EA mulling Madden cover auction

EA Sports president tells the Bloomberg news service that he's considering letting players bid for the privilege of receiving the "Madden curse."

Though ostensibly prestigious, the honor of being named a Madden NFL cover athlete has proven perilous. Several athletes have fallen victim to the so-called "Madden Curse," which sees their careers slide after gracing the boxes of Electronic Arts' football game. After being beset by a string of injuries, 2007 cover athlete Shaun Alexander (pictured) went from the NFL's Most Valuable Player to being a back-up running back in just two years. Likewise, 2004 cover athlete Michael Vick missed most of the 2004 season due to a leg injury--and was subsequently suspended from the NFL after being convicted on a series of gambling and dogfighting-related felonies in 2007.

Some fans believe in the "Madden Curse" so strongly that they've started online petitions to dissuade players from accepting EA's offer, which reportedly pays between $100,000 and $200,000. Even EA Sports president Peter Moore admits "there's a grain of truth to the Madden Curse." Speaking with Bloomberg news service, the executive said, "When you look back at the last five, six years, it's a little weird how weird things have happened to guys who are on the front cover.''

Ironically, Moore's comments came in the same interview in which he revealed that EA is toying with the idea of having players pay EA for the privilege of being on the Madden box. "I bet you can find 50 players that would say, 'I'd pay good money,'" he said.

EA will apparently sweeten the pot--and generate some positive PR for the NFL monopoly holder--by donating the funds to the United Way, the NFL's charity of choice. "The League does a lot of work with [players] to make them realize how lucky they are and a lot of them have come out of poor circumstances and they give back," explained Moore.

However, don't expect cash-flush quarterbacks to start busting out their bankrolls just yet. Moore said the option is still being mulled by EA's vast marketing department, and no decision will be made "anytime soon."

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79 comments
tizzomr
tizzomr

They should have left Madden on the cover, so long as the product bared his name. If he didn't want it on there, they should just put the logos of all the teams or something creative. Having cover athletes is kinda lame when it is for a product representing a team game. Sticky subject, but thats my two cents.

gdayz33
gdayz33

I think this will work out for the better if they do donate the money to the charity like they say they will. Hopefully they don't forget about that if they go through with this.

SWATMAN4
SWATMAN4

Ghost RECON games predicting the future...Madden games putting famous players in the dumpster...what's next Vladimir Putin wanting peace with America? or worse...Hugo Chavez releasing an album, oh wait, that already happened...crap

firehawk998
firehawk998

I got an idea. If the top players who are on the cover of EA Madden series got cursed. What would happen if we put less famous players on the cover. Will the curse be a gift and increase the players rankings in the NFL or get them kicked out of the NFL for various reasons.

xophaser
xophaser

Add Vince Young and by the end of the year Bret Favre to that list. Then again you can select 25% of the players in the NFL that will have a massive drop-off.

necronaux
necronaux

Hey, any of the "selected" players COULD have declined and not signed the contract, or taken the money. But they chose to accept the offer and the cash. - I think it would be disastrous to have players bid for (pay tons of money for) the (?) privilege of being on the cover of the next game? As if EA isn’t making enough $ off this as it is, now they want players to pay them? What’s nest? Regional Covers? -- Better (or worse) yet... treat the covers like Baseball Cards. There could be dozens of different covers. Every cover is wrapped / hidden, you don't know who wou'll get until after you buy it and open it.

Timstuff
Timstuff

Why be a john when you can be a pimp?

westham33
westham33

Supposedly Brett Favre didn't break the curse, because ea "supposedly" offered it to Tom Brady First he accepted but then pulled out later on. So the madden curse still lives on

YoJim8obaJoe
YoJim8obaJoe

Im glad Europe went throught the dark ages centuries ago

ScottishPrik
ScottishPrik

Curses....wtf. Am I back in the middle ages. Sad to think people still take this kind of crap seriously.

