Madden NFL

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Madden NFL
Madden NFL Logo.png
Original title John Madden Football
developer EA Tiburon
Publisher EA Sports
First title John Madden Football (1988)
Last title Madden 20 (2019)
Platform (s) Apple II , Commodore 64 , DOS , Windows , Mega Drive , Saturn , Game Boy , Game Boy Advance , Game Gear , SNES , Nintendo 64 , GameCube , Nintendo DS , Game Boy Advance , Wii , Xbox , Xbox 360 , Xbox One , PlayStation , PS2 , PS3 , PS4 , iOS , Android
Genre (s) Sports simulation

Madden NFL is a series of American football sports simulations for PCs and game consoles named after American football coach John Madden and has been published annually since 1988 . Alongside FIFA, Madden NFL is one of the most important sports licenses of the American game publisher Electronic Arts . The success of the series is representative of the Group's rise to become one of the world's largest game providers and is a cornerstone of EA's market leadership in the field of sports simulations. The development is since 1995 published Madden NFL '96 with Electronic Arts Tiburon (EA) and is released under the label EA Sports . The series has been an officially licensed product by the NFL since 1993 and has had an exclusive license since 2005, which grants it sole use of all team and league data. The youngest offshoot of the series is Madden NFL 20 , which was released on August 2, 2019 in America and Europe.


While looking for a testimonial for the product, Electronic Arts set up a meeting with John Madden, the former Superbowl trainer for the Oakland Raiders . EA CEO Trip Hawkins presented Madden to a TV appointment in the mid-1980s together with programmer Robin Antonick, his idea of ​​a football simulation in which the number of players was originally six or seven instead of the official ones due to the low hardware performance of the current gaming devices should limit eleven players, a measure common for sports simulations at this time. He met with strict rejection at Madden, who only wanted to lend his name to a simulation that was as realistic as possible: “ If it isn't 11 on 11, it isn't real football. I'm not putting my name on it if it's not real. ”(German:“ If it's not 11 against 11, then it's not real football. I won't give my name to something that's not realistic. ”) EA began looking for a way to implement Madden's specifications.

In 1986 the American developer Bethesda Softworks published the abstract, tactical football simulation Gridiron! . In Gridiron! a simply sketched playing field is presented to the player from a bird's eye view, on which 22 points move, which symbolize the players. A special feature of Bethesda's game was that the execution of the moves was not only calculated in advance on the basis of statistics, but also took into account an early form of game physics. For example, taller and heavier players could break through tackling attempts by smaller, lighter players. Ball and player interacted with each other as well as with the environment, which retrospectively earned the title ratings such as “first modern sports game”. EA signed a deal with Bethesda to develop a sequel to Gridiron! . Despite the contract, the cooperation was never implemented. Instead, Bethesda tried Electronic Arts in court in 1988 for releasing a successor to Gridiron! Deliberately delaying and misusing large portions of Bethesda's code to develop their own football game. For this, Bethesda asked EA $ 7.3 million. The extent to which the allegations were true and how big Bethesda's contribution to the later John Madden Football was was never publicly clarified, but in 2002 Bethesda founder Chris Weaver continued to claim that Madden was originally based on the Gridiron! based.

The first edition of the game was created internally at Electronic Arts and was launched in 1988 under the title John Madden Football for the Apple II , and a year later for MS-DOS and Commodore 64. However, the available hardware performance turned out to be insufficient. The breakthrough came with the first console version for the Sega Mega Drive in 1990. A year later, the game was also released for Super Nintendo . EA Sports has been improving the game since 1991 or John Madden Football '92 . Released in 1993, Madden NFL '94 proved significant in several ways. In the same year EA changed its label ESN (EA Sports Network) at the request of the sports broadcaster ESPN to EA Sports. Madden NFL '94 was the first game to use the longstanding advertising slogan "EA Sports - It's in the Game". In addition, the series received an official license from the National Football League for the first time and thus its name, which is still valid today. The player licenses were added two years later.

There are versions of the game for Xbox , PlayStation 2 , GameCube , PlayStation , Microsoft Windows , Nintendo DS , Game Boy Advance , Xbox 360 , Wii , iPhone and since Madden NFL 08 also for PlayStation 3 . Madden NFL 09 , released on August 28, 2008, was the first version not available for PC.

The game is characterized by ever larger improvements in game mechanics, graphics and simulation. The action was commentated by John Madden, accompanied by Pat Summerall and later by Monday Night Football commentator Al Michaels . Since Madden 10 comments on NBC -Sportreporter Cris Collinsworth together with Tom Hammond and since Madden 11 with Gus Johnson the game.

