At E3 this year, we spoke a lot about our commitment to putting our players first. We want to engage in a two-way dialogue with our fans, so together, we can make our games better. This commitment extends beyond the development of our games. It also includes our marketing. For the past four years, the Madden Cover Vote has been an example of this commitment.
This year, fans voted Super Bowl Champion Richard Sherman onto the cover of Madden NFL 15. Since the announcement in June, there’s been quite a groundswell from Seattle fans. You guys want the Legion of Boom on the cover and there’s even an online petition. So, why haven’t we changed the cover to include the most dominate D in the league? While we’ve looked into it, it’s proven to be very difficult.
We want to explain why changing the cover isn’t easy, and more importantly, share what we’re going to do instead to make sure the 12th Man’s voice gets heard.
Prior to starting the Cover Vote four years ago, we would lock in the face of the franchise shortly after Super Bowl, giving our retail and promotional partners the time they needed to get their programs and materials together for the Madden campaign and launch.
That all changed with the Cover Vote. For the first three years, we didn’t find out the winner of the vote until the day before the Draft. Between the photo shoot and creating the actual cover art, we weren’t able to deliver materials to our retail and promotional partners until a full month after what they were used to. Not ideal, but we all agreed it was worth it to give the fans a voice in the game they love.
This year, that timeline got condensed even more. We didn’t start the Cover Vote until after the Draft (which started two weeks later than previous years), so we had to do the cover shoot with Sherman immediately after the announcement and finalize the cover ASAP to deliver to our partners. By the time they received it, it was two months later than what they’d been used to for so many years, which prevented us from making any changes. We wish we could have given the fans exactly what they asked for after the Cover Vote ended, but we wanted to make sure you understood why it was difficult.
Now the good news! We wanted to give the LOB their just due, and do it in a way that was special—a way where millions of fans would see it every single day, just like a cover. Historically, the start screen in Madden (and all our EA SPORTS games) has featured our cover art. This year, we’re going to feature the entire Legion of Boom on the welcome screen. One of the major areas of focus for Madden NFL 15 is defense, and what better way to introduce you to the game than with the guys who are changing the face of defense in the NFL.
12th Man - We love your passion for your team, its players, and of course, Madden! We’re committed to continuing this open dialogue about everything we do. Our fans have made Madden what it’s become, and your input will continue to shape where we take the franchise in the future.