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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MattsworknameBIG: how does that make sense?08/05/2015 - 12:18am
Big PermLenny Kravitz penis has been trending all day08/04/2015 - 11:45pm
MattsworknameSo far, Win 8 gave me nothing but problems08/04/2015 - 11:18pm
MattsworknameI;ll see what I can come up with tomarow08/04/2015 - 11:16pm
ZippyDSMleethose is the issue.08/04/2015 - 10:47pm
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MattsworknameTried that 2 zippy, it still wouldn't work08/04/2015 - 10:43pm
ZippyDSMleeI have had to run NV in compatibility mode before. I have both FO3 and NV running fine with a bunch of mods on win8.108/04/2015 - 10:24pm
MattsworknameI did the direct x 9 fix, issue remains08/04/2015 - 10:13pm
MattsworknameI've had issues with it since the start really, as soon as I tried to run it on Win 8.1, vegas woudl crash as soon as i launched it, even when using the base game08/04/2015 - 10:12pm
MattsworknameManta: I run into issues the moment I try to use any mods. and some times even no mods08/04/2015 - 10:09pm
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black mantaFunny, Matt. I've been able to run it from Steam no problem.08/04/2015 - 10:02pm
Big PermDo you need Directx 9.0c still? Should be a manual download for win 7/808/04/2015 - 9:55pm
MattsworknameBlack manta; I've been trying to get vegas and 3 to work on windows 8 for months and no method I tries fixed it manta08/04/2015 - 9:53pm
Big PermOh wow, yeah cleared my entire history and now suggestions are subs instead08/04/2015 - 9:15pm
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MechaTama31It would be nice if Youtube just let you delete a video from your history, like Netflix does.08/04/2015 - 9:09pm
black mantaF3 and NV have long been since fixed. They run great on Windows 8 and 8.1. And there's also the Unofficial Patch for F3 and the Mission Mojave patch for NV in case they don't.08/04/2015 - 9:05pm
MattsworknameYeah Big, but for those who had the game for long times, it is to late for that08/04/2015 - 8:43pm
 

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