EA and Madden Team For Season 16 and More
Posted on July 13, 2005
The Street reports that Electronic Arts has resigned football commentator John Madden for multiple more years of NFL football video games. The deal, which certainly came as no surprise to anyone, means Madden NFL 06 will become a reality with Madden continuing as the face and brand in the 16th version of the game. The Madden and EA football games have been the top-selling sports games for years. The image on the right is a screenshot from John Madden Football, 1989. The EA website has a section with information on the development of the game over the last fifteen years.
But last year, that division saw its first significant challenge in years after Take-Two Interactive teamed up with Sega to co-publish Sega's critically acclaimed ESPN line of sports games. The result of Take-Two's effort -- which focused on offering premium titles at cut-rate prices -- was a price war that cut into EA's bottom line.
EA has since attempted to head off Take-Two's challenge by signing a long-term exclusive relationships with the NFL and college football and by luring away ESPN from Take-Two with another long-term deal.
Take-Two has responded by buying several development studios that focus on sports games and by signing its own semi-exclusive deal with Major League Baseball.
Sports video games are a big business so it not a surprise to see contracts that are growing longer and larger just like they are in the real sports world.
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