The rumors are true, folks: the Madden NFL 09 cover will feature one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to set foot on a football field, Brett Favre. It’s a fitting end to the career of the sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer, who currently holds a nigh-ridiculous assortment of the best-known NFL records for QBs. That includes football’s “Iron Man” streak — Favre has started every Packers game since being named the starting quarterback before the fourth game of the 1992 season, for a mind-blowing total of 253 straight games (275 including the playoffs). He will be the first Madden cover athlete who is not an active NFL player.
I’m personally overjoyed that Favre will be on the Madden 09 cover. While I was, of course, ecstatic that his interception in overtime of last season’s NFC title game effectively sent my Giants to the Super Bowl, I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for the maverick gunslinger. He was always immensely fun to watch on the field, and I’m glad that he’ll be in the game as well as on its cover (EA says that Favre won’t be on the Packers’ roster, but he will be playable as the starting QB for the game’s NFL Greats team).
The video above is a “Through The Years” teaser trailer that includes about two full seconds of Madden 09 gameplay footage at the end, though it’s mostly a retrospective of the last twenty years of Madden gaming. The press release, which can be seen after the jump, reveals a significant amount of information on the game’s, including its commentary team. I was wrong about a Buck/Aikman booth duo; we’ll be hearing play-by-play and analysis from Tom Hammond and Cris Collinsworth of The NFL on NBC.
But wait, there’s more! Along with the press release and video, EA sent over three screenshots featuring Favre along with the Xbox 360 box art; they can be viewed below. Finally, GameTap has put up a detail-packed interview with Phil Frazier, one of the game’s lead designers. It expands on the tidbits from the press release, discussing such things as the new Real Football Intelligence, “the biggest graphical improvement we've ever had year-to-year in Madden”, and all kinds of other good stuff. What do you guys think of all this?
NFL LEGEND QUARTERBACK BRETT FAVRE FEATURED AS COVER ATHLETE FOR MADDEN NFL 09
Madden NFL 09 Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Future Hall of Famer Brett Favre
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., - April 25, 2008 – Electronic Arts Inc., (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre will be featured as the cover athlete of Madden NFL 09, coming to stores across North America on August 12 from EA SPORTS™. Madden NFL 09 marks the 20th anniversary of one of the best-selling and most critically-acclaimed videogame franchises of all time, and the game will feature adaptable gameplay tailored to every type of gamer, online enhancements and a broadcast style presentation delivering an authentic NFL experience.
"Madden NFL Football and Brett Favre are sports icons who have set the standard and revolutionalized their positions within their respective genres," said Madden NFL Executive Producer Dale Jackson. "Brett Favre is a perfect fit for the Madden NFL 09 cover, as he epitomizes everything the franchise has stood for the past 20 years — longevity, excellence, and a love of football."
For passionate Madden NFL fans, this year's iteration will take authenticity and depth of gameplay to an entirely new level with more than 85 new features and enhancements, including the all-new Virtual Trainer tutorial mode. Utilizing a holographic environment, this mode teaches gamers simple concepts about playing football and how to use the controls in quick, fun and stylized drills. In Madden NFL 09, the game engine is continually assessing the player's performance and will adapt a custom experience to every type of gamer, from newcomer to the veteran Madden NFL player.
Madden NFL 09 will also feature a network-inspired broadcast presentation. Players will benefit from the authentic football knowledge of an in-booth play-by-play and color commentary team featuring Cris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond. In addition, numerous graphical enhancements have been made, including realistic weather and grass, sleeker player models and exterior stadium views.
Madden NFL 09 gives gamers the ability to create online leagues. Avid Madden NFL fans can now take their rivalries online and compete in leagues with up to 32 teams. Online league play will feature in-depth stat tracking, player trades and a flexible scheduling option.
Favre's legacy is cemented as one of the most beloved players of his generation and one of the most admired NFL players to ever grace the cover of Madden NFL. The future Hall of Famer is the league's only three-time Most Valuable Player and he holds the NFL record for most consecutive starts for quarterbacks. He completed his 17-year career as the NFL's all-time leader in touchdowns, completions, attempts, yards, and wins.
Last year, Madden NFL 08 was named the 2007 Game Critics "Best Sports Game" award at the E3 Media and Business Summit, "Best Team Sports Game" at the Spike TV Video Games Awards, "Best Sports Game of the Year" by GameTrailers. The game also earned GameSpot's "Best Sports Game" Reader's Choice Award and was named one of MSNBC's "Best Sports Games" of 2007. Over the past 20 years, the Madden NFL franchise has sold more than 70 million* copies and, since 2002, Madden NFL football has been the top selling sports game** each year in North America.
Madden NFL 09 is developed in Orlando, Florida by the award-winning EA Tiburon studio, which also produces NCAA® Football, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® and NASCAR® racing.
Madden NFL 09 will be available for the Xbox® and Xbox 360™ video game systems from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment systems, Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and is rated RP by the ESRB.
EA SPORTS™ is the leading interactive sports software brand in the world, with top-selling titles and franchises including Madden NFL Football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA LIVE basketball, NCAA® Football, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® and NASCAR® racing.
For more information about Madden NFL 09, check out www.madden09.com.
* Based on internal sales data
** According to the NPD Group