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.
Per source, NFL owners just voted to approve an extension of their deal with Electronic Arts. This one will run through the 2025 season (and through 2026 if revenue markers are hit).
So when it comes to that kind of game, it'll be Madden for a while.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 28, 2020
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.