we can create and ACCURATELY rate the players. We just need a game that provides it to us.
    All I'm saying is... if someone can come up with a solid playing football game, that offers the tools for customization; that's all that is needed, and we can forget about Madden, at least until they get things in order, or at the very least, listen to the entire community.

    I hear you. I do wonder if there's a known or perceived threat of litigation from the NFL if a fully customizable simulation is available. Similar to the NCAA games of years past, I wonder if they'd have legal power to shut it down. That'd be a major risk for any investment into football, and sadly a requirement for many to be open to a different game.
    If it was just as simple as a customizable game - to me people would be making attempts at that.
    To comment o this overall, it's definitely sad. It reminds me just how much I appreciated playing simulation football, and how many years it took for Madden to burn the bridge with me. At this point, Madden is like cable TV to me - I won't touch it.
    I was explaining to my Wife yesterday the simple premise of using football plays to counter strategy makes all the difference. The requirement to make a dozen in house rules to make a game like Madden play remotely close to football is just a commitment I'm not willing to make. Honestly there's so many well balanced games available, why even struggle through that?!
    I am also just about done jumping through hoops to get the game to play as it should.
    Custom sliders at main menu but different set in CFM. House rules. Accelerated or standard clock. Can't use custom playbooks (better ones) in CFM. No roster carry overs year to year. Delete profiles. Restart PS4. Geez...it may as well be 1986 again.
    Have you ever seen the ridiculous rules you have to follow in the slider sets to get the game to play more realistically? It's absurd. So absurd that I have fired up the electric football field again!
    C
    NFL 2k came out when I was 11 years old about 16 years ago. Fast forward and I'm a 27 year old man and I haven't had a new NFL 2K experience. The recent news of EA locking up the deal made me finally accept we're never getting NFL 2K again. The license will expire, EA will overpay to keep 2K away(bars) and that'll be that.
    capa
    I am also just about done jumping through hoops to get the game to play as it should.
    Custom sliders at main menu but different set in CFM. House rules. Accelerated or standard clock. Can't use custom playbooks (better ones) in CFM. No roster carry overs year to year. Delete profiles. Restart PS4. Geez...it may as well be 1986 again.
    Have you ever seen the ridiculous rules you have to follow in the slider sets to get the game to play more realistically? It's absurd. So absurd that I have fired up the electric football field again!
    C

    I especially agree with you.
    Watching you and many others on this forum, spend countless thousands of hours to create sliders and rosters to get this game to play remotely correct; or, reading through most of the requirements needed with the slider sets (delete profile each game, different settings in Main/Franchise menus, turn game on/off three times, etc...) is absolutely ridiculous. Enough is enough.
    You would have to believe, that even as a suit, who's probably never been into video games, has to see the tens-of-thousands of reoccurring complaints over the years and think; this equals to lost sales to the franchise.
    Either they are unable to make changes, or unwilling to make the changes.
    El_Toro50
    I especially agree with you.
    Watching you and many others on this forum, spend countless thousands of hours to create sliders and rosters to get this game to play remotely correct; or, reading through most of the requirements needed with the slider sets (delete profile each game, different settings in Main/Franchise menus, turn game on/off three times, etc...) is absolutely ridiculous. Enough is enough.
    You would have to believe, that even as a suit, who's probably never been into video games, has to see the tens-of-thousands of reoccurring complaints over the years and think; this equals to lost sales to the franchise.
    Either they are unable to make changes, or unwilling to make the changes.

    Tens of thousands of complaints mean nothing to EA. The game is still selling millions of copies so it's still a small percentage of the total. They are making more and more money every year, why would they stop what they're doing.
    bronxct1
    Tens of thousands of complaints mean nothing to EA. The game is still selling millions of copies so it's still a small percentage of the total. They are making more and more money every year, why would they stop what they're doing.

