Electronic Arts has dominated the video game pro football market since the early '90s. But then, in 2004, rival NFL 2K5 beat Madden 2005 out in nearly every department, including price (you see, sports games are always one year higher than the actual year in which they are released--this tricks customers into believing that they can look into the future!)
EA Sports learned the hard way that, when someone else sells the exact same product as you, except cheaper, and with an air-hockey minigame and cheerleaders with actual boob-bouncing, it's going to cut into your profit a little bit.
So how could EA overcome their competitor? By working extra hard to make sure their game was superior? By cutting the price?
Don't be ridiculous! They just signed a deal with the NFL that would forbid anyone else from making those games. If competitors wanted to make a football game, it would be without any of your favorite pro teams or players.
So what's the problem?
It's the same as any monopoly: EA no longer had anyone to compete with and, thus, got lazy. Slowly, the Madden games started adding less and less each year, to the point that features were gutted from the first round of Madden games for the new generation of systems. At times the series appears to be going backward, and we project that by 2011, we'll be playing something that looks like Tecmo Bowl.
If McDonald's got an exclusive patent on the hamburger, and the only way better restaurants could sell them would be if they left off the top bun.
There are no IP's in Libertarianism, Ideas are not scarce and thus cannot be property. "Piracy" is the main reason why most videogames are on consoles now, so videogames would continue to be made with no IP's. There probably would not be too many full production games on the PC though.
"The plans differ; the planners are all alike"
I also find it funny that they have exclusive rights to John Madden's image and name. As if all the other football video games are dying to use them.