Madden goes multilingual

Electronic Arts' flagship football franchise gets a linguistic makeover with Madden en español, and the series' senior product manager explains why.

Back in August, a handful of online retailer listings indicated that Electronic Arts was preparing a Spanish-language version of its Madden NFL football series for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360. While the product pages were devoid of details, it wasn't tough to imagine what might be different about Madden en español.

EA today announced the game officially, and confirmed its changes to the series. The game will be fully translated, with new play-by-play from Spanish-language Monday Night Football announcer Alvaro Martin and three extra songs for the soundtrack. Dominican Republic native San Diego Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo replaces Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young as the cover athlete for the game, and in-game sports news and alerts will be pulled from ESPN Deportes and NFLatino.com.

Madden series senior product manager Anthony Stevenson recently took time out to answer GameSpot's questions about EA's first dedicated Spanish-language sports game.

GameSpot: Where did the idea for a Spanish-language version of Madden originate? Did the NFL ask for it? Did Madden developer Tiburon suggest it?

Anthony Stevenson: The idea for a Spanish-language game is something we've thought about for a couple years now. As our partnership with the NFL has continued to grow, we wanted to support their Hispanic initiatives, including Hispanic Heritage Month, NFLatino.com, and more. The Hispanic fan base continues to grow both in passion for football and video games, so we felt this was a great opportunity to have a marriage of the two.

GS: Other games simply have language options in the menu screens. Why release a separate Spanish-language version of this game?

AS: Our main goal with this release was to be authentic, and in order to do that, we felt like having a fully dedicated Spanish version of the game was the only way to go, including a cover athlete that fit the personality of the game. We wanted this gaming experience to feel as close to a Spanish broadcast as possible, and simply having menu language options wouldn't allow for that.

GS: In which countries will Madden en español be released?

AS: United States, Mexico, and countries within Latin America.

GS: Is this a one-time experiment in courting the Spanish-speaking market, or something EA plans to do with all subsequent Madden games?

AS: Each year we have to evaluate our resources and priorities; however, we went into this project with the hope that it would be well received and become a part of our annual release schedule.

GS: Will future EA games en español arrive alongside their English-language counterparts, or should we expect them to continue to trail the original release by several months?

AS: Again, this is something we will look at each year as we evaluate our resources and priorities, but the goal for the future would be to release these versions simultaneously.

GS: Is this something EA plans to do with other sports, or with non-sports games at some point in the future?

AS: Anything is possible. We view this as a great chance to gauge the interest and reception of a localized game, and we will use our learnings from this to evaluate future opportunities.

GS: What kind of reaction are you getting from retailers? Are they especially receptive to stocking a product in a language that a significant portion of their customer base doesn't know? Is interest in the game primarily regional?

AS: Retailers have been reacting very favorably to Madden NFL 08 en español. They are constantly challenged with how to diversify their marketing strategies, especially within more ethnic regions of the country. This is the perfect opportunity for them to tailor their efforts and consumer communications around a well-known product, and ultimately better serve their customer base.

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Discussion

130 comments
thegordoloco
thegordoloco

RLwrestler119 "Does anyone here not know that mexico, south america and canada is all part of America!!!, so for all you that say this is bad for america is stupid." That's the f***ing truth! By the way... thanks for the racism.... f***ing Unitedstaters

KMRB
KMRB

Wow, what's the point in this? I mean most children that are in the United States and play video games SPEAK ENGLISH - I really don't think this is worth EA's time to convert a video game to Spanish. Moreover, it just legitimizes the ignorance of those in this country who choose not to speak English - good job EA...I'm glad you want to press upon Spanish-speakers to keep on trucking...ignorance is bliss.

Joey_Hedgehog
Joey_Hedgehog

Well, I don't hate EA but this game is a bit more oriented to the latin american audience, most people in latin america don't even know a single word in other language and a game in spanish will make things a bit easier. However, here people don't play american footbol. We play soccer, and maybe the game sales will be a mess. A lot of games have english voice acting and spanish subtitles. That's enough for me.

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

9 out of 10 people that play madden play it with the commentary turned OFF.

ck02623
ck02623

I've been boycotting EA for a long time. I hate them for many reasons, including their exclusive NFL license, their refusal to support widescreen monitors on PC when they clearly support widescreen HDTVs on consoles, and their recent purchase of Bioware.

DeathIsARight
DeathIsARight

capitalthoughts and jasonguy, I applaud you two!

