EA spikes Arena Football license

Megapublisher confirms that it opts not to renew its licensing deal with the indoor pigskin league, which it will reportedly also not invest in.

Electronic Arts' monopoly on American football has apparently come to an end. Yes, the financially buffeted publisher still has a lock on the NFL for the next four years, and its NCAA exclusivity remains in effect. It has, however, declined to renew its licensing deal to make games based on the Arena Football League.

"EA Sports and the Arena Football League have opted not to extend the exclusivity agreement to develop video games based on the sports license," a rep told GameSpot.

Word of the separation first surfaced in yesterday's edition of The Sports Business Journal, which revealed that EA was negotiating for NFL exclusivity seven months before the agreement was made public in 2004. The respected athletic-industry trade also reports that EA will not exercise an option to invest in the AFL, an option it had under the exclusive game-licensing deal that the two signed in January 2005.

Though it grabbed headlines at the time, the three-year EA/AFL deal wasn't a particularly fruitful union. It yielded only two lukewarmly reviewed games, 2006's Arena Football (PlayStation 2, Xbox) and 2007's Arena Football: Road to Glory (PS2 only). Both games were developed by Florida-based EA Tiburon, maker of the considerably more acclaimed and exponentially more successful Madden NFL games.

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Discussion

50 comments
jsmoke03
jsmoke03

if 2k is smart, it shouldn't pick up this liscense...as much as they want to get back into football, this isn't the the liscense people want to buy. 2k sports division isnt making profit, so better hold off on the nfl liscense

finaleve
finaleve

I can see 2k picking up this. It's not only a good way to get back into the football gaming field, but its also a good way to compete against the god awful Madden series. It might not be exact, but Arena football sounds fun. I also miss the Blitz series...the actual blitz and not "The league"

saintsrowCS
saintsrowCS

the correct term is kneels on the Arena Football license not spikes you spike the ball to stop the clock to run another play you kneel down to run out the clock and END the game

VolcanoMan001
VolcanoMan001

Does this mean that 2K Sports can finally make a football game again, abeit in the Arena Football League? I hope so.

enoslives7
enoslives7

EA is slowly sinking. They screwed gamers over time and time again, now karma is screwing them. BOYCOTT EA !!!!

buzzguy
buzzguy

Could this be a precursor to the AFL heading for the trash can? You never know...

bizuit
bizuit

I remember when this first came to light and I said on here who is going to buy this and blah blah blah and I got flamed pretty hardcore for it....now where are these people?

garey017
garey017

I have Arena Football for Xbox. I couldn't even tell you if they're real teams in it, I know so little about the AFL. But I do know that whether or not you're into the AFL, arena football can be made into a fun sports video game. I'd love to see more sports games based on more off-beat sports, not just the big 5 (football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer). Those games are fun, but really they're almost the same every year.

sdkingsht
sdkingsht

did anyone actually buy arena football games?

Bgrngod
Bgrngod

So how could you be the owners and creators of the Madden game, and then manage to totally screw up an AFL game? Ahhh right.. you did it on purpose. AFL got hosed.

AzureWind213
AzureWind213

Ummm... David Carr is staying Eli's backup. Sorry dude. We've all seen what happens when you've got no backup Q, right COWBOYS?? In AFL news, this is definitely good for anyone wishing against the EA monopoly on the NFL. Someone might come in and make a damn fine AFL game and maybe nose in on the competition in the future...

amin915
amin915

arena football is ok...it entertains me sometimes

Leamg2000
Leamg2000

didnt even know they did an arena football game.

grigjd3
grigjd3

Also in the news, nobody cares about Arena Football!

Jman251
Jman251

Some of you don't make any sense. You don't like the AFL, but yet you want 2K Sports to make the game when you very well know you wouln't buy the game regardless. I understand the frustration that many of you feel because EA has that monoply on the NFL license, which I still to this day don't understand how they got away with that. Hopefully in four years 2K Sports will be able to get it back.

zomglolcats
zomglolcats

Arena Football? Does anybody really watch that anyway? People care about NFL not Arena Football.

LilRoss2k3
LilRoss2k3

i wan't 2k back...probably more than anybody...but don't be a moron...the AFL liscense would be a waste of money...nobody wants to play that ish.

WardCleaver02
WardCleaver02

Oh, no!!!! This can't be!? Wait, what is "Arena Football"?

philly215
philly215

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

metaljeff
metaljeff

NFL2k is THE WAY Bring It Back EA are Tools

shadowblade99
shadowblade99

If you listen really quietly and closely you can hear the one Arena Football fan in Canada crying.....

cometkd
cometkd

hey ea thought u guys were the best at all sporting games? 2k pick this up! and get nfl rights in 4 yrs too!

