With the uncertainty surrounding the labor negotiations that will determine whether there is even an NFL season to come, EA Sports in October requested a reduction of around $30 million in payments related to this year’s upcoming title. The lack of an NFL season would have a significant impact on operations and potential sales and that has the company making very conservative fiscal projections as they plan for the worst and hope for the best.
According to Sports Business Journal the league has decided to reduce the costs paid for the license for the coming season and the two sides have agreed to extend the contract by one year taking it through 2013. The original deal was signed in 2005 for an initial term of three years and then extended for an additional five years in 2008. EA Sports has not responded to requests for confirmation or comment as of publish time.
The news on the restructured contract means that Madden will remain as the sole NFL licensed game on the consoles through Madden 14. As explained in the article the license is extremely lucrative for the NFL. The question shouldn’t have been, or continue to be, whether the league has the desire to proceed with exclusive deals in the future. Instead it will come down to whether a company such as EA Sports will find making such a deal to be a responsible investment.