EA Considered Dumping Brett Favre From Madden 09 Cover (and other juicy Madden cover info)

February 6, 2009 -

The recent class action lawsuit in which retired NFL players won a $28 million judgment from the National Football League Players Association continues to yield a treasure trove of information concerning the inner workings of EA's best-selling Madden franchise.

For example, transcripts of court testimony which were unsealed this week by the U.S. District Court in San Francisco show that NFL star Brett Favre's decision to retire from the Green Bay Packers in early 2008 almost got him dropped from the cover of Madden 2009.

EA exec Joel Linzner, who was called as a witness at the NFLPA trial, testfied about the dilemma which Favre's on again-off again retirement caused for EA:

Q: ...Madden NFL Game. And, in fact, that's been a very successful game for EA, correct?

 

JL: Yes, over 20 years.

 

Q: 20 years. In fact, the 2009 version was the 20th anniversary edition, right?

 

JL: It's the 20th of the Madden NFL series, that's correct.

 

Q: Right. And you chose to put on the cover of that a retired player at the time, right?

 

JL: Uhm, well, Brett Favre at the time we decided to put him on the cover was not retired, had not announced his retirement. He subsequently announced his retirement. We thought about replacing him to have an active player. But the logistics of making the packages are kind of complicated, and we decided to stay with Brett Favre. And I think as most people subsequently know, he revoked his retirement and is currently an active player with the New York Jets. 

Linzner also testified about EA's deal with Madden 2004 cover athlete Michael Vick, who was later arrested and jailed for animal cruelty. Hit the jump for more official testimony about Madden cover athletes Vick and Donovan McNabb.

 

Q. Could you show the jury what it is? That's actually the Madden Game, right, in the package it comes in the store?

 

JL: Well... This is one version of Madden NFL 2004 for the PlayStation 2 as resold probably at GameStop on a used basis for 99 cents. It didn't sell for 99 cents when we offered it initially. 

 

Q. ...I'm not going to get into how much it costs. It doesn't matter to me. All I want to do is focus on this. If you look on the cover of this Madden game... That's Michael Vick, right?

 

JL: This is Michael Vick, and at this time he was an active NFL player.

 

Q: Right. He subsequently had some trouble with the law, and he's in custody, right?

 

Mr. Feher: Objection, your honor. That's not relevant.

 

Mr. Hummel: You're right. I'll withdraw it... But he is not currently an active NFL player... But at the time he was, right?

 

JL: That's correct.

 

Q: Okay. And did you have to obtain a separate agreement with Michael Vick to put him on the cover?

 

JL: We obtained a separate agreement with Michael Vick and paid him incremental amounts for two things... to be on the cover... and to perform services for us in connection with the launch of the game, the TV commercial, etc.... we have to enter into a separate agreement as we did unfortunately with Michael Vick, who had some problems subsequently... That's separate from the group license that we signed with Players, Inc. to have all of the players in the video game... It's frequently called a "highlight agreement..."

 

Q: All right. So this is a situation where he - Mr. Vick - signed a separate agreement...

 

JL: We have somebody on staff at EA... who frequently makes contacts to find a player and his agent who are interested in being on the cover and is willing to perform the P.R. services that we want and be in the TV commercials and is familiar with the game... The money that we paid Michael Vick under his highlight agreement, to the best of my knowledge, is not shared with the other 1,400 - 1,500 active players...

 

Q: This was $4.99 used. But this is the Madden 06 game that also has an active player on the cover, Donovan McNabb, right?

 

JL: Donovan McNabb was and remains an active NFL player.

 

Q: And there was a highlight agreement with Donovan McNabb, right? ...You have a highlight agreement with Donovan McNabb?

 

JL: Well, we did for Madden NFL 06... He was in a TV commercial...

 

 


Comments

Re: EA Considered Dumping Brett Favre From Madden 09 Cover ...

What I don't get is why doesn't EA dump madden alltogether? Sports games SUCK!

Yes I have a WIP. Just wait and see.

Re: EA Considered Dumping Brett Favre From Madden 09 Cover ...

One, they don't drop Madden because it makes an assload of money. Two, not everyone thinks sports games suck.

 

Re: EA Considered Dumping Brett Favre From Madden 09 Cover ...

I also don't get what is newsworthy about this story. Perhaps I'm not familiar enough with the league, but that shouldn't really matter.

Re: EA Considered Dumping Brett Favre From Madden 09 Cover (and

I don't get it, what's "juicy" about this news?  Both block quotes about Favre and Vick are, well, boring.  EA paid those guys money to advertise the games, so?  You might have to spell it out for me.

Re: EA Considered Dumping Brett Favre From Madden 09 Cover ...

My GF (a Packers fan) and myself (a Bears fan) were debating whether Favre counted as a victim of the Madden curse.  Granted, he had a decent '08 season.  But after crying on national television at his retirement press conference and then whining like a girl when he changed his mind after the Packers decided to move on to Rodgers, he looked a trifle foolish and alienated some Favre fans (my GF thought he was great until that whole episode and now she's actively pulling against him.)  And his team was ousted from playoff consideration in the season finale, by the quarterback that the Jets cut loose so they could sign Favre.  And he led the league last year (by a wide margin) in interceptions thrown.  So for all he did well last season, I think he's going to be remembered much more clearly for what he did wrong.

Re: EA Considered Dumping Brett Favre From Madden 09 Cover ...

If it weren't for that Donovan McNabb fellow, I would say the Madden Curse is still raging on, hearty as ever.

Then again, maybe the curse thought it would take a break, seeing how hard Michael Vick fell from the curse.

And I personally would count Vavre as being part of the curse. How else would you explain the madness surrounding his "retirement?"

Re: EA Considered Dumping Brett Favre From Madden 09 Cover ...

Oh sweet zombie jesus, "Juicy" and "Madden" are two words that should never, ever be used in conjuction.

There will be nightmares (also possibly blood).

Re: EA Considered Dumping Brett Favre From Madden 09 Cover (and

Nevermind, i get it.

 
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Andrew EisenThat doesn't mean there has to be a movie though. Having said that, I've no doubt that we will eventually get a Black Panther movie. But Stan Lee will probably learn about it around the same time you and I do.09/02/2014 - 2:34pm
MaskedPixelanteWell they have to get to him eventually. Captain America's shield didn't grow on a tree, the minerals to make it had to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is Wakanda.09/02/2014 - 2:31pm
E. Zachary KnightYes, but it has never been confirmed as in development, or even pre-production.09/02/2014 - 2:21pm
MaskedPixelanteBlack Panther's been on the short list for a while.09/02/2014 - 2:18pm
E. Zachary KnightIt is possible that Stan Lee mispoke. I don't think he knows everything Marvel movies. But it is a sweet idea if true.09/02/2014 - 2:04pm
Andrew EisenSo says Stan Lee who almost certainly wouldn't know.09/02/2014 - 2:04pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.cinemablend.com/new/Marvel-Black-Panther-Movie-Confirmed-By-Stan-Lee-66993.html Black Panther is apparently getting a movie. And maybe one for Black Widow, even though I think it's too late for her.09/02/2014 - 1:53pm
Cheater87Look what FINALLY came to Australia uncut! http://www.gamespot.com/articles/left-4-dead-2-gets-reclassified-in-australia/1100-6422038/09/02/2014 - 6:49am
Andrew EisenHence the "Uh, yeah. Obviously."09/02/2014 - 12:53am
SleakerI think Nintendo has proven over the last 2 years that it doesn't.09/02/2014 - 12:31am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
 

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