EA Sports extends NFL deal through 2012 season

Peter Moore announces gaming division will keep monopoly on top US sport through 2013 Super Bowl; "further investment" could bring back NFL Coach series.

354 Comments

Just over three years ago, Electronic Arts tackled the sports genre by announcing it had signed a multiyear exclusivity deal with the National Football League and the NFL Players, the players' union. Under the agreement, EA Sports' Madden NFL franchise was the sole official licensee for the US's most popular sport, forcing rival 2K Sports to get creative with its own pro-football series.

Today, EA Sports announced that it has extended its contract with the NFL and NFL Players through the 2012 season. That means the Redwood City, California-based publisher will retain exclusive game rights to all NFL teams, stadiums, and player likenesses and information until the Super Bowl XLVII champion is crowned in 2013.

Though Madden NFL is its most famous franchise, EA Sports also publishes a variety of other NFL games, including NFL Street and NFL Tour. However, part of the renewal agreement is to "look at different ways to bring more consumers in," according to EA Sports president Peter Moore.

One way Moore is hoping to lure more Americans into the Madden fold is through the incorporation of content from the NFL Films production company and the NFL Network cable channel into the "Madden game experience." Other new EA Sports initiatives include a continuation of the "family play" option for Wii games, expanded investment in the wildly popular fantasy football phenomenon, and undefined initiatives to court football fans during the spring and summer months.

"Both EA Sports and the NFL agree that we need to look at different ways to bring more consumers in," Moore told GameSpot. "Traditionally, when the Super Bowl's over, our football business is over, and there's research that shows there are millions of people out there that can't get enough football 12 months a year."

EA Sports' newest attempt to court those football fans, NFL Tour, wasn't treated kindly by critics but is "doing OK" at retail, according to Moore. However, the former Xbox 360 marketing chief isn't satisfied with just pumping out more NFL Tour or NFL Street. "I think we need to be more innovative," he said. "For years, we've done Street versions of games, and I think it's time we looked at online models and perhaps doing something that's truly contra-seasonal."

According to Moore, one promising possibility for expanding EA Sports' NFL portfolio is to resurrect the NFL Head Coach series, which debuted in 2006 but has laid fallow ever since. "Things like Head Coach...well, for me, I love the X's and O's," he said. "It's something that I would love to do if I wasn't in this business. When we look at the success of the Football Manager titles in Europe, there's no reason we can't do the same thing here. We've kind of tiptoed into it so far, but I think you'll see continued investment in things like Head Coach."

But although he was quite loquacious about the renewal of the NFL deal, Moore was downright reticent about EA Sports' plans for its other exclusive US football agreements with the NCAA and the Arena Football League. "We'll get to those when we get to those," he said.

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dchase2k8

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I was such a huge fan of *football* video games. This single "event" has tainted my perception of capitalism. It makes my gut turn. I used to love Madden before this exclusive deal with the NFL. Now I can't stand it. I can't believe that sites like IGN, Operation Sports, and Gamespot don't do more to bring awareness as to how frustrated gamers like me are about this deal. I haven't purchased a football video game in 7 years. And one of my favorite pastimes has been taken from me by EA (the company that spent hundreds of millions of dollars to single handedly monopolize an entire genre). What if Activision was the only company who could make a shooter? What if Nintendo was the only company that could make a platformer? What if Bioware(EA) was the only company that could make an RPG? How stale would that make those particular genre's and how frustrated would the fans of those genre's be? IGN, Gamespot, ANYBODY who has an audience, please help end this deal. please. i'm *begging* you. Please give me back my wonderful, glorious, amazing, football video games, and all the wonderful yearly variety and excitement back with it. Please.

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thekey

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I'm still horrified by this.

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dellis66

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the only way this is fair is if Madden is perfect for everyone

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sgtblizzard

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the problem with the madden series is the fact they dont try hard enough. Maybe if the devs actually put some time and effort into what they are doing and used put all their very small brains into a circle we might actually get a good game. I mean they really need to work on the animations and make it look realistic...i mean i know backbreaker was crap, but they had some good ideas with no two animations being the same. Personally i havnt bought a madden game since the 09 version...when i got my PS3, and I am really hoping for something good, because I want a new updated madden game.

