Electronic Arts (EA.Q) released their new Madden 20 football game yesterday and everyone went nuts.

Madden 20 had the highest final week of pre-orders in franchise history. Over half of the first week’s sales were digital, which is a first for the franchise, and EA’s stock price enjoyed an $0.85 bump after one day of the John Madden title being on the shelves.

EA’s Madden franchise is one of the most commercially successful series in the history of video games. The publisher announced that the franchise has sold more than 130 million copies of Madden games since the franchise debuted back in 1988.

Madden is EA’s second sports franchise to pass 100 million copies sold. EA’s soccer juggernaut, FIFA, surpassed 100 million units sold back in 2010, and EA’s Need for Speed franchise hit 100 million copies sold in 2009.

Comparatively, there aren’t as many non sports related titles.

Non sports games in the 100 unit club include:

  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Mario
  • Final Fantasy
  • Call of Duty
  • Pokemon
  • Lego
  • The Sims

The promotion material prior to launch touted their Face of the Franchise mode, which let the player develop a character and take them through a career mode to become the game’s next great quarterback. The career mode isn’t new. Most games—especially EA’s NHL series from say, NHL 15 on up—have a mode like this, but it’s something new to this franchise and that’s why 70% of the players who adopted the game leaped right in.

“It’s incredible how many people have enjoyed Madden NFL over the years, and the impact it’s had on not only teaching the sport of football, but growing the love of it as well,” EA Sports executive Cam Weber said in a statement.

So the game’s a little popular – /understatement

The video game landscape is much different from when we were kids.

First, e-sports has given the world of video gaming a shakeup. Now you can join teams and compete in leagues and win sick cash prizes. You can become a streamer on sites like Twitch and have hundreds, if not thousands, of people make fun of you after every interception (and maybe give you money).

EA estimates that the series has five to seven million dedicated fans, including an underground circuit of cash tournaments.

Now even the media is getting involved. Complex called the launch the “Best Madden game in years.” IGN says that “Playing as an X-Factor player is the stuff dreams are made of.”

Video games get trailers just like theatrical releases now. Check this out.

Like the price for all new and popular cross-console games, this one’s expensive:

The Madden 20 Superstar Edition is $79.99 and the Madden 20 Ultimate Superstar Edition is $99.99.

The Madden NFL community has made 2,000 videos which have been viewed over 63 million times.

EA’s next sports game releases are NHL 19 and FIFA 19 in September.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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