This year's Madden NFL title will be called Madden NFL 25 as a nod to the simulation football franchise's 25th anniversary, and fan voting for its cover will pit NFL legends against today's best players, publisher Electronic Arts announced today.
Yesterday, EA teased the new name on the Madden website, and announced the game will launch Aug. 27.
"There's no better way to celebrate and mark the culmination of 25 years of innovation than by naming this year's game Madden NFL 25," said Cam Weber, general manager of American football at EA Sports, in a press release announcing the new title. He added, "This year's game will push the boundaries with gameplay and feature innovations that will lay a very strong foundation for the next 25 years of this storied franchise."
It's unclear at this point if the franchise's numbering scheme will continue forward in the future from 25, or if this year's title is a one-off change to celebrate the series' silver anniversary.
Madden fans will have the chance to celebrate NFL history on the cover of the game. For the third straight year, EA will partner with ESPN for a fan voting campaign to select the cover athlete. The voting begins March 11 on ESPN's website with a 64-player bracket: 32 all-time greats in one half, and 32 modern stars in the other. Last year, fans cast 19.6 million votes in choosing Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson as the Madden NFL 13 cover athlete.
Since its debut in 1989 with John Madden Football, the Madden NFL franchise has tallied sales of approximately 99 million copies. Madden NFL 25 is in development at EA Tiburon; at this time, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are the only announced platforms.
Update: We reached out to EA to ask about the new numbering, and whether it will go forward in the future. An EA Sports representative replied, "The Madden NFL 25 name was specifically chosen to represent the 25th anniversary of Madden. We have no announcements regarding the franchise name beyond this year."