NBA Extends Games Deals With EA, Take Two

The National Basketball Association today announced that they have signed new multiyear video game publishing deals with Electronic Arts and Take Two Interactive.

The deals allow both companies to both continue to develop and publish NBA basketball games using NBA teams and players. Terms of the deal, including the length and financials, were not disclosed. Gaming Bus has asked both EA and Take Two for specifics, and will update this post with any answers.

NBA 2K11 has sold over 5m copies, a record for the franchise. Sales were helped by the lack of a simulation release from EA Sports, who cancelled the release of NBA Elite ’11 close to its original release date due to an unsatisfactory internal review. EA Sports decided instead to ship boxed retail versions of NBA Jam for the high definition consoles.

Thanks to Operation Sports for the original report.

Analysis:This deal works out well for both companies. NBA 2K11 is the best selling title and the best overall title, but anything that EA Sports releases will sell reasonably well. Furthermore, they still have NBA Jam, which recently released with an outstanding iOS version.

This also works out best for fans. The NBA is the only sports league that has multiple companies duking it out across all consoles for supremacy. The NHL has one company because Take Two decided to change NHL 2K to a semi-yearly rotation, partly due to sales and partly due to the fact that the game was decidedly inferior to EA’s NHL series. Take Two has a selective exclusive license with Major League Baseball that allows them to put out games across all platforms, but still allows Sony to put out their (superior) product, The Show. Every other league of any relevance – most notably the National Football League – has signed exclusivity with EA Sports. the NFL’s deal now extends to 2018, and the deal has done nothing but antagonize football gamers who are growing weary of what is becoming a mediocre product, but have nowhere else to go. The NBA is doing smart business; they’re forcing real competition, and not going for the quick and easy buck like the NFL did. It’s a win for the NBA, a win for companies, and a win for gamers.

Christopher Bowen

About Christopher Bowen

Christopher Bowen is the Editor in Chief of Gaming Bus. Before opening Gaming Bus in May of 2011, he was the News Editor at Diehard GameFAN, a lead reporter for DailyGamesNews, and a reviewer at Not A True Ending, also contributing to VIMM, SNESZone and Scotsmanality. Outside of the industry, he is a network engineer in Norwalk, CT and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.