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EA Signs NFL Exclusive

It might be too early to talk about next year's football video game offerings, but Electronic Arts (EA) and the NFL announced a new deal this week that will make next season a lot less interesting. The companies have agreed to an exclusive 5-year licensing agreement that will make EA the only company that can use official NFL team and player names in video games. The agreement most likely spells an end to numerous Madden NFL competitors, including Sega Sports' excellent and inexpensive ESPN NFL Football. The thought of playing a football game between the New England Tea Drinkers vs. the New York Hawks doesn't sound very appealing, does it? This year, Sega raised the stakes on Madden by lowering the price of its game to a budget-friendly $19.99, compared to Madden's lofty $55 price tag. The price decrease worked so well, it forced EA Sports to decrease Madden's price to $30. So, expect Madden to return to its expensive price tag next year without Sega's offering on the market. Shame on EA and the NFL for making one of the more exciting and popular video game genres less compelling to consumers. We want choice

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