Today, Electronic Arts has announced that it has rekindled its relationship with both the NFL and the NFLPA. A multi-year deal was struck that guarantees that EA will have the exclusive rights to NFL simulation football. EA also announced that it will expand this deal and work with the NFL and NFLPA on other genres of gaming and will also expand the current esports spectrum for the three sides. The agreement comes at a time when the world is playing and watching more Madden NFL than ever before as NFL fandom worldwide continues to grow. Madden NFL 20 is the most successful game in franchise history.
According to EA, unique players have grown by 30 percent year-over-year, monthly average players have reached an all-time high, more than 330 million hours of the game have been played, and over one billion minutes watched on Twitch since launch. In just the month of April alone, player levels have nearly doubled from last year, and great community and celebrity-athlete competitions broadcast throughout the month led to the equivalent of 2,600 NFL seasons of Madden NFL 20 content watched by viewers around the world. Madden NFL esports also had its biggest year yet, with broadcasts on ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1 bringing Madden competitive programming to tens of millions of fans.
The new genres of gaming that EA and the NFL are speaking of will relate to new forms of play and self-expression. This will include expanded mobile options. Esports will also continue to grow, with increased competitive programs and broadcast content to reach and entertain more fans. This partnership will also focus on design, visualization and development innovations to grow and deepen the world of Madden NFL, impacting how it plays and feels, and how players connect to the world of the NFL as it happens.
“Building on the most successful year ever for Madden NFL, this is a powerful time for EA SPORTS to come together with the NFL and the NFLPA in this new wide-reaching partnership,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. “Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to entertain more players through new Madden NFL experiences, games in new genres and on new platforms, esports, and new innovations that will grow fans’ love of the NFL around the world.”
“EA has been a trusted partner for more than thirty years and they continue to bring innovation, authenticity and creativity to everything they do and we are certainly a great example of that as evidenced by the huge success of Madden NFL 20,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The expansion of this partnership is not only about the continued success of the Madden NFL franchise but also the creation of new avenues for our fans to connect with the sport they love.”