grimoire_ghost
grimoire_ghost

they should just keep John Madden on the cover of Madden every year after all the game is named after him. That would also take care of the 'curse' and possibly stop players from paying to get cursed each year.. :D

titanviper2000
titanviper2000

The season isn't over yet. Not to mention, Farve is in a Packers jersey.

togo2828
togo2828

So has brett farve beat the curse, cause he is really kicking butt with the jets this season

neonfrax2
neonfrax2

I think it would be sweet to see a kicker make the highest bid and end up on the Madden Cover. "EA SPORTS Presents Madden 2010 featuring Matt Bryant!" Please let this happen!

cajunstrike
cajunstrike

Agreed. Particularly due to NFL exclusivity, the Madden franchise will continue to sell regardless of the cover athlete.

smghottie
smghottie

Yeah I agree with cometkd. The fact is that the user doesn't want a rival player on the cover but it's a little unrealistic to have every player available. If this were the case you'd have to use basic picutres. If EA were to take 3 stars from each team, this would give the player decent choice will not requiring an absurd level of resources to develop it.

Tenjikuronin
Tenjikuronin

The real reason Shaun Alexander stopped being productive was because he lost the dominant O-line that he was playing behind throughout 2005. The loss of Steve Hutchinson especially hurt the Seahawks...

Amir29
Amir29

If EA was truly looking to give to charity, it should simply give money. The only way this would be right, is if the players would bid directly through United Way, and the prize for top bidder would be placement on Madden's cover. Then again, who in their right mind would pay to get the curse? Seems like another way for EA to take an expense and turn it into profit along with a write-off. Its ashame that EA publishes so many great games and shadows them with equally horrible business antics.

AzureWind213
AzureWind213

Let's get TO on there, shall we? :D GO G-MEN!

cometkd
cometkd

dumb thinking here EA if you ask me. i say this. do what maks most scense. let the fans be able to print out their own cover like we were able to with Favre. and pay 5.00 something like. u would make more money this way! put me into ur marketing group. i say have all players from all 32 NFL teams. and let the fan choose. i pick Kellen Winslow Jr AKA K2

rgsniper1
rgsniper1

I'm not sure what to say about this except it's just plane dumb. It used to be that you needed to be a breakout star to be on the cover, now you just need to be willing to buy your way into that position it seems. It's like EA has found a way to sell microtransactions to the players. Ie... well ok so your not good enough to get this achievement or item but for some cash we can unlock it for you.

Solid_Cobra
Solid_Cobra

this is a stupid idea. Players look to get paid for these marketing deals. No one is going to pay EA. That stuff about charity is a load of bull. EA wants every nickel and dime they can get their hands on.

Ardiendo_1
Ardiendo_1

I hope Philip Rivers has some mony saved up :D

Skinnytony
Skinnytony

I was a little concerned until I read that they are donating the money to charity. I think that it is a good idea, assuming the players will be will to pay to have a curse...

totaleklypse
totaleklypse

o i know a madden game can be made for the new system when it comes. then just keep it goin til the next gen. i duno.

totaleklypse
totaleklypse

or maybe ea could stop making maddens for a while (or forever) and just keep patching this 20th year one. new rosters etc. wouldnt it be nice to just spend 10 bucks a year for a DLC instead of 60 for mostly the same game every year. just an idea. that would pretty much solve the curse problem right lol. o wait this is EA we are talkin bout. never happen they gota milk everyone for what we are worth.

ZedX-14Pilot
ZedX-14Pilot

This is utterly HILarious... They make 9 figures on this game year over year, and they want to put the cover up to auction??? EA is a joke! With the reputation of the coverboys past, this just wreaks of greed. They make a killing off this game year over year making minimal improvements, more so tweaks than improvements, and now they want to have players pay for the privilege of being the next curse victim.

TheDanSandwich
TheDanSandwich

AlbertPerk: Um, did you miss the part about EA giving the money to CHARITY? I'm really glad you like to read thoroughly. On a side note, I'm not really sure if players are going to want to pay money to be on a video game cover. Worst case scenario: No big name stars want to pay to be on the cover and some desperate scrub ends up on the cover. Or even worse, a back up with lots of cash to blow. I can see it now: Madden 2010, starring Brady Quinn!