    In the year 2004, UNC was having a very subpar year in football...and it was pretty much a done deal that head coach John Bunting would be fired. It was also a well known fact that Steve Spurrier was very interested in the job and would take it if/when offered. Then on a Saturday night in October, the #4 Miami Hurricanes came rolling into town...and the Tar Heels upset the Canes in Kenan Stadium. UNC went on to win 3 straight games, earn a birth to the Tire Bowl and lose to Boston College to finish with a 6-6 record. At seasons end, UNC rewarded John Bunting, the coach of a miracle upset and mediocre 6-6 record...after having 2 straight losing seasons the previous 2 seasons...with a 3 year contract extension!
    UNC would not have a winning record or reach a bowl game again under John Bunting...losing to the likes of Furman and getting fired 2 years later.
    I feel the same way about this news as I did when we gave Bunting an extension....
    The bottom line is that EA already has a football engine, art, code, etc in place and no other company that presented to the NFL does. Oh yeah and EA has $$$ thanks to idiots who pay for MUT cards.
    Godgers12

    In other words EA are the Dallas Cowboys. Ownership (the suits) refuse to get out of the way and let the football people (the devs) do their jobs, resulting in a lackluster product every single year.

    Pretty much reflective of American businesses in general at this point.
    Don't change until it is FAR too late and you have not chance whatsoever to recover.
    CreatineKasey
    I hear you. I do wonder if there's a known or perceived threat of litigation from the NFL if a fully customizable simulation is available. Similar to the NCAA games of years past, I wonder if they'd have legal power to shut it down. That'd be a major risk for any investment into football, and sadly a requirement for many to be open to a different game.
    If it was just as simple as a customizable game - to me people would be making attempts at that.
    To comment o this overall, it's definitely sad. It reminds me just how much I appreciated playing simulation football, and how many years it took for Madden to burn the bridge with me. At this point, Madden is like cable TV to me - I won't touch it.
    I was explaining to my Wife yesterday the simple premise of using football plays to counter strategy makes all the difference. The requirement to make a dozen in house rules to make a game like Madden play remotely close to football is just a commitment I'm not willing to make. Honestly there's so many well balanced games available, why even struggle through that?!

    I don’t think a customizable game would be a problem from a legal standpoint, it would be the ability to share our customizations with each other that would probably get them in trouble. Then again EA has lots of stuff they don’t have the rights to available for download, like custom rosters and draft classes with college players
    I am not much of a fan of the NFL, nor their restrictions on Madden. There are rules in the NFL which address hits on a QB. The fact that Madden prevents a user hitting a QB once the ball is thrown, apparently due to demands by the NFL, and allowing the personal foul penalty, for me, shows how little the NFL cares about simulation.
    Very disappointed again. EA Sports response to 2k's contract "EA Sports is the exclusive publisher of NFL simulation games" is a joke. Since when is Madden a simulation? Madden is and always will be a great looking arcade game. That's why their company is named "Electronic Arts". 
    My theory...
    2K wanted non-exclusive rights to develop games and EA pushed for exclusivity. The NFL felt more comfortable with the exclusive rights option.
    TarHeelPhenom
    In the year 2004, UNC was having a very subpar year in football...and it was pretty much a done deal that head coach John Bunting would be fired. It was also a well known fact that Steve Spurrier was very interested in the job and would take it if/when offered. Then on a Saturday night in October, the #4 Miami Hurricanes came rolling into town...and the Tar Heels upset the Canes in Kenan Stadium. UNC went on to win 3 straight games, earn a birth to the Tire Bowl and lose to Boston College to finish with a 6-6 record. At seasons end, UNC rewarded John Bunting, the coach of a miracle upset and mediocre 6-6 record...after having 2 straight losing seasons the previous 2 seasons...with a 3 year contract extension!
    UNC would not have a winning record or reach a bowl game again under John Bunting...losing to the likes of Furman and getting fired 2 years later.
    I feel the same way about this news as I did when we gave Bunting an extension....

    The difference is that, from the NFLs perspective, Madden isn't mediocre. Madden 20 was the best selling Madden ever. Complaints don't matter to EA or the NFL when they are still selling millions of copies every year. I don't think the NFL cares about the money from Madden, as it is minuscule to the amount of money they bring in, it is more of a marketing tool that also happens to make them a little money.
    Smallville102001
    Yeah nothing is going to change with out some one else making a football game to push them. Madden during ps2 gen was amazing. Ea also made good basketball games during ps2 and mvp baseball was good to. So its not that ea can't make good sports games its just why try if there is no one to push you? I know madden sales have dropped from back then but not enough as i am sure they are spending way less money to make the games then they used to when you count inflation+ all the money they make with things like ultimate team.