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supernaught360

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I'd really like to see a new NFL Blitz game, or a reboot of the 2000 version (not Blitz: The League = garbage). We have a great NBA Jam remake, Mortal Kombat coming soon - NFL Blitz would be great...

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eatdrums

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I bought Madden 2011 in hopes that they would rebuild Franchise, Superstar, & Online Franchise. A complete menu update, and some new scripts for the announcers to follow would freshen things up. Now I see they've monopolized the NFL till 2013, giving them No incentive to improve a game that has been stale since Madden 2006. Looks like new menu music, and "Family mode," will be the "Big improvements" next year. Count me out!

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Thathanka

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Sad news for all NFL game fans. Another 2 years at least of EA simply churning out Madden 05. Another 2 years of me not buying an EA game and not having an NFL game to enjoy. EA must know that the Madden series is the biggest joke in gaming but I guess every year a new crop of naive kids come through - soon to become disollusioned.

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voldo25

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i loved the 2k series but all i really want is some variety. if 2k was still making football games then madden would be a better game because ea would try harder to compete. we keep getting the same crap every year because its the only fooball game. 2k needs to make APF2k11 so they can get their act together when ea's nfl licence expires in 2013.

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patsfan1112

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NFL 2K13 on the xbox 720!!!!!!

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Chucky09

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Um... No. I am completely on Madden and EA side on this. I've played 2k and it wasn't a bad game but it had no hold whatsoever on being better then Madden. But each to their own. However, NFL Head coach will never sell as a separate game. If it was incorporated inside of Madden as a non-playing mode, I would love it. The User is always better then the AI so I think it would be swell to simulate games with actual clarity. I tried to rebuild the Lions on Madden 09 and only reached the playoffs once when simulating... but when playing reached them every year as well as winning the Superbowl. I hope AI is a lot better in this next one and its beginning to look like it is so im gleeful.

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reviewninja

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its a shame nfl 2k5 is still better than madden 2005, 06, 07, 08, and 09 and chances are madden 10 will be as average as the previous 4 and probably worse. if you have no competition you will not be pushed to be better

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s3KtOr

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Basically they will remain having the license til' the day I die??

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pakbeats

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Which game is more like real life Madden09 or Nfl2k5.Everybody knows the answer to that and these games r suppose to simulation of the real thing i thought.Madden has no real form of gang tackles,cant tackle players sometimes until animations r done,bugs glitches,line blockin is far from reality,shall i keep goin.Almost same exact game since 03,they technically dont even use real 3d models they use a different version of sprite models,they take no pride in there games.2k was making the best game y else after 5-6 yrs ea would the run to the exclusive license the year right after 2k was gettin huge.n e true gamer would no that

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Serious06

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yeah, im sick of EA.

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Serious06

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yeah im sick of EA.

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BlakkSteel

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Yep, DarkManX01, you ARE the only 1 that's happy. I used to be like you when 2K Sports was just introduced. But, after a lot of fine tuning (due to their pursuit for excellence) & lowering their prices to get people to try their games out (due to being the under dog), they (2K Sports) created a very healthy competition. With the NFL exclusivity, NCAA Football exclusivity since 2002, & most recently the new NCAA Basketball exclusivity, EA will not be forced to make their games better. They'll keep their mediocrisy goin', because the average person will buy their games, because they'll be the only game in town. I've taken a stance on the NBA game side of things (until I bought ESPN Basketball 2K4, I haven't bought a NBA game since NBA Shootout '98); I can do the same for the NFL games, & will do the same with the college basketball games, until there's a healthy competition again.

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Infinite_Access

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EA SUCKS.....freakin monopoly, what ever happend to that law???

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benjaminjoel

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"NFL Head Coach is such a bad idea, that even Pat Robertson would consider aborting it." -Adam Sessler

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shydre

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Y'Know I never post on these stupid news reports, I've been trolling this site for YEARS but never felt like I neede to respond to much but this....I haven't bought a Madden game since they signed the first exclusivity contract and now this...????? I guess its the trend of things in the industry I once loved. The $$ got too big and now a bunch of Douches that have never seen an exploding barrel are running everything and all us idiot consumers will buy it like the mindless drones we are!! Jawohl mine EA fuhrer!!! F'n Nazis the lot of em!!

