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.