Gamers longing for the days of NFL 2K will have to wait a while longer for Madden’s death grip on NFL video games to ease up: EA Sports has extended their exclusive deal with the NFL through 2013. EA had approached the NFL about financial relief from the existing deal—which ran through the 2011-2012 season—due to a possible NFL lockout. Instead of giving cash back or letting EA out of the deal, the NFL simply extended the license...with a catch.
The new deal gives exclusive rights to EA Sports for NFL team colors, logos, and stadiums—but it doesn't give rights to player name and likenesses beyond the original deal. Players are repped by the NFL Players Association, not the NFL. Hopefully, the powers that be (a.k.a. rich people who don't actually play games) can work out their differences and keep the game on the gridiron and out of the boardroom. We may complain about Madden’s monopoly, but we'd be a lot worse off with no NFL game at all.