    It's crazy the amount of depth and detail were in those 6th gen games compared to now. Madden 06-08, NCAA 06-08, and the first Head Coach game. The amount of depth in HC was absurd compared to today. I'm surprised EA made those HC games because they don't typically sell. What makes it worse is the original HC game used ESPN and NFLN presentation elements and Madden has not yet
    I can see why the NFL might want an exclusive license. A single product is easier to promote and get behind, and create a community behind, and in theory a developer has some comfort in just being able to concentrate on the product and not potentially trying to keep up in an arms race with the other developers just for 50% of the market share. I don't necessarily agree but it makes sense in some ways to have a single partner for stuff like this.
    The problem is you want innovation to not suffer as well, and I just don't see how EA is the right company for this, as they are clearly phoning it in lately and happy with mediocrity. Unfortunately the reality is EA is always in the best place for this style of arrangement largely because they already have a product that sells, so any change would likely be disruptive at least in the short term.
    illwill10
    It's crazy the amount of depth and detail were in those 6th gen games compared to now. Madden 06-08, NCAA 06-08, and the first Head Coach game. The amount of depth in HC was absurd compared to today. I'm surprised EA made those HC games because they don't typically sell. What makes it worse is the original HC game used ESPN and NFLN presentation elements and Madden has not yet

    If franchise more had been cracked for HC08, I wouldn't play anything else. Ever.
    50West
    The difference is that, from the NFLs perspective, Madden isn't mediocre. Madden 20 was the best selling Madden ever. Complaints don't matter to EA or the NFL when they are still selling millions of copies every year. I don't think the NFL cares about the money from Madden, as it is minuscule to the amount of money they bring in, it is more of a marketing tool that also happens to make them a little money.

    $2 billion is a lot of zeros.
    Even once that is cut up among the players and the League office.
    ... helluva lot more than parasites like Mike Brown and Dean Spanos deserve.
    Funny that the NFL would grant the extension of the exclusive deal with EA. You would think the NFL would be experts on the effects of marketing and why companies spend so much on marketing.
    I would especially expect the NFL to recognize a player balling out on a contract year just to get the big contract so they can coast through the rest of their career.
    We all knew deep down that 2K had no chance of making a NFL game. At this point EA is part of the "good ol boys" club when it comes to their relationship with NFL owners. The only way that will change is if the game designers that want to make a football, actually do so without the NFL license/backing. That in turn, would take away from the revenue that Madden brings in for both companies. There a few different routes that a can be used to make something that competes with EA and I'm sure 2K has a winning formula. The question is are they willing to use it.
    goledensilence
    We all knew deep down that 2K had no chance of making a NFL game. At this point EA is part of the "good ol boys" club when it comes to their relationship with NFL owners. The only way that will change is if the game designers that want to make a football, actually do so without the NFL license/backing. That in turn, would take away from the revenue that Madden brings in for both companies. There a few different routes that a can be used to make something that competes with EA and I'm sure 2K has a winning formula. The question is are they willing to use it.

    2K is making an NFL game, it just won't be "sim" and at this point we have no idea what that even means.
    But I don't know why anyone thought that EA wouldn't keep the exclusive license to make NFL simulation games. NFL had literally zero incentive to change that. They just got paid two billion dollars for it. They couldn't care less if the game is good or not.
    goledensilence
    We all knew deep down that 2K had no chance of making a NFL game. At this point EA is part of the "good ol boys" club when it comes to their relationship with NFL owners. The only way that will change is if the game designers that want to make a football, actually do so without the NFL license/backing. That in turn, would take away from the revenue that Madden brings in for both companies. There a few different routes that a can be used to make something that competes with EA and I'm sure 2K has a winning formula. The question is are they willing to use it.
    Right, their prior relationship was with Sega and (whether we agree or not) that was "tainted" by "devaluing" their all so precious brand.
    Which is hilarious because CTE & actual concussions have hurt the brand far worse than than what Sega did or anything they've "forced" EA to remove from Madden.
    They had no prior relationship with Take-Two and VC/2K haven't made a pro football title in 13 years. They haven't made a NFL title in nearly 2 decades.
    Building the necessary development team would likely take a year or two, building an engine (from the ground up) or "porting" over code from previous releases (from consoles 2, 3 generations old) would take even longer possibly.
    That likely played a (small) role and also EA backing up the Brinks truck.
    PVarck31
    2K is making an NFL game, it just won't be "sim" and at this point we have no idea what that even means.
    But I don't know why anyone thought that EA wouldn't keep the exclusive license to make NFL simulation games. NFL had literally zero incentive to change that. They just got paid two billion dollars for it. They couldn't care less if the game is good or not.
    Right, under Goodell they've pushed for exclusivity with a lot of brand partnerships. Pizza Hut (previously Papa John's), Nike (previously Reebok), DirecTV, Coors, etc. all benefit from being exclusively partnered with the NFL brand.
    Official HQ of Bills Backer/Spurs Nation
    PVarck31
    2K is making an NFL game, it just won't be "sim" and at this point we have no idea what that even means.
    But I don't know why anyone thought that EA wouldn't keep the exclusive license to make NFL simulation games. NFL had literally zero incentive to change that. They just got paid two billion dollars for it. They couldn't care less if the game is good or not.

