John Madden is headed back to the cover of the video game franchise he created in 1988.
What Happened: In honor of Madden Day, the day celebrating the anniversary of the launch of “John Madden Football” on June 1, 1988, Electronic Arts EA announced the legendary coach will be the cover star of the 2022 release of the annual NFL video game.
“What better day to celebrate Coach Madden and his legendary career in sport and entertainment than the day he changed the gaming industry forever,” the press release reads.
Along with the cover, Electronic Arts will continue to provide funds for the John Madden Legacy Commitment to Education and for the dedication of a renovated field in Madden’s honor.
“Coach Madden was a lifelong believer in the importance of education, and we’re privileged to support these amazing organizations that are creating opportunities for the next generation to pursue their dreams in his honor,” EA Sports EVP and GM Cam Weber said.
In-game features to honor Madden will include Coach Madden leading “All Madden” teams in the 1970s Oakland Coliseum and remastered audio clips of Madden as a broadcaster.
Additional features for the “Madden NFL 23” game and ways it will honor the late coach will be revealed in the coming weeks, EA said.
Why It’s Important: Created in 1988, the Madden football video game franchise is one of the bestselling video game series of all time and among the most successful sports franchises in the gaming space.
The “Madden NFL 23” cover with Madden marks his first return to the cover of the game in over two decades. After appearing on several covers, the series switched to including one NFL player or multiple players on each year’s release.
The “Madden 22” cover featured Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.
Electronic Arts releases several sports titles annually and has seen the Madden games as one of its chart toppers each year. “Madden NFL 22” was the third bestselling video game in 2021, trailing only two titles in the “Call of Duty” franchise.
“Madden NFL 23” has an anticipated release of August 2022 ahead of the 2022 NFL season.
EA Price Action: According to Benzinga Pro, Electronic Arts shares are trading at $138.48 at the time of writing, versus a 52-week range of $109.24 to $148.93.
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