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Madden 2010—A Boring Billion Dollar Exploitation

By Adam Doc Fox

You can pre-order your copy months in advance! Or you can spend the night outside of MegaGames and be the first to get your very own copy the day it’s released!
Dude, who’s going to be on the cover? You know about the Madden curse right… it’s not a set of random coincidences, it’s like, ya know, fate bro. (By that rational, there is also a Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine curse since all the big failures of the Madden cover have also appeared on the cover of those magazines.)

Ok, it’s all relative right? Earth people camp out for the new Harry Potter book, wait outside theaters like gypsies for the next George Lucas manipulation, and some humans even sell their virginity for front row tickets to Metallica (see Jerry Springer season 7).

Whatever way you want to rationalize America’s conditioned lust for the Madden franchise… let’s not forget how we’ve come to fall for this conventional conformity that has become more than just a game. (Editor’s note: the writer of this piece used to be a Madden-Head, and since having seen the light, has started the group Audibles Anonymous along with composing the best-selling book, "What Would I Do If I Didn’t Play Video Games?")

Exploitation One: Unable to transfer players on the game.
“I buy the new Madden every year, the day it comes out, for the newest system available.” The main intrigue/attraction for getting the new Madden is role play. The new Madden has all the offseason moves updated, along with player performance and draft picks. These features allow the gamer to start daydreaming about the upcoming season with their team’s new additions. “If I don’t get the new Madden, how can I take a rip off my 83ft. bong and throw a Hail Mary to our new receiver that we gave up a first rounder for?”
If the Madden franchise were really concerned with gamer entertainment, you could update any and all teams with the old Madden you already own. On the main menu, there would be a title bar called “Transfers/Trades.” And without having to match the computer’s manufactured values of players, you would simply move Bodden to Detroit to New England, Winslow Jr. to Tampa, Rogers to Cleveland, etc. There would also be a “Create Player” title bar so one could add draft picks not already on the game.

Exploitation Two: Madden averages $100 Million in sales in its first week.
The game can provide a lot of entertainment, but for $60 or $70 bucks—hell, that’s what people pay to go to a real game. You could argue video games are overpriced altogether, but this isn’t a new game that people aren’t sure if it’s going to sell and thus need a high price to balance the risk. Madden is a proven commodity; if the greed dragons would simply cut the price in half, god forbid, they would only make $50 million on the game’s opening week. That’s still more than most Hollywood movies make on their opening weeks and they have a $100 million dollar budget.

“A University of Michigan economics professor estimates that Electronic Arts collectively overcharged Madden buyers between $701 million and $926 million during the years 2006 through 2009.”---

Exploitation 3: Instead of doing anything else, you’re a grown-up playing a football video game.
Sure we all need escapes, but don’t we already dedicate our entire Sunday to football? Don’t we skip straight to the sports section to make sure we are still well informed? Playing video games at any age is really ok, but Madden has tried to make it an obsession. Instead of a ten minute Tecmo-Bowl game, it’s now an hour-long epic conquest of line-shifts, coverage audibles, and being able to hit eight buttons at the same time.

So if you want to play some Madden, talk some shite, relax a little, ok. But don’t support the billions grossed by EA Sports and buy it right when it comes out; try and find a used copy later or wait till the price drops. Write EA and tell them it costs too much, you want to be able to move players, and that you’re not going to fall for the fake hype of a video game being a cultural phenomenon. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find some time to read "War and Peace."

---By Adam Doc Fox


  1. Just because you have no Madden skill doesn't mean you have to like it. It is ok that you are an average person that has no video game skills. You do know that even Pro Football Players play the new Madden every year, right? So get over it because Madden is something that will not end for a long, long time.

  2. First, I don;t know what Madden you're playing, but you can move players from old teams to their new team. Also, there is a player creation option.

    Second, video games are very costly to produce with not only the research and development that is put into the game, but all the licensing fees and marketing as well.

    Third, Madden has been around of so long, it is part of the NFL culture. With everyone from coaches to players to fans playing the game, there will always be Madden and as long as football is the most popular American sport, it will be going nowhere.

    Finally, if you don't like the game, then you should just hang out with TJ Houshmandzadeh and boycott it too.

  3. At least you know what profit is(unlike assonymous 2)...what you net after costs of things like licensing fees and marketing.
    I'm glad you're not anti Madden but do think that there are aspects of it that need checked.
    Good stuff, keep it coming.
    Can you write about slack Edwards?

  4. Adam - I like your stuff. Your style is blunt and honest. But I must confess that you lost me here. How is the Madden game exploitative? You bought it, didn't you? You played it, didn't you? You had fun, didn't you? Buy you got obsessed and feel guilty about it. Isn't that your fault?

  5. They can't really decide to lower the price because all the other games are roughly all the same price upon release.

  6. I'm happy to see you can put your inner 'smart-ass' in check when you have a point to make. You should really fight a battle you can win though.
    Drop the price exploitation. Geeks are geeks because they do stupid shit like pay 70 bucks to pretend to be someone else all year long. The only way to change that is to help them get laid. And don't give me any crap about the NFL playing it too. If they sold a video game about what you did in life...
    I'm not talking smack though, I support the decisions of gays and geeks alike. I'm not judging. Continue to push for a backwards compatable gaming experience. I'll sign your petetion for you.