Gamers hoping for an officially licensed alternative to Electronic Arts' Madden NFL series now have an even longer wait ahead of them. According to a Sports Business Journal report, the football league has extended its exclusivity with EA Sports for another year. The agreement is now set to expire in 2013.
That's not all the NFL has done with EA. According to the Journal, the league has also reduced the royalties it charges the megapublisher for the license to use team names, uniforms, and logos. The reduction in fees was apparently prompted by the looming threat of a football strike, which may force the cancellation of next season. That would mean that Madden NFL 12 would be released without an active sport to support it, a factor that could affect sales.
Originally inked in 2004, the EA-NFL exclusivity deal was renewed in 2008 and had been set to expire in 2012. EA also inked an agreement with the NFL Players Association to use players' names and likenesses in Madden games through 2012. The Journal had no update on the status of that agreement, which nets the NFLPA between $30 and $40 million per year, according to Labor Department filings.