    Eh. I do think the NFL cares about whether the game representing their brand is of a reasonable quality.
    That said, I also think that by every metric the NFL and EA care about - boxed unit and digital sales, critical reviews, in-game transactions, user engagement, and user retention - both parties currently consider Madden to be at least good. I certainly don't think the NFL cares about the granular and detailed stuff enthusiast sites like OS pick Madden apart about.
    Well I am surprised how EA gets away with not having official rules in the game that's in the NFL official rulebook. Dustin used to say how he had to follow the uniform rules to the tee & couldn't have something that wasn't allowed as far as unis go. That would surprise me that the NFL would go nay take out penalties if you want who cares...
    Milticket
    Well I am surprised how EA gets away with not having official rules in the game that's in the NFL official rulebook. Dustin used to say how he had to follow the uniform rules to the tee & couldn't have something that wasn't allowed as far as unis go. That would surprise me that the NFL would go nay take out penalties if you want who cares...
    True, but we know that the NFL has demanded that EA remove late hits and concussions. One which is an actual penalty & the other an injury that effects teams and players (even their career prospects).
    All in the hopes of helping "protect" the image of the sport. Kind of ridiculous.
    Official HQ of Bills Backer/Spurs Nation
    J_Posse
    True, but we know that the NFL has demanded that EA remove late hits and concussions. One which is an actual penalty & the other an injury that effects teams and players (even their career prospects).
    All in the hopes of helping "protect" the image of the sport. Kind of ridiculous.
    Official HQ of Bills Backer/Spurs Nation

    Late hits are still in the game & the penalty is still there. I was thinking more in regards to Defensive holding. I posted to Clint it's almost false advertising having it listed in the penalty menu when it's not even functional (animations removed). Now the words have been removed entirely. Thats why I've said in another post the "simulation NFL license exclusivity" has to be very vague in the contract with EA if they can pick & choose what penalties they want to use.
    Milticket
    Late hits are still in the game & the penalty is still there. I was thinking more in regards to Defensive holding. I posted to Clint it's almost false advertising having it listed in the penalty menu when it's not even functional (animations removed). Now the words have been removed entirely. Thats why I've said in another post the "simulation NFL license exclusivity" has to be very vague in the contract with EA if they can pick & choose what penalties they want to use.
    My bad, then. I recall a while ago that the NFL mandated they remove the ability - it was a selling point for APF 2K8 - to hit someone after the whistle, once they are out of bounds or when the QB slides.
    Do you know when it was re-introduced?
    Also, to be fair VC has had a similar issue with implementing real life penalties (3 shot foul & block/charge calls) into the NBA 2K series. I'm not sure why but those three fouls I mentioned in parenthesis are nearly non-existent in NBA 2K.
    Official HQ of Bills Backer/Spurs Nation
    CM Hooe
    Eh. I do think the NFL cares about whether the game representing their brand is of a reasonable quality.
    That said, I also think that by every metric the NFL and EA care about - boxed unit and digital sales, critical reviews, in-game transactions, user engagement, and user retention - both parties currently consider Madden to be at least good. I certainly don't think the NFL cares about the granular and detailed stuff enthusiast sites like OS pick Madden apart about.

