Jon Solomon, perhaps realizing that Man Cannot Live By Anna Benson Alone, calls our attention to today’s news that EA Sports, publishers of the wildly popular (John) Madden football games, have signed a long-term exclusive deal with the NFL and NFLPA, essentially rendering all other pro football video game franchises extinct.
(Tecmo? Coach Madden says “Heck, no.”
Though Madden has been the most successful brand name in what used to be a crowded market, some of us are old enough to remember years in which EA’s edition wasn’t necessarily the football game available. One can only hope a similar arrangement with MLB is not in the offing, as EA has struggled to produce an exceptional baseball game. This development is also a blow to former console-kingpins turned full-time publishers Sega, whose recent attempts at undercutting EA’s games with their ESPN-branded series (priced at $19.99, less than half that of the competition) were a bold attempt to establish a foothold.