Thanks to GameSpot for its news story reporting that EA may be on the verge of an exclusive contract for NFL football player likenesses
. According to the piece, which quotes a Sports Business Journal
article: "Electronic Arts is in final negotiations with Players Inc., the NFL Players' Association marketing arm, to exclusively license all NFL player rights for the next four years. The Journal set the price tag of the deal at $250 million each year, which EA would pay Players Inc.; in other words, a literal billion-dollar contract."
The story goes on to note: "If that turns out to be the case, no non-EA Sports game could license NFL player likenesses--an almost certainly fatal blow to the Madden series' rivals." Update: 05/19 21:07 GMT
: It seems the linked article has been retracted: "When contacted by GameSpot, NFLPA executives said that not only was the story false, but The Sports Business Journal has since run a retraction."