    This is the hardest thing for people to accept. Folks have conflated their personal dislike of Madden as a football game with the idea that NFL doesn't care if Madden is a "mediocre" or "bad" game.
    jfsolo
    This is the hardest thing for people to accept. Folks have conflated their personal dislike of Madden as a football game with the idea that NFL doesn't care if Madden is a "mediocre" or "bad" game.
    Of course they care. What they don't care is if it satisfies the niche, "hardcore" audience on a message board, reddit or YouTube like many in this thread.
    That is clear through the renewal of their partnership and the language used in their press release.
    Now, they also realize they need to start tapping into a younger demographic and player base.
    Official HQ of Bills Backer/Spurs Nation
    Sucks that EA will still be exclusive, but 2K football isn't the answer like people say every time this topic comes up. I used to play NBA 2K regularly, while it's true that the franchise mode is incredibly deep and customizable, the gameplay has never really been good, and for the past few years has lost the fun factor it used to have.
    I'd much, MUCH rather see the people who make Super Mega Baseball make a football game.
    Sent from my SM-A102W using Operation Sports mobile app
    sigh
    Sports games in general are going through a very depressing state right now.
    Franchise Mode hasn't been king for a long time - but now more than ever it's all about pushing the Ultimate Team Cash Cow before governments wisen up in terms of cracking down with regulations. I fully expect Madden to continue to do nothing meaningful with Franchise Mode and rather push menial back-of-the-box gamemodes (cough LongShot cough) and continue to re-invest in the hundreds of millions of dollars "check out my neon green 97 OVR inter-galactic throwback QB Matt Hasselbeck everybody!!!!" that I, unfathomably, can't get is so popular (I mean, I do get it, it's kids, and kids are dumb)
    People crap on NBA2k cuz of their micro-transactions but MyLeague is something glorious. If you gave Madden the equivalent of MyLeague, I'd never complain about Madden. I can tweak gameplay with sliders all day. But until we get that - football as a video game is going to continue to suffer for those who enjoy anything but MUT.
    young22
    Sucks that EA will still be exclusive, but 2K football isn't the answer like people say every time this topic comes up. I used to play NBA 2K regularly, while it's true that the franchise mode is incredibly deep and customizable, the gameplay has never really been good, and for the past few years has lost the fun factor it used to have.
    I'd much, MUCH rather see the people who make Super Mega Baseball make a football game.
    Sent from my SM-A102W using Operation Sports mobile app
    Clearly, you've never played the old NFL 2K series which is what people are/were basing their expectations on.
    The gameplay from that series progressively improved from iteration to iteration. All-Pro Football 2K8, which was a spiritual successor to NFL 2K5, had good gameplay but was doomed because of shallow game modes, some "overpowered" legends and the customization was very restrictive.
    The team that develops Super Mega Baseball likely wouldn't be the same team making a hypothetical football title.
    Lastly, the idea that the NBA 2K series' gameplay "has never been good" is completely a subjective statement. I'll say no more than that to avoid an argument.
    Official HQ of Bills Backer/Spurs Nation
    Number999
    sigh
    Sports games in general are going through a very depressing state right now.
    Franchise Mode hasn't been king for a long time - but now more than ever it's all about pushing the Ultimate Team Cash Cow before governments wisen up in terms of cracking down with regulations. I fully expect Madden to continue to do nothing meaningful with Franchise Mode and rather push menial back-of-the-box gamemodes (cough LongShot cough) and continue to re-invest in the hundreds of millions of dollars "check out my neon green 97 OVR inter-galactic throwback QB Matt Hasselbeck everybody!!!!" that I, unfathomably, can't get is so popular (I mean, I do get it, it's kids, and kids are dumb)
    People crap on NBA2k cuz of their micro-transactions but MyLeague is something glorious. If you gave Madden the equivalent of MyLeague, I'd never complain about Madden. I can tweak gameplay with sliders all day. But until we get that - football as a video game is going to continue to suffer for those who enjoy anything but MUT.

