EA Sports, NFL Reach $1.5 Billion Agreement to Continue ‘Madden’ Series


If it's in the game, it will stay in the game, at least through 2026.

According to Darren Rovell of The Action Network, Electronic Arts - EA Sports is their division focused on sports games - has reached an agreement with the NFL worth $1.5 billion to continue making "Madden" NFL football. Rovell adds that of the $1.5 billion, the league will collect "at least" $1 billion.

"Madden" - named after iconic head coach and broadcaster John Madden - has produced an NFL game every season since 1988. Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes was on this year's edition and reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens will be next year's cover athlete.

Though Madden initially was the color commentator in the game alongside Pat Sumerall and later Al Michaels, he hasn't been an announcer in the game since "Madden '09." Since "Madden 17," Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis have served as the game's announcers. Jonathan Coachman, he of the WWE fame, has been the host of the game's pregame and halftime show in the two most recent editions.

There has long been hope that some company will create a direct competitor to "Madden," if for nothing more than to push EA Sports to make the game as good as possible. 2K Sports created six NFL games between 1999 and 2005. The final installment of the game was "NFL 2K5," which featured Terrell Owens on the cover and had ESPN influence. The game was wildly popular, but hasn't been made since. The NFL and 2K recently did reach an agreement to partner on some game for 2021, but Rovell says that this will not be a simulation game that is "a direct competitor" to "Madden," as the old games were.

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