On December 13, 2004, EA Sports announced that the company holds exclusive NFL rights for five years, which is why it was prohibited to all others to market games with any NFL license. Many saw this as an attempt by EA's to take over absolute monopoly over football games. Although the games NFL GameDay from 989 Sports and Microsoft's NFL Fever had to be taken off the market, there was tough competition from Sega / Take 2's ESPN NFL 2K5 and its lower retail price.

With Madden NFL 10 (2009) the possibility was opened for the first time to purchase gaming advantages via micropayment .

In 2013 the series celebrated its 25th anniversary, which is why the offshoot published for this year, instead of (according to the series logic) the title Madden NFL 14, had the different title Madden NFL 25 . The American Museum of the Moving Image addressed on the occasion of the anniversary, a special exhibition titled Madden NFL 25 Years and Running from 9 January to 23 February 2014 from.

Madden has also been available for mobile devices since August 12, 2014.

With Madden NFL 18, as in the previous FIFA series, the Frostbite engine was introduced into the game.

Since Madden NFL 19, the series has now been released again for PC in addition to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 via the Internet sales platform Origin .

Publication date

The games in the Madden NFL series, starting with the 2003 version, were all released in August just before the start of the NFL season. The year number on the cover does not refer to the year of the season, but to the year in which the corresponding Super Bowl takes place. For example, Madden NFL 2011 was released in August 2010 before the 2010 season began .


Madden NFL is one of the most important brands of EA Sports, and is one of the most important brands in Electronic Arts' US home market. In 2013, Madden NFL, together with FIFA, generated 67% of total EA Sports sales. Both series thus form the basis for EA's market leadership in the field of sports simulations. As of 2013, sales of all Madden titles were over 100 million units. Historically, the success of the series is closely linked to EA's rise to become one of the world's largest computer game manufacturers.

Madden NFL 19 , the current installment (as of September 3, 2018), received mostly positive reviews. The online database Metacritic determined a Metascore between 80 and 82 out of 100 possible points on the basis of various test reports, depending on the different gaming platform. Christian Dörre from PC Games praised the realistic representation of the sport, but rated the story mode as a "kitschy and disastrously embarrassing longshot story".

The "Madden Curse"

Until 1998, all covers of the game were designed with John Madden , after which particularly popular NFL players were selected. But most of the players who had this honor so far suffered bad luck in the following season, which is why TIME magazine , the sports broadcaster ESPN and the Fanzine Bleacher Report are talking about the "Madden Curse". EA Sports announced in 2010 that it would be making a comedy film about the Madden Curse and has not pursued the project since 2014.

The highlighted years refer to the Madden version, not necessarily the year of publication.

  • 1999 was the cover athlete Garrison Hearst of the San Francisco 49ers , who broke his fibula and stopped playing for almost two years.
  • In 2000 , cover athletes were Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions and Dorsey Levens of the Green Bay Packers . Sanders ended his career surprisingly, and Levens seriously injured his knee.
  • 2001 Eddie George got this honor from the Tennessee Titans , who underwent a fumble in the playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens against Ray Lewis , which Lewis promoted to touchdown in the end zone.
  • 2002 was Daunte Culpepper of the Minnesota Vikings called its performance suddenly dropped to the basement (32 touchdowns, 36 interceptions) and with his star receiver Randy Moss docked.
  • 2003 was the cover athlete Marshall Faulk of the St. Louis Rams , who injured his heel shortly afterwards and never played at the same level again.
  • In 2004 , Michael Vick was selected by the Atlanta Falcons , who broke his leg in the pre-season.
  • 2005 was the name of the cover athlete Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens , who broke his hand and played his statistically worst season.
  • In 2006 , Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles adorned the Madden cover, who suffered multiple foot injuries, played moderately and messed with teammate Terrell Owens .
  • 2007 got Shaun Alexander from the Seattle Seahawks this honor, the foot was broke and never drew more on his performance.
  • In 2008 the cover athlete was Vince Young (Titans), who injured his thigh and then his knee and never reached his previous level. Luis Castillo was chosen as the cover star by the San Diego Chargers for the first-ever Spanish-language edition of the game . Castillo missed 6 games due to injuries and fell behind his previous year's performance in all statistical categories.
  • 2009 was Brett Favre of the New York Jets to see the threw out after a good start with a season of three touchdowns and nine interceptions his Jets from the playoff race.
  • In 2010 , Troy Polamalu ( Pittsburgh Steelers ) and Larry Fitzgerald ( Arizona Cardinals ) were selected. Polamalu tore the inner ligament and later the cruciate ligament, and Fitzgerald suffered a bruised rib after a very good regular season, which eliminated him shortly before the playoffs.
  • In 2011 , the cover athlete was Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints . He made negative sporting history as his Saints became the first team in NFL history to be in the playoffs of the 2010 NFL season by one team after the play-off loss to the Seattle Seahawks (7-9 wins in the regular season) was defeated with just seven wins this season.
  • In 2012 , Peyton Hillis , running back of the Cleveland Browns , was surprisingly selected as a cover athlete for Madden NFL 12 after a fan vote on the Internet . In the 2011 season following the publication, he was slowed down by several injuries and his statistical values ​​were almost halved. In addition, he was only able to play 10 of the 16 season games due to the injuries.
  • 2013 was the cover athlete Calvin Johnson . He played a very good season, including breaking the NFL record for yards trapped, but his Detroit Lions still only won four season games.
  • 2014 Adrian Peterson was selected as cover athlete for the 'next-gen' version ( Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ) . (For the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, Barry Sanders was chosen as a cover athlete.) The season began for him with a personal tragedy when his son was killed by his mother's boyfriend. He also scored only 5 wins in 16 games with the Minnesota Vikings and was injured towards the end of the season. In the actual calendar year 2014, Peterson was charged with child abuse and banned for the entire season.
  • 2015 Richard Sherman was selected as a cover athlete for this edition . He played an excellent season and moved into the Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks . He suffered a serious arm injury and lost the final 24:28 to the New England Patriots . A public Super Bowl simulation with Madden 15 predicted this result.
  • In 2016 , Odell Beckham Jr. received the honor. He played a good season, but his New York Giants still missed the play-offs.
  • In 2017 , Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots got the place on the cover, who only played eight games due to lung and back injuries and was canceled for the play-offs, but was at least the first cover athlete to win the Super Bowl ( LI ) won.
  • In 2018 , Gronkowski's teammate Tom Brady became the new cover athlete. With the Patriots he was MVP of the season and he reached the Super Bowl ( LII ), but where he fumbled the ball in the penultimate attack series and lost the Super Bowl.
  • In 2019 , wide receiver Antonio Brown came on the cover of the Madden series. He missed the play-offs with the Steelers and fell out with his quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before the last day of the season . Brown was traded to the Oakland Raiders after the season . He was never really able to gain a foothold there and was released before the start of the season after numerous escapades. He was then signed by the New England Patriots , but released after one game. Afterwards he had to struggle with personal problems, which is why he was not signed by any other team.
  • The 2020 Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is on the cover. After the curse hit Antonio Brown particularly badly the year before , the curse is finally refuted with Mahome's Super Bowl victory and the Super Bowl MVP award .

