Madden NFL is one of the most successful video game entertainment franchises in history. Designed by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins in the mid-1980s and first released by EA Sports in 1989, Madden has sold over 85 million copies and grossed more than $3 billion since its inception.
Madden NFL 11, the title for the franchise’s next annual release, hits shelves on August 10. In anticipation of the video game’s eighth iteration, we’ve witnessed two notable EA marketing initiatives: 1) ESPN released a near tell-all story of the video game’s creation and how Hawkins began an entertainment dynasty on top of Madden’s old Oakland Raiders playbook, distinct growl, and likable visage. And 2) EA launched a three-part web series showcasing just how much football players, fans, and professionals love to play Madden.
In the first installment, Ray Lewis and Mario Williams surprise the football teams of two rival Texas high schools under the banner of EA’s Madden to the People campaign. The Baltimore Ravens linebacker and Houston Texans defensive end pit the Texas Trinity Trojans and the LD Bell Blue Raiders against each other for some three-on-three, online, Madden NFL 11 team play.
We’ve seen a number of video game developers use web series as a method to market their wares. In June, Capcom announced it will create an eight-part, online series to promote the Fall release of its titles Dead Rising 2 and the Xbox only Dead Rising 2: Case Zero. In October of 2009, Ubisoft developed the web series Lineage as a prequel to, and marketing tool for its highly anticipated release of the video game title Assassin’s Creed II.