    UT modes are pure evil unless your game's franchise mode has enough levers to pull then corporate greed suddenly ceases to be an issue!
    I've asked this before and never gotten a response. Maybe you'll have something. If MUT is targeted at kids why are almost all of the high value players guys who suited up before either they, or in some cases their parents, were born?
    J_Posse
    Clearly, you've never played the old NFL 2K series which is what people are/were basing their expectations on.
    The gameplay from that series progressively improved from iteration to iteration. All-Pro Football 2K8, which was a spiritual successor to NFL 2K5, had good gameplay but was doomed because of shallow game modes, some "overpowered" legends and the customization was very restrictive.
    The team that develops Super Mega Baseball likely wouldn't be the same team making a hypothetical football title.
    Lastly, the idea that the NBA 2K series' gameplay "has never been good" is completely a subjective opinion. I'll say no more than that to avoid an argument.
    Official HQ of Bills Backer/Spurs Nation
    Well I've played NFL 2K5 and yes it's very deep franchise wise, and does have some good stuff gameplay wise that hasn't been replicated, namely pass trajectories, but I'd assume the team that made that game is gone 15 years later. Shouldn't be so quick to assume I haven't played it just cause I don't hold it up the way most people seem to.
    NBA 2K has always had major clipping and sliding problems with the animations, been that way for years. I haven't played much since 2k16. I've probably played 10 or so hours a year since then, and that's enough for me to know the game actually gets worse every year, gameplay-wise. Fun to play against a friend? Sure, but any game is.
    Even if we ignore the legacy issues, look at what they do with MyCareer, it's either grind stupid hours or buy VC.
    Now if they gave us all the sliders NBA 2K has, and the myleague, that would obviously be great from an off the field standpoint. But I've never really enjoyed any 2K gameplay wise past 2K14. I have no reason to believe they'd be building on 2K5, especially since that game is 15 years old and made for consoles that are even older than that.
    Sent from my SM-A102W using Operation Sports mobile app
    stinkubus
    UT modes are pure evil unless your game's franchise mode has enough levers to pull then corporate greed suddenly ceases to be an issue!
    I've asked this before and never gotten a response. Maybe you'll have something. If MUT is targeted at kids why are almost all of the high value players guys who suited up before either they, or in some cases their parents, were born?
    I'm not even against corporate greed. I just hate that the UT modes have taken away from franchise/career modes. As far as MUT being aimed at kids, I don't know why that's the consensus when plenty of gamers of all ages play it. The vast majority of Madden players couldn't care less about a realistic franchise mode so long as they can throw deep to Tyreek Hill and throwback DeSean Jackson online (based on what I know of UT I'm assuming that's a real card)
    Sent from my SM-A102W using Operation Sports mobile app
    young22
    Well I've played NFL 2K5 and yes it's very deep franchise wise, and does have some good stuff gameplay wise that hasn't been replicated, namely pass trajectories, but I'd assume the team that made that game is gone 15 years later. Shouldn't be so quick to assume I haven't played it just cause I don't hold it up the way most people seem to.
    NBA 2K has always had major clipping and sliding problems with the animations, been that way for years. I haven't played much since 2k16. I've probably played 10 or so hours a year since then, and that's enough for me to know the game actually gets worse every year, gameplay-wise. Fun to play against a friend? Sure, but any game is.
    Even if we ignore the legacy issues, look at what they do with MyCareer, it's either grind stupid hours or buy VC.
    Now if they gave us all the sliders NBA 2K has, and the myleague, that would obviously be great from an off the field standpoint. But I've never really enjoyed any 2K gameplay wise past 2K14. I have no reason to believe they'd be building on 2K5, especially since that game is 15 years old and made for consoles that are even older than that.
    Sent from my SM-A102W using Operation Sports mobile app

    I apologize for assuming you hadn't played NFL 2K5 or APF 2K8. Those titles are more than a decade, or decade and a half, old and APF didn't sell well. Neither game was even close to perfect, yet had they had chance to continue to iterate annually the game(s) could've been tremendous.
    Again, I also have issues with the gameplay in the NBA series. I don't believe a thread in the football section is where to discuss them.
    Also, your issues and mine are just opinions and some (apparently in the 10,000,000 range including myself) don't mind them as much.
    I'm sure some of that old code can still be salvaged and used especially for the pass & run blocking A.I.
    There are still people at the development teams at Visuals Concepts who worked on those football titles. Of course, they would need to rebuild the bulk of the team. I still think with the right creative director(s) they could make an enjoyable pro football title.
    I'm not a coder or programmer so I can't pretend to know how difficult or easy that task would be. Especially, if Visual Concpets has the source code intact.
    Anyway, the best we can hope for is a good "non-sim" alternative next year. And that EA at some point decides to invest in a better gameplay experience and "engine."
    It just seems highly unlikely with the emphasis being MUT, other non-sim modes (to pull in casual fans) & microtransactions.
    Official HQ of Bills Backer/Spurs Nation
    young22
    Well I've played NFL 2K5 and yes it's very deep franchise wise, and does have some good stuff gameplay wise that hasn't been replicated, namely pass trajectories, but I'd assume the team that made that game is gone 15 years later.....

