German soccer’s Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) body has announced an early extension to its long-standing commercial agreement with EA Sports, the sports arm of video game developer Electronic Arts, to at least 2027.

The new deal, which covers the top-tier Bundesliga and second-tier 2.Bundesliga, will see EA Sports retain exclusive license rights for match simulation across all clubs, matches, and players in the two leagues, as well as the annual German Supercup competition.

As part of the contract, the company will continue as the presenting partner of both league’s Player of the Month and Player of the Season awards.

DFL chief executive Marc Lenz said: “The cooperation with EA Sports is much more than a licensing partnership – it is of high strategic importance. Our core aim is to reach young fans and find new ways to spark their interest in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2.

“EA Sports FC is a successful part of this strategy because the licensing partnership and the Virtual Bundesliga increase the visibility of our leagues and clubs.”

EA has been an official partner of the Bundesliga since 1998. The last renewal between the two was struck in September 2020 and was to last until the end of the 2024-25 season, however, the pair have now decided to extend their partnership early.

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While the partnership previously saw the inclusion of the leagues and players within the ES Sports FIFA gaming title, the future of the tie-up will see their inclusion in the new EA Sports FC game created after EA Sports’ split with the world governing body.

As part of the previous renewal, the DFL and EA Sports said it would look to further develop the Virtual Bundesliga, the esports league, which is now played by up to 130, 000 players per season.

Since 2018-19, there has also been the VBL Club Championship, in which Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga clubs compete.

EA Sports president Cam Weber said: “Authenticity is core to the EA Sports experience, and through our renewed partnership with the DFL, we’ll bring the fierce competition and legendary clubs and teams from one of the greatest leagues in global football to fans worldwide.

“Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are key to building an innovative and evolving football platform for fans, and we’re thrilled that the DFL shares our vision for the future of football.”

The partnership comes the same week the DFL has taken the first steps towards launching its next four-year domestic broadcast rights tender for the Bundesliga.

The process – which the DFL is reportedly hoping to conclude by June – will cover Bundesliga rights in Germany, alongside Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, South Tyrol, and East Belgium, between the 2025-26 and 2028-29 seasons.

Domestic live TV rights to Bundesliga action during the current cycle – 2021-22 through 2024-25 – are shared between Sky Deutschland, DAZN, ProSiebenSat.1, and Sport1. Public-service broadcaster ARD, meanwhile, holds free-to-air highlights rights.