Electronic Arts and the National Football League have renewed the exclusivity contract that gives the game publisher exclusive rights to make so-called simulation football games, which is the classification used for photorealistic football games featuring licensed team names and real players.
The contract now extends to May 2026, although financial terms of the deal, like past contracts between EA and the NFL, were not disclosed. The deal was voted on and approved on Thursday, although Polygon reports the terms were decided before today’s vote among team owners and that any such vote over NFL’s video game licensing renewal is merely a formality at this point.
While some football fans may have been hoping for the NFL to expand its licensing to other sports game franchises like 2K, EA and its Madden series will remain the only way to play simulation football for the foreseeable future. 2K Sports, owned by competing video game publisher Take-Two Interactive, signed a deal with the NFL back in March that grants it rights to make non-simulation football games. That means 2K cannot revive its Madden competitor NFL 2K and is restricted to what the EA and NFL deal calls “arcade-style games, youth games, and casual/mobile games.”