This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Is This the Last Super Bowl for Madden NFL?

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- On the eve of its third fiscal quarter earnings announcement and just days from Super Bowl XLVIII, this should be a moment of triumph for Electronic Arts and its Madden NFL football video game franchise.

Madden NFL 25 was the third best-selling game in the U.S. last year according to NPD Group, and the first of two EA games (Battlefield 4 being the other) in last year's Top 5. EA just released its pre-Super Bowl and Pro Bowl roster updates for the game and is still bolstered by the enthusiasm for the new Sony Playstation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One consoles.

That's likely where the good news ends. When the calendar flipped to 2014, EA Sports' exclusive license from the National Football League and the National Football League players' association expired. The last time a gamer played an NFL-licensed console game with actual player names attached to it was the last time he or she fired up a copy of Take Two's NFL 2K5 -- released just less than 10 years ago.

EA was absolutely ecstatic to get exclusive NFL and NFLPA rights when entering the deal back in 2005, but the company was alone in its joy. Gamers raised on the 2K titles and games such as Tecmo Bowl hated the lack of options and filed a class-action lawsuit against EA in 2009 on the grounds that it violated antitrust laws. While the NFL has an antitrust exemption dating back to the 1960s, it doesn't extend to partners such as EA, which settled with gamers for $27 million last year.

NFL players weren't exactly thrilled with the deal, either. NFL retirees accused their union of rejecting more money from 2K Sports in favor of a deal that used their likenesses without permission. They sued the NFLPA and, eventually, took home a $24 million settlement.

Robin Antonick, a developer who helped create the original John Madden Football for personal computers back in 1988, is also seeking his cut. During the game's 25th anniversary last year, Antonick and EA celebrated by spending much of the year in court awaiting a decision on $11 million in damages awarded to Antonick. That money is still in limbo.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,919.59 +80.85 0.48%
S&P 500 1,981.60 +9.86 0.50%
NASDAQ 4,527.5140 +19.2020 0.43%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs