Get ready for more Madden.

EA, the NFL, and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), announced a multi-year renewal of their existing partnership. This partnership will mean that EA will be the only studio that can create "authentic football simulation games." Not only that, but this new partnership deal will allow EA Sports the ability to "develop games in new genres, expanded esports programs, and additional experiences for fans across more platforms."

I, for one, am now eagerly awaiting the action-adventure NFL title from EA Sports.

This extended partnership comes just as Madden NFL 20 is said to be the most successful game in the history of the franchise. EA says that unique players for the franchise have grown by 30% when compared to Madden NFL 19. Since its release on June 14, 2020, Madden NFL 20 players have logged more than 330 million hours of game time. Over 1 billion minutes of the game have been watched on Twitch alone. To put it another way, this equates to roughly 2,600 NFL seasons of Madden NFL 20 content watched by viewers. The game has even been broadcast on various ESPN stations. I mean, what else is there to watch on ESPN right now? Traditional sports aren't happening yet.

But what about the return of 2K? Didn't we just have an announcement that 2K partnered with the NFL to create new football games? Yes and no. Contrary to my initial impressions of the deal, the partnership between 2K and the NFL will have 2K Sports making multiple non-sim football titles. This means that while 2K Sports is allowed to make arcade-style football games, the "simulation" football games are still exclusively EA's domain. If nothing else, this could mean that we end up in a situation where we get both a new Madden title and a new NFL Blitz-like experience at the same time again.

The duration of this new agreement between EA, the NFL, and the NFLPA was not revealed. We know only that it's a multi-year deal. We also do not yet know how much this deal cost EA, but we may know a bit more the next time EA releases their financials.

Fans will get their first look at Madden NFL 21 on June 1, 2020.

“Building on the most successful year ever for Madden NFL, this is a powerful time for EA SPORTS to come together with the NFL and the NFLPA in this new wide-reaching partnership,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. “Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to entertain more players through new Madden NFL experiences, games in new genres and on new platforms, esports, and new innovations that will grow fans’ love of the NFL around the world.”

“EA has been a trusted partner for more than thirty years and they continue to bring innovation, authenticity and creativity to everything they do and we are certainly a great example of that as evidenced by the huge success of Madden NFL 20,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The expansion of this partnership is not only about the continued success of the Madden NFL franchise but also the creation of new avenues for our fans to connect with the sport they love.”

“EA SPORTS and Madden NFL are such pivotal points of connection for NFL players, the sport and its fans,” said DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA and Board Member of OneTeam Partners. “We have a shared vision to expand the fanbase of football through interactivity, and we’re thrilled to continue our strong partnership with EA SPORTS to bring this to life in more ways than ever.”

EA SPORTS, the NFL and the NFLPA will also partner on innovative new experiences and more ways for fans around the world to connect with the excitement of NFL football. This will include games in new genres with more forms of play and self-expression, available on more platforms, including expanded offerings for mobile players. Esports will also continue to grow, with increased competitive programs and broadcast content to reach and entertain more fans. This partnership will also focus on design, visualization and development innovations to grow and deepen the world of Madden NFL, impacting how it plays and feels, and how players connect to the world of the NFL as it happens.