Virtual pigskin fans played nearly six million hours of Madden NFL 25 in Week One, the equivalent of more than 600 consecutive years. Rivalries run deep, as fans chose Seahawks vs. 49ers three times more than any other matchup. Fans also took the competition to Madden Ultimate Team, opening more than 3.3 million packs, the most in any single week since Ultimate Team was introduced in Madden NFL 10. In addition, Saturday marked the highest day for net revenue in Madden Ultimate Team history.
"The strong start for Madden NFL 25 on current generation consoles is a testament to the power of this amazing franchise and its fans," said Andrew Wilson, Executive Vice President of EA Sports. "It's a big year for our fans as we launch Madden NFL 25 for two different hardware generations, and we're pleased with the early results for the Xbox 360 and PS3. We're confident we can sustain this momentum as we move towards the launch of next generation consoles this fall with the most innovative Madden NFL yet."
Barry Sanders is on the cover of the 25th Anniversary edition of the game, voted in by over 40 million fans through an online poll on ESPN and EA Sports. The new game introduces Run Free, perfect for an old school running back like Sanders. It allows gamers to unlock the power, precision and creativity of an NFL ball carrier with the brand-new precision modifier. Utilizing an arsenal of over 30 new moves, players can leave the defense grasping at thin air by juking, spinning and stiff-arming their way into the end zone.
"It's not just a video game," said Sanders. "It really gets into the nuances of the game. It gets into the language of the game and you really get a sense for how each individual play is designed. The NFL is an exciting game to begin with, and then what EA Sports has been able to do with it is just taking it that much further. People that don't play football are truly fans of the Madden game and they learn a lot about the sport through the game."
Fans agree, as the new game is on its way to selling five million copies this year, according to Michael Pachter, video game analyst for Wedbush Securities. The game was the number two seller in the U.S. last year, according to The NPD Group.
"The Madden NFL 25 Anniversary Edition was the best-selling sports game preorder in Amazon.com history," said John Love, Director of Video Games for Amazon. "Our customers have responded and we have certainly seen a significant growth in Madden NFL sales this year versus last year."
"We had thousands of gamers in our stores the night Madden NFL launched," said Laura Phillips, Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Wal-Mart U.S. "We're encouraged not only by sales of Madden but our overall gaming business, and expect this to be a top seller now and throughout the holiday season."
Madden NFL will make the leap into the next generation of consoles when Xbox One and PlayStation 4 release in November.
"Our customers are big fans of Madden NFL 25's new dynamic running game and Owner mode," said Bob Puzon, Senior Vice-President of Merchandising for GameStop. "The initial response we've received for the game has been positive, and we have plans in place to make it easy for consumers to upgrade this version of the game once the new consoles are available in GameStop stores."
This year also offers fans the opportunity to take full control of their favorite NFL team with the new Owner mode within Connected Franchise. Owners can set prices on everything from concessions to merchandise; draft, sign and trade players; upgrade and renovate home stadiums or even pack up the team and move to a brand-new city. Owners retain full control both on and off the field, and do everything from calling and running plays on game day to managing all aspects of a team's day-to-day operations.
Madden NFL 25 is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.