Electronic Arts yesterday announced that they had signed an unprecedented deal with the NFL and the NFL Players Association for the exclusive rights to use players names, team colors, and stadiums for a period of 5 years. Speculation has the price tag at anywhere from $200-400 million. This announcement comes on the heels of another amazing year for "Madden" sales but at a time of fierce competition from ESPN's "NFL 2K5". This is a remarkable deal. No other NFL football game on any platform can use real NFL names, teams, or stadiums. It looks like if I want to play "NFL 2K6" I'll be using the Buffalo Hills with QB Stew Medsoe and running back Gillis McFahee in Ralph Wilton Stadium. The door is open for ESPN's franchise to have fun with the renaming of players, but when it comes down to it, I think it's pretty damaging and that EA made a great (if rude) deal. Read CNN's article.
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