EA Forked Over $35 Million To Secure Player Licenses For Madden
You know, it takes large sums of cash to corner any given market. So when EA set out to do just that by securing exclusive NFL rights for their Madden franchise, we all figured a ton of money must be changing hands. But do you realize how much?
Well, here's a clue. According to GamePolitics, we now know how much it cost EA to obtain NFL player rights for their long-running and ultra-profitable franchise. Former Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Dave Pear posted the NFLPA's 2007 LM-2, which is a report required by the U.S. Department of Labor. In it, the amount of money received by EA for "licensing payments to the NFLPA" is revealed: $35,141,950. Yep, that's over $35 million, and it does not include the money EA needed to fork over to nab team names, logos, uniforms, stadiums, etc.; that money was just for the player names. And remember, that $35 million only went to the Player's Union, and we have to believe that further licensing paid directly to the league cost even more. Therefore, EA obviously doled out a huge amount of cash in order to keep any competitors off the playing field, so-to-speak. It seems to have worked, as the Madden franchise continues to sell well each and every year, and Madden NFL 09 was one of the better installments in recent memory.
Then again, we have to wonder: as entrenched as that franchise is, did EA need the exclusive rights? Would it not have continued to be a colossal cash cow even if 2K had kept making their football games? Millions upon millions of people know the Madden name, so we're wondering if that recognition would've been enough...
2/4/2009 Ben Dutka