Electronic Arts (EA) has introduced the Madden NFL Club Championship, a new esports football competition that will enable players to compete on behalf of their favorite team. Through live and online elimination events, winners will qualify to represent each of the 32 NFL franchises in the finals during Super Bowl week in Minneapolis. EA is actively seeking corporate sponsors and broadcast TV partners for the event, while the NFL is funding the competition’s $400,000 prize pool. Registration is now open.
Howie Long-Short: EA stock is up 500% over the last 5 years, but it has nothing to do with the success of the Madden or FIFA franchises. The transition from the physical sale of game discs to digital distribution has sent gross margins from 61.4% in 2012 to an expected 72.1% in 2017.
Fan Marino: The big innovation in Madden ’18 is “longshot” story mode, which places a college QB into a reality show with the end goal of making the NFL. Check out the trailer. Certainly looks intriguing enough to get me to buy the game for the 25th year in a row.