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Have no fear, o ye Madden faithful! The Madden franchise will continue for at least the next six years.

On Thursday, NFL owners approved an extension of their deal with Electronic Arts. The relationship is now going on 30 years and will not be stopping anytime soon.

The extension was also approved by the NFL Players Association.

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The current contract was set to expire after the 2021 season. The continues EA Sports’ exclusivity as the league’s publisher of simulated football games through 2026.

After 2K Sports signed an agreement with the NFL in March to produce non-simulation games, speculation was high that EA might be out. However, EA Sports executive vice president Cam Weber told ESPN that they had been talking to the NFL for months.

The Madden Effect

There is little wonder why, Madden just makes sense.

There has been a 30% increase in unique players with Madden’s current edition. More than 330 million hours of the game have been played since it was released last August, according to Electronic Arts.

Also, the quarantine effect has blessed EA as the company has seen a huge increase in game play the last couple of months. In addition, many tournaments have taken place, including televised ones.

Madden NFL 21 will come out in early August with the first looks at the game coming next week.

The now-iconic covers for the game are a staple item in sports. Last year, reigning Super Bowl champion and Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes graced the cover.

For the next edition, it is rumored that Baltimore quarterback and reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson is up next. However, EA Sports has not made an announcement.

New generations of gaming consoles that are expected to debut by the end of the year.

The video game landscape is getting fierce. The emergence of new platforms and gaming systems for Sony and Microsoft is a threat to EA’s market share.