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DarkManX01

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Am I the only person who is happy about this? I always hated the 2K series in pretty much every sport but to each his own.....

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Kruegmeister

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Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I live the Picture of the Tool Peter Moore for this Story. What does it take to Jump from one Monopolistic company to another that simply Buys it way to Success? Come on Mr Moore, and EA. Release your Exclusivity and Fight Like Men, you bunch of Wussies. Let us Consumers Choose which Football game we want to buy, or at least make a Decent Madden Release for once. I have yet to Buy a Next-Gen Madden after the Piece of Dung that was Madden06 on my 360. Still waiting for a GOOD Madden Release................................................

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URError

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well I'm not buying any new football games

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kobebryantyanic

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It's impossible for people not to buy madden since it's the only football game out. If you gonna buy a sport game from ea, might as well let it be madden ONLY. Don't buy live, don't buy nascar, don't buy fifa, don't buy nhl, and the problem is solved. Madden may sell 100 million copies, but games such as live should sell 0 based on how 2k nba franchise pawns it. WE NEED TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING OR EA WILL DESTROY US, THE GAMERS.

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supermaddog

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Just makes you wonder how long will this go on? What happens in 2013? Until competition is restored to NFL videogames it will never be the same...

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bukkookkub

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Wow, lame just got a whole lot longer, (lameea).

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sly316

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Let's now support 2K Football just to show EA that we don't like that kind of a deal !

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Hawkins1701

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My my my...... That Darth Vader helmet is sure fitting well, Mr. Moore........ You gotta hand it to EA. They know how to take care of the proverbial business. Money talks. And both the NFL and MLB care more about dollar signs than giving gamers a choice with licensed sports games. (And to EA's credit, MLB went with 2k Games, so they're just competing to keep the NFL from going elsewhere also.) I can't really fault them morally, as business is business. But gamers are still the losers with all this exclusivity.

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Avatar image for BlakkSteel
BlakkSteel

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Until another publisher is allowed to make NFL games, I'm no longer supporting any NFL ventures outside of watching the games. I don't mind signing petitions; but, money (or lack thereof) speaks a WHOLE LOT LOUDER!! I've officially taken a stance at no longer buying their games. Madden '08 for PS3 was certified trash (I knew it before I bought it). For those that are serious about makin' this marriage made in hell lead to separation, make your money absent from the title at retail. EA's pockets are way bigger than 2K Sports. Franchise exclusivity by EA will continue, unless we support what's really good, & boycott what's just plain garbage!!

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theKSMM

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The NFL has reached a saturation point with regard to revenue and market penetration, and they're desperate for a new growth avenue. Maybe EA can help bring some more fans to the table...maybe not. Still, I can't help but miss 2K Sports's Football game.

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thekey

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MedevilDragon I just signed your petition! Thats what I'm talking about! Death to EA's NFL franchises! Head coach? Peter Moore is sure to run EA into the ground just like he did the dreamcast, segasports, and the 360's read light billion dollar charge off. LOL!!!

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MedevilDragon

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EA= THE CANCER OF THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY! THE CURE= STOP BUYING ANY EA PRODUCTS. JOIN THE FIGHT TO KILL THIS CANCER FOREVER!

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metaljeff

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Madden is Football for ritalin junkies..............

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Droopizzle

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now I know how a slave feels.5 more years of roster updates and glitches. I can't stand EA!!! They are not gonna improve when they know they are the only game in town,and proof they put out garbage???NFL tour!!!!

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VegetaMaelstrom

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Easiest job in the world=Project Lead for annual Madden football game. Job description=Hand in last years game with a roster update.

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mrclean2988

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wow, that joke about EA buying the earth and "just removing those extra three letters" is looking more and more prophetic every day.

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Tking1293

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Is anyone really surprised EA extended its contract? Madden is one of their biggest sellers of the year, and sells well every year.

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metaljeff

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EA and their followers are truly the scum of the Earth..........

