After the overhyped Madden franchise used yet another contrived bracket contest to determine the identity of the player who will appear on the cover of this year’s same-old version of the game, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman openly lobbied for the folks at EA to place on the cover the full starting defensive backfield in Seattle, otherwise known as the Legion of Boom.
“I’ve been trying to get the Legion of Boom on the cover, and EA has been fighting me,” Sherman said last month. “So if everybody wants to start a petition to get the Legion of Boom on the cover, here it is, here’s an open invitation.”
A petition was started, and more and more discussion and debate (and in turn attention for this year’s same-old version of the game) were generated. Through it all, the folks at EA offered no explanation for its reluctance to put the rest of the Legion of Boom on the cover of the game.
Now, EA has announced that Sherman’s three teammates — Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Byron Maxwell — will appear with him at the start screen that appears once the game completes its initial loading cycle. EA claims that the company simply didn’t have time to re-do the cover, given that the process of voting for the athlete to appear on it didn’t begin until after the May 8-10 draft.
“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,” EA said.
Baloney, we say. If Thomas, Chancellor, and Maxwell had been featured on the cover of the game, EA would have had to pay them. Within the confines of the game itself, EA most likely has free rein to use any and all of the NFL and NFLPA-licensed logos and names and images.
That’s the real explanation. Or at least a very big part of the true explanation.
Regardless, EA provided no explanation when the controversy arose, because the bottom line was that people were talking about this year’s version of the same-old game. Now that the controversy has died down, EA will generate more publicity for this year’s same-old version of the game by announcing that, while it was too late to put together a new picture for the cover of the game, there was still plenty of time to reconfigure the images at the start screen.
Ultimately it’s about the money. As in EA not wanting to spend too much of its own on the cover art, and in EA wanting to get you to surrender as much of yours as possible on this year’s same-old version of a franchise that has grown stagnant in the absence of competition.