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

hommytoffman - Thats way too soon. You got to wait till after the Super Bowl and it has to be 20-30 players.

CubanBlunt
CubanBlunt

If I was playing in the NFL, I would never want to be on the cover of Madden, that Curse is real!!!

Blackfriend8
Blackfriend8

its a good idea as long as the money goes to charity sounds good to me

KBABZ
KBABZ

The Madden curse. Another sign that EA is the devil. jks :P

anti-viper
anti-viper

That is the funniest thing I've heard all year.

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

@hommytoffman LOL! yeah T.O. would out bid anyone for the cover for years... that is IF THE NY GIANTS DONT BUST HIS CULO SUNDAY... I predict limbs torn from cowboys bodies... hehehe

Kakua_Omari
Kakua_Omari

please bring back 2k sports series, it was way better than madden ever was

Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

hommytoffman
hommytoffman

I really wish they would put this in control of the fans. Just put up a poll with say 10 of the best players from the previous season in january of every year and let anybody who wants to vote once. If you like a guy you can vote for him, if you hate a guy and belive in the curse you can vote for him. Either way, the outcome can only be good for EA. At the very least they could change this idea over to whichever player makes the biggest donation to the united way or something like that the winner instead of paying EA for the "privilage". On the other hand, it would be a nice quick easy way for us to find out who the biggest pompas ass in the NFL is. There's plenty of players with egos big enough to bid, but I think it would get boring after 3 years with T.O. on the cover.

Bgrngod
Bgrngod

Well if this had come up before the season started I'd be pushing to put a Cowboy up there, but since they are sucking without help from the curse I'm not going to have to hope for a Raider. They suck even more, but I'd like to see them suffer even more.

Senor_T_Dub
Senor_T_Dub

"EA will apparaetly sweeten the pot-- and generate some positive PR for the NFL monopoly holder--by donating the funds to the United Way" I guess it must be easy to DONATE SOMEONE ELSE'S MONEY. IF EA really wanted to help the United Way they would match the athlete's fee dollar for dollar. Overall the entire idea is silly and it won't (or at least shouldn't happen), besides if an NFL player wanted to donate money to charity all they need to do is host another Charity Golf Tourney.

A7Xfan
A7Xfan

It's basically a donation to a charity. Cool, but there's gotta be a process where if a team has 4 players being voted on and, pooled together, have more money than any other team that team should get the pick.

dannyaq
dannyaq

i always find it interesting who has to pay who in mutually benificial relationships. obviously being on the madden cover is good for any team/person to promote themselves, it provides a benifit to them, so they do have a reason to pay but as well, EA sells more copies when somebody's favorite player cathes their eye when they are looking for games. same with advertising like using real skate brands in a tony hawk game. on the one hand it is advertising for the real brands and in that sense they should pay activision to be in the game, but on the other hand, the real brands add authenticity to the tony hawk games and it would be something activision would want to pay to license. if you want my two cents, i figure the player on the cover benefits more than EA does from having an NFL player. I mean do people really buy it over blitz or another sports game with an athlete on the cover (which is probably also from EA)? the madden name is a big enough brand by itself that it doesn't need some NFL guy all over the cover, the athlete on the other hand can always use more promotion.

cgoliver
cgoliver

Come on. Would anyone here be excited to buy a Madden game with some dude no one knows on it? EA is terrible. More reason for me NOT to buy any Madden game. BRING BACK THE NFL 2K SERIES!!! That game was ten times better than the Madden franchise, and got snuffed out by the Madden monopoly and their ridiculous NFLPA exclusivity contract. EA has NO REASON to make Madden any better. Terrible game play, controls, and sound makes for a terrible game.

murlow12
murlow12

Glad to see they would donate the money. At first I thought this was another plow by EA to squeeze as much money as possible from the Madden franchise. For once I applaud EA for a decision it has (or will) make.