08:08 AM - May 23, 2011 by Steve_OS
NEW YORK, May 23, 2011 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced new multiyear agreements with Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), extending the league’s longstanding relationship with each company to continue to develop, publish, and distribute NBA video games.
The new agreements will provide fans with a diverse offering of NBA video games, including 5-on-5 simulation and arcade style games that will be available on video game consoles, online, and through mobile devices.
“We have had successful and longstanding relationships with both 2K Sports and EA SPORTS,” said Sal LaRocca, Executive Vice President of NBA Global Merchandising. “Extending our agreements with the top sports video game developers continues to maximize our presence in this category, while ensuring our fans the best selection of NBA video games.”
Take-Two and EA will each have the rights to use NBA teams and players in their NBA video game titles. Throughout the agreements, the league will work closely with Take-Two and EA to promote the basketball video games through global marketing, promotional programs, and multiple assets including NBA TV, NBA.com, and grassroots events.
Take-Two, an NBA licensee since 1999 and with the new agreement, an official marketing partner of the NBA, will continue to publish the NBA 2K franchise through its 2K Sports publishing label. NBA 2K, a 5-on-5 simulation which originally debuted in 1999, will be released on a yearly basis on all leading video game platforms.
This year, NBA 2K 11 which features Michael Jordan on the cover, has sold more than five million units to date, a record for the NBA 2K franchise.
“We’re pleased to extend our successful relationship with the NBA, that will allow 2K Sports to continue to innovate the basketball video game category with our critically acclaimed NBA 2K franchise,” said Jason Argent, vice president of marketing for 2K Sports. “Our partnership ensures that we can continue to marry innovative gameplay with the authenticity of the NBA that today’s sports fans demand.”
Along with the acclaimed NBA 2K franchise, 2K Sports will have the opportunity to explore and develop new NBA licensed gaming opportunities, including online on social media platforms.
EA, an NBA licensee since 1991, will debut a new 5-on-5 NBA simulation title in fall 2012. The game is being developed at EA Tiburon in Orlando. EA SPORTS originally unveiled their simulation game, NBA LIVE in 1995.
Along with a new simulation game, EA will continue to publish their arcade-style video game franchise EA SPORTS NBA JAM. The latest edition, NBA JAM: On Fire Edition is being developed for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, and it will be available on PlayStation® Network and Xbox LIVE® Arcade this fall. EA SPORTS revived NBA JAM, the popular arcade game from the early 1990’s, in October 2010.
“We’re pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with the NBA,” said Jordan Edelstein, Vice President of Marketing, EA SPORTS. “With our all-new digital download of NBA JAM coming this fall and a new simulation title in development for release next year, we have a strong lineup of innovative NBA titles coming soon from EA SPORTS.”
Operation Sports' Take: These renewals are not surprising. The NBA seems to think the best way to get its product out to the most people is by avoiding exclusive licensing contracts in this area. With that in mind, it was more up to EA and Take-Two to extend their contracts. Since Take-Two is having its best year yet with NBA 2K, and EA has confirmed that it is working on a new NBA title, it never appeared like either was likely to walk away from a new licensing agreement.