The Madden Bowl

The Madden Bowl is an elimination tournament held with the current edition of Madden Football. It has been held in the host's town during the Super Bowl weekend since 1995 and has historically attracted many NFL celebrities and players. In the meantime, however, only NFL players have the opportunity to participate. The participants can freely choose the team, so they do not have to compete with their real team. The winner will receive the Madden Bowl Trophy and will be mentioned in the next part of the series.

Madden Bowl winner

Winner of the rookie Madden Bowls (2006-2009)


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Travis Fahs: The History of Madden. In: August 6, 2008, accessed December 7, 2009 .
  2. a b Before Elder Scrolls, Bethesda Created ... Madden
  3. Nat Friedland: Late News Flashes: EA South . In: Antic . 7, No. 5, September 1988, p. 55. ISSN  0113-1141 .
  4. Editor: EA Changes the Name of the Game . In: GamePro (US) . No. 45, April 1993, p. 176.
  5. ^ Rejection, tragedy and billions of dollars - The story of FIFA
  6. ^ Madden NFL '94 retrospective: Game-changing entry in the NFL series
  7. ^ It's in the game: the rise of EA Sports microtransactions
  8. ^ Museum of the Moving Image
  9. Jared Nelson: 'Madden NFL Mobile' Soft-Launches in Canada, and Yeah, It's a Free to Play Game . TouchArcade. August 12, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  10. Electronic Arts' Q2 Revenues Driven By New Edition Of Sports Titles & Strong Digital Growth
  11. ^ Madden: The $ 4 billion video game franchise
  12. Meta rating “Madden NFL 19” (PlayStation 4 version). In: Metacritic . CBS Corporation , accessed September 3, 2018 .
  13. Meta rating “Madden NFL 19” (Windows version). In: Metacritic . CBS Corporation , accessed September 3, 2018 .
  14. Meta-rating “Madden NFL 19” (Xbox One version). In: Metacritic . CBS Corporation , accessed September 3, 2018 .
  15. Christian Dörre: Madden NFL 19 in the test. In: PC Games . August 9, 2018, accessed September 3, 2018 .
  16. ^ The Madden Curse ,
  17. ^ History of the 'Madden' Curse ,
  18. ^ History Of the Madden Curse: A Look Back At Each Tragedy ,
  21. 'Madden NFL 15' Predicts Super Bowl Patriots Victory - Right Down To The Score ,
  22. Rob Gronkowski to undergo back surgery Friday
  23. ^ Steelers agree to trade Antonio Brown to Raiders for two draft picks, WR gets pay raise. Retrieved June 13, 2019 .