DeathIsARight
DeathIsARight

Boycott EA! I am no longer buying anything with their name on it or supporting the NFL! I suggest all people not happy with this do the same. EA is being racist and assuming hispanics either don't or won't speak english! EA are the racists here, not us! Hey EA, newsflash..HISPANICS DO SPEAK ENGLISH HERE!

ratradler
ratradler

Good. Latin interest in football can only mean more money for the NFL, thus a stronger organization. I love football and welcome any culture to it. Me gusta footbol americana! As for the video game industry, why not if there are people that will buy it. It's not like they are going to stop making it in English.

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Look personally I don;t listen to the announcers they blow it isn't even madden any more. I mean what the hell is there to read anyway. After the manual what else is there. According to my Spanish teachers 4 was uhhhhhhhhhh..... 4 in spanish. Screw the linguistics make a game that freaking works good has anyone played this game on PS3????? HELLO it BLOWS!!! I have a 360 and it isn't much better. Dude cut all the audio and words and the Game still blows. Fix the freaking GAME DAMN IT!! or Give us ESPN again so that you have some competition to urge you to produce a good game. I HATE EA!!!

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Ohh... it is nice that they are making it multilingua!! How about they make it not SUCK!!!! so horribly.

RageSet
RageSet

The ones who are against the localization of a product really needs a re-education of life. There is NO way you can argue that a product that is released in the US MUST be in English. The person that said that using English in everyday life is great, but what people do in their OWN homes, is their business alone. If they want to play a Spanish edition of Madden, I'm all for it. The US is a extremely diverse country, more so than any other place on Earth. Honestly, if you had to learn the language of a country, that means we all should be speaking some kind of Native American language instead of English. Go ahead, and justify that. Europeans came HERE and the English language came with them. So please argue why US citizens aren't speaking some form of the Native American languages.

sony65
sony65

EA is doing this to appeal to the spanish market, which is a great way to boost sales if it goes well. As for american gamers, this would actually be a great way to enrich lives by providing a fun way for english speakers to learn spanish.

Devvy01
Devvy01

hope they're working on a klingon version

ruiz2k5
ruiz2k5

when and why did this topic go from madden to illegal aliens and crap if you want to talk about that go to some racist forums and keep this strictly of videogames. i come to this website to read about videgames and not political racist crap. stop polluting the only thing we have that can help us forget about our problems in life..sheesh

segard
segard

So madden supports the immigrant culture??? hahaha thats the dumbest thing i've ever heard come on it is just a video game... besides the people from ESPN are great , still they should've done it like fifa, with the different languages as an option, and having vince young removed from the cover???, i dont really get the point...

thegordoloco
thegordoloco

NICE...... Madden en Español will rocks!!!!! It's about damn time to see one of my favorite sports with the play by play in my own language (The ESPN Deportes' MNF team, is the pest for comment Footbal) @Jaysonguy Sorry, America is America. I think you have America and North America confused. Jaysonguy: America its ALL THE FREAKING CONTINENT, you are a simple Unitedstater, because yoy are from the United States. Any body from Argentina to Canada are American, because that's the name of the continent.

chakan2
chakan2

"This is great news for us Mexicans who would like to hear this game in spanish..." Honestly, when they translate Madden's comments to spanish, I think you'll wish the game were still in english.

chakan2
chakan2

Oh that's just great...I have to press 1 for english to play madden.

nytemarex
nytemarex

Je suis d'accorde avec Tranceplant. It's fine to put it in Spanish. It isn't just the U.S. Mexicans will be buying this game as well. I know the language topic is touchy, especially in Canada where Quebec shelter itself from the rest of the country and ask for a handout. But you have to realize that Americans think everyone should speak English. If you go to Italy for 6 weeks on vacation, you should know some Italian such that you won't look like an Idiot. Unfortunately, North Americans have a dumb attitude that everyone should speak English and if they don't speak louder. Odd. Multilingualism is great when there is control. I agree that we should have one common language in each country, in the U.S. it will be AMERICAN English (you guys speak too funny for us Canadian and the Caribbeans). Nevertheless, you should accomodate people who speak Spanish, whether they're in the U.S. or elsewhere. E.A. might double their profitts just by putting a Spanish version of Madden 08.

-SlipSkull-
-SlipSkull-

I guess this is good news for those who speak and read Spanish.

rui_hitman_hart
rui_hitman_hart

why does people in USA get this way always whit Football?? I Mean... NFL took this game to Europe, Asia, Latin America a long Time Ago. Japan have´s their College and High School League, Mexico have's ONEFA, EUROPE once had their own infamous World League... Football have's a big fan base around the world. This is great news for us Mexicans who would like to hear this game in spanish... I think, if this works well, Madden could have their own international version with diferent players in their covers, just like FIFA. It would be cool to have it French or Japanese to. Time will tell if EA Sports is doing the right moves to get closer to the Hispanic Market. So Americans, please, dont get mad, be a little more realistic... do you think that EA cares about the border and terrorism? they only care about the money they could make with this, and this could probably become the last madden on the ps2!! T___T well =D that´s all i have to say!! dont get mad!! life is to short to care about politics and racism and... whatever you think... just enjoy your games!!!