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coreyq

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Lets do it forreal this time. The above petition was signed by 427 people thats not enough at all. All people who want to start a petition we need to get together as often as possible and write out a very indept logical petition that will bury these ((((holes)))) seriously! Also make on to the NFL to those tards are just as gulity! LOL

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DeskLazer

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the funny thing is, ea stepped up on the nhl series because people bought the 2K series on next gen consoles. no exclusivity, and suddenly nhl 08 becomes a REALLY DECENT game. wonder what would've happened if they didn't get dibs on the NFL license, either. a little healthy competition never hurt, even if you are a colossal gaming giant. *sigh* and when I was growing up I had wished that I could've worked for this company. those days are gone.

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YogidAbEAR152

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that sucks. so no reason to buy an nfl game for the next five years i guess

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whitey3221

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Oh wait I forgot about Blitz...and so did the rest of the gaming community, sorry Midway, I played The league and thought it was awesome. Hopefully the new one that is in development will be good enough for the masses.

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whitey3221

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Awesome...5 more years of no competition in football, I was hoping that the new Backbreaker franchise would be able to convince the NFL that competition is a good thing, but I suppose they don't really care about how good the games are just how much money the company is willing to pay them for the license. Madden has improved, and the latest version is better than 2k5, but it's also 3 years later and on new systems. The gameplay is still not as good as 2k5 though and that's what really matters. The player models are still much more unrealistic than 2k5...or All Pro 2k8, but without being able to play with your own team All Pro was a drag. EA online eats something horrible. I get disconnected 25% of the time whether my internet connection is fantastic or horrific. Oh well, maybe EA's new business strategy of not stifling creativity will let the madden people make a good game for the first time in ten years. I agree that this is very sad news for any sports fan/gamer.

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-HCMF-

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This news is bad for games. Bad for football. Bad for the NFL. And worst of all, bad for us as consumers. The last several Madden games have been subpar, at best, and the NFL side games (x-tream, sims, etc) have been laughable at best. This news just makes me sad.

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thekey

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Madden is the worst football video game franchise ever. I don't know why people don't see it! NFL 2K was way better. "price wars had nothing to do with it. EA is nothing more than a chicken scratch peice of____. And the NFL? I don't know weather there mindless, brainless, or just plain moronic they don't realize they can make more money if more NFL product is coming from more then one way in the area of video games? The only way this exclusive junk will stop is if we get that online petition started. (Send the NFL a message if you won't break that extention we won't buy there Madden franchise.) That and mean it! And people stop complaining about this crap and start NOT BUYING MADDEN 09! Madden 09 is going to be junk and I know it. All EA is going to do is update the rosters and add little to no new features and its going to suck hard after about 2 hours of game play. There's no way I'm getting any other maddens.

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Rocker1044

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Competition = Lower Prices, Better Quality, and Best Possible Product. Without it we have...well...what we have now. Petition EA and the NFL. Its the only way.

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kz1den

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I know that I have pushed like a gazillion posts through this forum, and I hope that each one of you all follow suit, but this "Maddeness" has to stop. A statement must be made. You would think that the NFL would have learned from the backlash three years ago, but no; they come back and pull this BS again (I'm not certain if another "bidding war" ensued this go round or not, but either way, it's f***ed up). Yes it's true that as the brokers of this deal, they shoulder the ultimate blame for this. And again, yes, we the consumers must do our part and give Madden the cold shoulder, whether you are a Madden faithful or not. However, another contributing factor that hasn't been touched upon is these gaming publications. It's the IGN's, Gamespot's, and EGM's of the world that sway the public with these overrated reviews of Madden. These "professionals" should know better than anyone on this post, that Madden has become more repetitive than ever. People, please realize that we are coming up with more and more ways of helping EA with their monopolistic practices. Again, I strongly urge you, STOP INVESTING IN EA'S ANNUAL CRAPFEST. Seriously, it's not that hard. Well, until my next post....

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casesomething

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guess im not buying any football games til 2013...

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Cobalt_Strike

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Horrible news for NFL fans. Its this reason alone I stopped buying the NASCAR games, add to the fact that they can't even touch the old Sierra/Papyrus' attempts.

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Justforfun44

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This seems to be a bad deal for gamers and football fans.

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DannyK5

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Thank you EA, for ruining football video games for me for another 4 years! You are not and you never will be anywhere near as fun and polished as the 2K series was. Apparently competition is not a good thing for those who cannot compete.

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