Could We See Another Company Step Up to the Plate?
Like almost every sports video game known to man, NFL video games have been dominated by EA for the majority of modern gaming. While this has led to EA to create some very good Madden games, in recent years their reputation has been slipping. Not only Madden but FIFA and NHL games have experienced an objective decline in overall quality and originality. Some of the most hated practices that are present in the gaming industry and front and center in the sports genre. Many have contributed this to a lack of competition. While there is no sign of ending the monopoly for hockey or soccer fans, the same cannot be said for the NFL.
NFL owners will soon be voting to determine whether or not EA will still hold exclusive rights to create games based on the NFL. As it stands right now, other companies could not legally produce a rival football game that has any teams or players who are currently in the National Football League. The actual wording in this contract is as follows, “(EA has) the exclusive right to manufacture, market and distribute NFL-themed realistic action simulation video games“. Thus making it almost impossible for other developers to even attempt to dethrone EA as the head honcho of football simulators.
If the NFL owners do give the green light for EA to hold on to the rights they have now, this could mean that football fans will not see another competitor for at least another five years. This could obviously mean disaster to anyone who was hoping to see some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. If this contract does continue it looks like Madden fans will have to endure a couple more years of lackluster work.