With the firestorm of protest that resulted from games giant Electronic Arts' purchase of exclusive rights to the National Football League last December and NCAA Football in April, EA's exclusive signing of the Arena Football league often went overlooked. Now, after five months of silence, EA Sports appears poised to have its first AFL game ready for the league's 2006 season which begins next February.
Arena football is a faster-paced version of football that is played in indoor arenas with a 50-yard playing field. It has produced many eventual NFL players, including Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner. In recent years the league has garnered more and more attention, ultimately locking up a multi-year television contract with NBC. This attention did not go unnoticed by the games community, prompting EA to lock up a license.
The game will look to capture the frantic style of play that the league offers, which should give it hints of NFL Street while still maintaining the simulation style of the Madden series.
While EA remains the bastion of football gaming for many years to come, gamers still sore about the loss of Take-Two's NFL2K franchise now have another log to add to their anti-EA fire.
News source: GameSpot