It really is hard for 2kSports to compete with EA's Madden franchise, when EA owns the sole rights to the NFL. I'm sure they can produce a superior game then what the Madden franchise has to offer, however without the NFL backing them it really is a huge task to market it. And I really I don't see them ever letting go of the NFL rights. ESPN NFL 2K5 is the last football game I ever purchased personally.
As for the exclusive multi-player ordeal, I can't say its the worst thing EA has done over the years, not the brightest though. It makes me wonder if they'll continue to to shut down older versions of sports games online, like they've done in the past such as NHL10, in order to force people to buy newer versions of games in order to enjoy the online features? The whole ordeal feels messy, but its their company and realistically its the consumers actions at the checkout that speak to them, not their words. They're a business and they'll do whatever they feel is best.