    Just for information / arguments sake - There are roughly 27 people credited on both NFL 2k5 and NBA 2k20 from what I can find. Obviously this doesnt take into account people moved to different teams in the company but just food for thought.
    Dblock1111
    Just for information / arguments sake - There are roughly 27 people credited on both NFL 2k5 and NBA 2k20 from what I can find. Obviously this doesnt take into account people moved to different teams in the company but just food for thought.
    For some reason I can't see the image posted. Is there still any higher up people (lead engineer, director, producer, etc.) still with 2K (from game credits)?
    Official HQ of Bills Backer/Spurs Nation
    J_Posse
    For some reason I can't see the image posted. Is there still any higher up people (lead engineer, director, producer, etc.) still with 2K (from game credits)?
    Official HQ of Bills Backer/Spurs Nation

    Sorry about the image, i probably screwed something up there, heres the full list:
    Credit, Role in NBA 2k20 / Role on NFL 2k5
    Anthony Yau UI Visual Design / Artist
    Anton Dawson Engineer / Artist
    Asif Chaudhri Senior Producer / Project Manager
    Boris Kazanskii Library Engineer / Technology Group
    Chien Yu Producer / Director Of Quality Assurance
    Dan Indra Production & Design / Quality Assurance
    David Washburn Performance Capture Stage Manager / Motion Capture
    Dion Peete Production & Design / Quality Assurance
    Erick Boenisch Senior Producers / Lead Tester
    Evan Harsha Engineer / Engineer
    Gordon Read AI Engineer / Engineer
    Ivar Olsen Lead Library Engineer / Technology Group
    Jason Souza Production & Design / Quality Assurance
    Jeremy Ford Quality Assurance Senior Test Manager / Quality Assurance
    Jerson Sapida Production & Design / Network Assistant Lead Tester
    Joel Flory Animation Technical Lead / Artist
    John Crysdale Audio Assistant / Quality Assurance Supervisor
    Jose Gutierrez Production Specialist II / QA Tech
    Mark Roberts Engineer / Engineer
    Matt Underwood Production & Design / Production
    Quinn Kaneko User Interface / Artist
    Robert Nelson Production & Design / Senior Lead Tester
    Roy Tse Lead Gameplay Animator / Artist
    Shawn Lee AI Engineer / Lead AI Engineer
    Tim Meekins Engineer / Engineer
    Tim Walter Director of Technology / Technology Group
    Tor Unsworth Script Writers / Audio
    young22
    Sucks that EA will still be exclusive, but 2K football isn't the answer like people say every time this topic comes up. I used to play NBA 2K regularly, while it's true that the franchise mode is incredibly deep and customizable, the gameplay has never really been good, and for the past few years has lost the fun factor it used to have.
    I'd much, MUCH rather see the people who make Super Mega Baseball make a football game.
    Sent from my SM-A102W using Operation Sports mobile app

    Nba2k gameplay has never been good? Lol. There will never be a perfect sports game but if i compare what ea is doing with madden to what 2k is doing there is no competition. Its 2020 and we cant even perform a strip sack, cant throw a fade route, the ai does not even care if their down 10 with 2 minutes to go,etc. those seem like simple things to add lol
    Hshaw810
    Nba2k gameplay has never been good? Lol. There will never be a perfect sports game but if i compare what ea is doing with madden to what 2k is doing there is no competition. Its 2020 and we cant even perform a strip sack, cant throw a fade route, the ai does not even care if their down 10 with 2 minutes to go,etc. those seem like simple things to add lol

    But you CAN win a game without throwing a single pass... :y220a:
    stinkubus
    UT modes are pure evil unless your game's franchise mode has enough levers to pull then corporate greed suddenly ceases to be an issue!
    I've asked this before and never gotten a response. Maybe you'll have something. If MUT is targeted at kids why are almost all of the high value players guys who suited up before either they, or in some cases their parents, were born?

    I mean, corporations aren't gonna not be greedy. I too would love to live in a magical utopia where these companies said "yanno, it IS unethical what we're doing. We'll stop." But since that's never gonna happen, yea, I'm damn sure gonna be happy they at least threw us a bone and gave us an awesome franchise mode as opposed to what EA is doing with Madden.
    I also, quite frankly, don't understand what you're asking. MUT is targeted towards kids and then you lose me at "why are almost all of the high value players guys who suited up before either they". I'm not making fun - legit don't understand what you're tying to say. Are you suggesting that grown adults are spending all the money on MUT? I of course agree.
    MUT aint targeted at kids, it's targeted at middle aged men with fat wallets and a lot of nostalgia. No kid is spending $$$ to get Deion Sanders or Walter Payton on their team, they likely don't even know who those folks are..

I like video games and the miami dolphins.

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