The History of Madden


Tyler Robertson

          Madden NFL is an immensely popular video game series based off of the teams of the  National Football League. A new version of the game has been released yearly since 1989 by Electronic Arts.

          The game is named after a former player, coach, and broadcaster by the name of John Madden. It was originally released as John Madden Football in 1989, but was changed to Madden NFL in 1993. The franchise has had exclusive rights to NFL video games since 2005.

          Madden NFL was first proposed to John Madden by the founder of Electronic Arts in 1984, but was not released until 1989 due to John Madden insisting on it being as realistic as possible. The franchise didn’t receive licensing rights from the NFL until 1993, meaning that it could finally use NFL teams and players in their game, further increasing the popularity of it.

          Another video game producer, 2K, made a competing NFL game between 1999 and 2004. In 2004, 2K released their game, ESPN NFL 2K5, for 30 dollars less than EA’s Madden NFL 2005. This resulted in 2K outselling EA for the first time. Following the failure of that year’s installment, EA bought exclusive rights to the NFL, meaning that no other company could release games to compete with the Madden NFL franchise.