JackBurton
JackBurton

In regards to the AFL licensing deal -- meh. :| I miss the days of 2K and Sega Sports NFL games...good times. :cry:

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

An AFL games looks like it could be very fun to play (even if you don't like or watch the AFL) if done right so I hope 2K can pick this up, make a good game and price it at $20 or $30 since a $50 tag (for Xbox, PS2) from EA for a small fan base sport, unproven game was way to much

remmbermytitans
remmbermytitans

Arena Football made by 2K sports would be great for everyone. The AFL isn't as popular as the NFL, so a low price point, say $20, would be perfect.

Cliftonmw
Cliftonmw

Arena Leauge football would have been nice if we could get players we can connect to. Matt Lienart and David Carr on the cover would probably increase sales. AFL...try and recruit these NFL bust. It seems to be working ok for FIBA basketball.

stziggy
stziggy

Maybe EA will pursue that lucrative CFL license.

TheDanSandwich
TheDanSandwich

Um, did you ever wonder why they didn't want to continue the license? Nobody buys Arena Football games. They probably weren't making enough money off of it to justify continuing it. Even if 2K picks up the license, it doesn't mean that anymore people would buy it. They would probably loose money too and eventually dump the franchise. This is why no one would dare make a Minor League Baseball game or a NBADL game. Nobody cares about the B leagues. And there's no money in it.

endocrine
endocrine

considering that madden 06/07 were both mediocre I am not suprised that the AFL failed those years

riptorn13
riptorn13

AF2k10 powered by the backbreaker physics engine.... Can you imagine the hits up against the walls?

Vardan_902nd
Vardan_902nd

Yes! Hopefully someone*cough2Kcough* will make a good Arena Football game. Seeing how much I like Arena Football:]

maaly81
maaly81

arena football 2k10 it is. 2k needs the tune up in route to make a run at that NFL license in a couple years. good for the AFL

Spartan1017
Spartan1017

yay!!! can anyone say "arena football 2k10"?

warhawk-smakaho
warhawk-smakaho

YEAH, another game EA can make every with little changes that people buy for some reason?

jfpl138
jfpl138

@ jeffgordonfan24: seriously? Pick up the show 08, it is an awesome game. I still play it from time to time and now i saw it for under $20 at target. It's a great game.

jeffgordonfan24
jeffgordonfan24

Screw Arena Football. We only care about Madden. And bring back the baseball games! I'm sick of MLB 07 The Show (it sucks).

hunter8man
hunter8man

They didn't spend nearly enough time or energy on these games. However, no one really gives a darn about Arena football. This would be a perfect time for 2K or another developer to step in and make a new version.

NightRain
NightRain

Who wants Arena Football anyway?

etmaul
etmaul

Just get the MLB license back already, that's all I care about!

trekker1303
trekker1303

Maybe if they put more effort into those 'two lukewarmly reviewed games', then things might be different. Let's see 2K come in and take care of things now.

AZisBack
AZisBack

The only reason that EA bought the rights is to have a monopoly in the football world. EA did a horrible job with this franchise. It was poorly made and EA did not care to make it better. It was only made for the PS2... which was a death sentence for the AFL games. Hopefully the AFL doesn't have an exclusive deal and publishers can compete to make a better games.

gnbfd
gnbfd

Hey 2K! This is your chance! I mean I wouldn't buy the game but it would have to be better than All Pro 2K right?

nate_c-12
nate_c-12

oh man, im gonna miss astroturf and 50yd fields

KyoValdez
KyoValdez

When will somebody make a game about Jesus?

erica1633
erica1633

These games were only weak cause EA half-baked them and never let them be as cool as they could have been! Take-Two needs to pick this up ASAP and I guarantee they have no other choice, but to do good anymore so you know it will rock.

Jaysonguy
Jaysonguy

This was going to fail from the onset Arena football fans are not NFL football fans. Both sports might share the same kind of ball but everything else is different.

KSigMTSU
KSigMTSU

Honestly, this could open the door for whoever it was that used to make the NFL2k series to make an arena game. Not that arena football is wildly popular, but honestly the way they used to make the NFL2k series was a very arcade-y turn on a dime fast version of football, it would be a good fit for the arena football style of football. Problem would be selling enough copies of an Arena football game to be worth the cost of development. Would be good if someone could compete with EA though, they really don't waste any money developing Madden if no one is forcing them to.

robfield
robfield

who didn't see this as a pointless endeavor in the first place? Who the heck wants to play an arena football game?