NFL extends exclusive deal with EA Sports

The Wall Street Journal has revealed that the NFL and EA Sports have come to terms to extend their exclusive deal until 2012, which gives EA Sports an additional three years to cash in on the Madden franchise.

The official announcement is expected to be made later today:

"At an EA briefing for analysts today, Mr. Moore plans announce the extension of a deal with the National Football League and the NFL Players Association through 2012 that will continue EA’s position as the exclusive maker of NFL videogames, including Madden. EA’s previous exclusive NFL deal was due to expire next year."

This doesn’t come as a huge surprise but does disappoint some NFL football game fans as the Madden franchise no longer has competition, which in the video game industry, is usually what drives developers to produce the best product (just look at what competition has done for the FIFA franchise since Pro Evolution Soccer). The original deal commenced in 2005 and was set-up up for a five-year licensing deal to have the exclusive rights to NFL’s teams, stadiums, and players.

Madden NFL celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and has pulled in more than USD 2 billion in sales over the franchise’s life. Although widely successful yearly, sales of the 2008 version of Madden were down 13% last year compared with the previous version of Madden (2007) the previous year.