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.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

What do you think about Bill Paxton taking on the film role of Jack Thompson?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
PHX Corphttp://www.extremetech.com/computing/203654-leaked-sony-emails-show-mpaas-opposition-to-fair-use-confirms-users-are-viewed-as-thieves Leaked Sony emails show MPAA’s opposition to fair use, confirms users are viewed as thieves04/18/2015 - 10:49am
prh99I'd happily run DBAN on all their servers and back up with a 7 pass wipe.04/18/2015 - 1:07am
Matthew Wilsonmetaphorically speaking of course04/17/2015 - 9:40pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://soundcloud.com/totalbiscuit/brevity-is-the-soul-of-twit I agree with TB twiter is not good for anything more their links. twiter is a toxic wasteland, and I wish I can nuke it from orbit.04/17/2015 - 9:38pm
MechaCrashI can understand why Sony wants the Pokemon and Smash movie rights, but it's not hard to see why Nintendo wouldn't want to sell to them. Kinda their competitors in the console arena.04/17/2015 - 8:01pm
PHX Corp@MW We won't know until the nintendo General Shareholders meeting if the leaks(From Sony Pictures) is true or not04/17/2015 - 7:55pm
MechaCrashIn GG news: they got kicked out of Calgary Expo for getting a booth under false pretenses and disrupting panels. http://www.themarysue.com/calgary-expo-gamergate-evicted/ How long before they get thrown under the No True Scotsman bus?04/17/2015 - 7:53pm
MechaTama31EZK: Because what if I want to see that website I was looking at a while ago? Well, just keep scanning through my tabs til I see it! There's an aspect of archaeology to it, too. "Oh yeah, I was looking up how to build my own pizza oven. Good times..."04/17/2015 - 6:52pm
Matthew Wilsondo it in the art style of those trailers, and I am on board.04/17/2015 - 5:24pm
PHX Corphttp://mynintendonews.com/2015/04/17/sony-were-apparently-trying-to-get-the-rights-to-a-pokemon-and-super-smash-bros-movie/ Sony Were Apparently Trying To Get The Rights To A Pokemon And Super Smash Bros Movie04/17/2015 - 4:14pm
E. Zachary KnightCan't wait to see the new digs on Saturday.04/17/2015 - 1:41pm
Andrew EisenBy the by, I moved this week so if I dropped a comment thread or two, my apologies for leaving you hanging.04/17/2015 - 12:22pm
Andrew EisenIf I were going to buy Mortal Kombat X, I'd wait for the inevitable Game of the Year edition that includes all the DLC for an overall cheaper price.04/17/2015 - 12:22pm
PHX CorpMortal Kombat X: On Disc DLC Confirmed Read more at http://gamingbolt.com/mortal-kombat-x-on-disc-dlc-confirmed04/17/2015 - 12:17pm
james_fudgeme04/17/2015 - 8:37am
Ryan RardinWho else would like to see The Misadventures of Tron Bonne on PlayStation Classics?04/17/2015 - 2:21am
ZippyDSMleeso I can save my bookmarks and nuke it with a ree install put my bookmarks back reget all my plugins and I am good to go04/17/2015 - 2:15am
ZippyDSMleeMechaTama31: I run 70 tabs and use a suspend plugin to suspend them. i have a folder in my bookmarks that have all my pluings in it04/17/2015 - 2:14am
E. Zachary KnightOnly one question: Why?04/16/2015 - 10:16pm
MechaTama31Most of which I could probably delete the bookmark for too, if I had the inclination to wade through them.04/16/2015 - 9:16pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician