| 6 years ago||
The History of Madden - Great read
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John Madden once told me that people now recognize him more for his video game than anything he ever did in coaching. Funny thing is, the whole "Madden" phenomenon of sports gaming almost never took place. In fact, John Madden passed on EA's initial concept of the game. So how did the franchise turn into a $3 billion dollar monster?
LONG read so i'll post the first paragraph up and you can read the rest on the site...
n the beginning, there was the word. And that word was no. On a cloudy morning in 1984, three men met in an Amtrak dining car winding through the Rocky Mountains, en route from Denver to Oakland, Calif. The first was Trip Hawkins, a closet "Strat-O-Matic Football" junkie and founder of video game maker Electronic Arts (which has a relationship with ESPN to integrate content into its games). The second was Joe Ybarra, Hawkins' lieutenant, a high school chess champ turned pigskin fanatic. The third was John Madden, the former Super Bowl-winning coach, hardware store pitchman, televised NFL evangelist and poet laureate of interior line play.
Boom! He'll remember that number!
See how "Madden NFL" has evolved through the years.
Then, as now, Madden had no use for airplanes. He was nearly as leery of computers. This was before Google, PlayStation or the Internet. People didn't carry credit card-thin smart phones in their pockets, and video games were quarter-eating diversions for nerdy boys. Madden was a football guy. Intelligent as hell, sure. Unafraid of the telestrator. Once taught an X's and O's class at Berkeley. Yet was totally unmoved by "Pac-Man fever." Honestly didn't know what the heck a PC did. Booming and boisterous, an alpha male to the core, Madden brandished a cigar throughout the meeting -- one nearly a foot long with the diameter of a quarter; a veritable kraken of Cohibas to be gazed upon with despair. A chew toy.
Spittle-splattered but unbowed, Hawkins made his pitch, the same one he previously had delivered in a fast-food parking lot outside Madden's Bay Area office: Help me build a game. Lend your expertise. I'll put your name on the box.
Madden was intrigued. Maybe, he thought, this could become a coaching tool. Pick a play, run it on a machine, see if it works. No need to scrimmage.
If it's not 11-on-11, it's not real football. That was a deal breaker. If it was going to be me, and going to be pro football, it had to have 22 guys on the screen. If we couldn't have that, we couldn't have a game.
-- JOHN MADDEN
He sketched formations on paper, lines branching in every direction -- little masterworks of unintentional abstract art that Hawkins would later frame.
The one-time Oakland Raiders coach talked philosophy: Where's my playing field? Below sea level and it rains a lot? Then give me Gene Upshaw. Put the defense on skis and push them all day long.
Hawkins listened. Ybarra took notes. The duo promised they would create as sophisticated a simulation as home computers would allow. Real football, with seven players to a side …
Right there, Madden balked -- even though he was technically under contract with EA to endorse a football game. "If it's not 11-on-11," he said, "it's not real football."
"That was a deal breaker," Madden recalled. "If it was going to be me and going to be pro football, it had to have 22 guys on the screen. If we couldn't have that, we couldn't have a game."
[pic - click to view] ESPN - OTL: The Franchise - E-ticket
Last edited by Da Ill One; 08-05-2010 at 01:22 PM..