Madden NFL 12 Preview

  • By: CM Boots-Faubert
  • Posted 30th Aug 2011

Madden NFL 12

Very few sports video games have the history and traditions that are attached to the long-running Madden NFL series, which was originally established as 'John Madden Football' in the titles that were released prior to 1993. A sports simulation video game that is based upon professional American Football and developed by the studio Electronic Arts Tiburon for EA Sports, Madden NFL features the famous football teams and personalities of the National Football League, whose games whether televised or viewed in person are widely considered to be the greatest sporting empire ever.

The strength of the series is not simply its cutting-edge code and its ability to feature the personalities and teams of the NFL, but extends to the exclusivity of that license, which it acquired in 2004, when EA inked a deal with both the NFL and NFL Player's Association (NFLPA) that extended through 2009, giving the game maker the exclusive rights to use the NFL's teams, stadiums, and players in a video game.

At the time the deal was reportedly worth more than $300 million USD, and gave the series an edge that turned it into what has become the best selling American Football simulation ever. When it expired in 2009, EA extended its exclusive license through 2013, an action that generated considerable controversy among both the very vocal and loyal football gaming community and the sports games industry.

The original exclusive license -- and its extension -- effectively put an end to competition from other games based upon the NFL style of football, causing publishers who previously created games that directly competed with the Madden series -- most notably 2K Sports' NFL 2K series -- to cease publishing their titles.

This had a chilling effect upon the football gaming community, who viewed the move by EA as harmful to the otherwise successful genre. Their concerns stemmed from the fact that exclusivity reduced the need for EA to maintain its demonstrated tradition of constantly improving game quality, innovation, and the features that are thought to have been spurred on by the competition between Madden and other football games in the genre.

Based upon the time that we spent with Madden NFL 12 at E3, and the last few annual additions to the series those fears, while certainly legitimate, appear not to have had the impact or effect that many gamers felt that they would. In fact our experience with the game