Well, for those of you who like video game football, it looks like it's Madden or nothing for the next five years. Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reports that the NFL has signed an exclusive deal with EA Sports, the maker of Madden football.
The Madden franchise has set the bar for video game football as long as I've been playing it. So I can't say I'm too disappointed.
Recent competition has been good for consumers, however:
"Before this year, EA's Madden franchise -- which the company has sold more than 40 million copies of since its debut in 1989 -- previously dominated the football game marketplace. Bit players, including Midway, 989 Sports and Microsoft, dropped out of the licensed football game business this year.
But the Madden 2005 game was seriously challenged by NFL 2K5, thanks to good reviews and a pricing war. NFL 2K5 was available in stores in August for $19.95. For three months, the Madden game was priced at $49.95, until the company finally relented on Nov. 8 and lowered it by $20."
I think it's safe to say that EA Sports will ratchet that price back up toward fifty bucks. This will probably price me out, though I think my friends will still let me play the game at their houses.