REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 13, 2004--Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS - News) today announced exclusive licensing relationships with the National Football League and PLAYERS INC to develop, publish and distribute interactive football games. These five-year agreements -- which EA negotiated separately -- give EA the exclusive rights to the NFL teams, stadiums and players for use in its football videogames. Both agreements also include exclusive rights for console online features. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
For the first time, all aspects of the interactive experience -- including console-based fantasy football features and handheld game devices -- will be fully integrated with one EA game. This also provides the opportunity for new games and for EA to access both NFL Films and the NFL Network for use in the games.
"We are pleased to expand our agreement with Electronic Arts, the leading video game manufacturer and a valued NFL partner," said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "We look forward to working with EA to continue to enhance the quality of NFL video games that our fans have enjoyed for many years."
"For more than a decade, EA has produced the most authentic football product for fans of the game," said PLAYERS INC Chairman Gene Upshaw. "This exclusive relationship will maximize the value of NFL players through EA's continued commitment to bring fans closer to the game."
"We are excited about the opportunity to further enhance our relationship with the NFL and PLAYERS INC," said Larry Probst, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Arts. "The five-year agreements will usher NFL fans through the console technology transition with new ideas and innovative game play experiences."
Both agreements are exclusive for action simulation, arcade-style and manager games on the PC, handheld game devices and consoles -- including console online features. The agreements do not include exclusive rights to other types of games or games accessible from the Internet or wireless devices, including cellular phones.
Madden NFL Football from the EA SPORTS(TM) brand has sold more than 42 million copies over the franchise's 15 year history. Madden NFL 2005, the most complete football game ever, is available for the PlayStationÃ‚Â®2 computer entertainment system, XboxÃ‚Â® videogame system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM), Game BoyÃ‚Â® Advance, the PlayStationÃ‚Â® console and PC. NFL STREET 2 for the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox system and Nintendo GameCube will be on store shelves by December 26, 2004. Both games were developed by EA Tiburon, and rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB. The games official websites are www.madden2005.com and www.nflstreet2.com.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, EA posted revenues of $2.96 billion for fiscal 2004. The company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers and the Internet. In 2003, EA had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. Electronic Arts markets its products under three brand names: EA SPORTS(TM), EA GAMES(TM) and EA SPORTS BIG(TM). EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.
About PLAYERS INC
Formed in 1994, PLAYERS INC is the for-profit licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association. Representing more than 1,800 active and 3,500 retired NFL players, PLAYERS INC "takes the helmets off" the players and markets them as personalities as well as professional athletes. PLAYERS INC activities include retail licensing, corporate sponsorships, special events, radio and television projects, publishing and other promotional programs. PLAYERS INC schedules more than 2,500 NFL player appearances each year. For more information, please visit www.nflplayers.com.
Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA GAMES, EA SPORTS BIG and John Madden Football are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League. Officially licensed product of PLAYERS INC. PlayStation is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft and Xbox are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries and are used under license from Microsoft. Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance are trademarks of Nintendo.