LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Video game maker Electronic Arts struck gold with the launch of their popular football sim “Madden NFL 19” with the game selling more than 130 million copies in its first weekend on the shelves.
The latest installment in the venerable football franchise was released on August 10th across a variety of gaming platforms, to a largely positive critical reception.
The Madden franchise dates back to 1984 when game developer Trip Hawkins approached pro football Hall of Famer John Madden about lending his name and credibility to a football simulation.
John Madden wasn’t even Hawkin’s first choice. Hall of Famer Joe Montana passed on the deal, citing a previous licensing agreement with Atari and negotiations with California Golden Bears coach Joe Kapp broke down over royalties.
As it turns out, Madden was the right sports personality for the job and instead of just licensing his name to the game developers, he pushed them to make as accurate of a simulation of professional football as possible.
Madden further helped to burnish the game’s credibility by providing voice acting to serve as dynamic in-game play calling.
Still, the game didn’t become the powerhouse sports franchise that it is today overnight. Initially, Madden Football didn’t’ even have a licensing deal with the NFL until 1993, when Electronic Arts pacted with the league to acquire the rights to use NFL teams and players.
In 2004, EA made the licensing deal with the NFL exclusive, effectively making Madden the only game in town for NFL fans.
The game has also featured extensive music licensing deals. The most recent edition of Madden features more than 30 tracks at launch from artists including Migos, Pusha T, Post Malone, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, and Lil Yachty, as well as an original score by John Debney.
EA also announced plans to add additional tracks to the list as the 2018 football season progresses.
Interestingly, since 2004, EA has run simulations of the Super Bowl using the most recent iteration of the game. The results approach Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder status and since EA started doing the simulations, the game has accurately picked the winner in 10 of 15 Super Bowls, including correctly identifying the score differential on four separate occasions.