EA announces next football game will be ‘Madden 25′

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Madden NFL is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014. So instead of its traditional annual numbering, the upcoming installment will be Madden 25 instead of Madden 14. That’s not the only old school surprise. In recent years, fans have been able to vote for the cover athlete. That’s the case again this year, but legendary NFL players will be in the vote as well. One bracket will feature 32 of the NFL and Madden’s greatest players.  The other will feature today’s greatest athletes.

Fan voting begins March 11 at ESPN’s cover vote site. A special edition of ESPN’s SportsNation will reveal the winner. Last year’s winner was Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, also known as “Megatron.” More than 20 million voters propelled him to the win. He may have shattered the mythology of the “Madden Curse” with a record-setting 2013 season.

John Madden’s involvement in football games brought unprecedented realism to the field. The iconic coach would only participate if EA committed to making the game as realistic as possible. Other games didn’t even feature a full 22 men on the field, and many didn’t bother to secure the league’s license. Once EA stepped its game into high gear, every contender had to do the same. Other gridiron greats including Troy Aikman and Joe Montana had their own forays into gaming. No other brand was able to stand the test of time.

Madden’s toughest challenge came from 2K Sports NFL 2K series.  It boasted the NFL license and very realistic gameplay. The publisher released NFL 2K5 at the bargain price of $20. EA countered by locking up that license exclusively in 2005, and hasn’t faced a serious challenger since doing so. Even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has acknowledged the impact Madden NFL has had on the actual sport. Real athletes, who get paid millions of dollars to play real pro football, still bug designers about their fictional ratings. That’s impacting sports culture, folks.

Site [EA Sports]

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