AdmiralDan
AdmiralDan

"When did it become okay to stereotype latinos and villify their language and culture?" I believe this has been happening to every race the earth has ever seen since the dawn of time. Grow up and take a history lesson.

lamprey263
lamprey263

Makes sense to make games in Spanish, as the Latin American sales proabably have to be around where the Canadian and Australian game sales are, which are pretty low but companies still decide to make the effort anyways.

EscobarPR_basic
EscobarPR_basic

"Meanwhile we have people running across the border with no right to be here, they refuse to speak or learn English as their first language and more and more companies are catering to that crowd. It is disgusting is what it is." Need I give any better example of the points I've made? The saddest part is that alot of you here probably agree with this idiot. When did it become okay to stereotype latinos and villify their language and culture?

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

EscobarPR_basic. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about and your last post proves it. So instead of giving you the reasons you requested (which I don't know why you couldn't see anyway) let's just briefly dissect some key points from your last post. "ignorant and baseless hatred" When people discrimate against others what are they doing? Essentially, they are making themselves feel better at others expenses. Is this baseless and ignorant? No. They clearly have a reason for doing so. I think "evil" is the only word that aptly describes this kind of behavior. "equality and tolerance" Now it could be argued the having everyone play Madden in English constitutes equality, as everyone is playing the exact same game. However, I do not think that this is worthy of being expounded upon, so we will move onto "tolerance." What is the definition of tolerance? Tolerance's real definition (regardless of what dictionary.com says) is putting up with some kind of inappropriate behavior. Why is this definition correct? Let me ask you, when was the last time you heard of a parent having to tolerate their child's good behavior? Probably never. So in essence, you have just called your own culture inappropriate or wrong. That is what I call ignorant. Furthermore, if we need tolerance, why are you being so intolerant of intolerant people? Isn't this self-contradictory?

vzcrsp14
vzcrsp14

Que buena noticia!! NFL en Español. I want to buy this game. I have to congratulate EA for this effort. Hay que agradecer EA por este esfuerzo!!

capitalthoughts
capitalthoughts

And before any liberal hippies try to brand me a bigot without even knowing what they are talking about, let me give you an example, I certainly would never go to any country without any documentation of who I am, not know a thing about the language and them expect that culture to bend too me. As a matter of fact, if I did that, I know the first thing that would be said about me. "Typical arrogant American."

capitalthoughts
capitalthoughts

DragonSama has a point. My wife is also Chinese and they are the most populated country on the planet, and a bit more powerful then ALL of south America put together whether we like it or not, so why don't we see games in English being remade for the Asian audience, it is because most people from Asian countries migrate here legally and most can speak fluent English. My wife was born on a small communal farm in some forgotten village in China. Yet today, she is an engineer and speaks fluent English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Meanwhile we have people running across the border with no right to be here, they refuse to speak or learn English as their first language and more and more companies are catering to that crowd. It is disgusting is what it is. People learn the language and adapt to the culture of the country they migrate too. The country shouldn't change the language and their culture to accomodate them.

cesarjr14
cesarjr14

Hey, if Konami has a switch for spanish on Winning Eleven, why not just do that? THAT is what I don't understand. I love the spansh commentary. Serious, I'm not racist, bigot, or anything. Just the english commentary on games SUCKS hard. Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCvOEBCWcBE I know its actually soccer, but this guys rocks.

alexbannister
alexbannister

Now lets see if they do a French version for NHL

Erebus
Erebus

I can see it now... A gringo like me walks into EB Games, picks up Madden, gets home, and suddenly realizes that I bought the game in the wrong language. HA, haha, hahahaha. El noob. Oh, and If you play the RACE PRIDE card as part of your life, YOU are the problem.

DarkThanatosBog
DarkThanatosBog

I don't get it dragonosama... they're not just translating a game, they're making a full localization because NFL is becoming widely popular on spanish speaking countries. Spanish is my native language but I preffer playing games in english (or japanese if they're from japan) and watching the movies in their original language. But, when it comes to sports, I think it's nice to have a localized version. Can you believe I love NFL but in my life never heard the voice of Madden? This is something that may push me into buying the game, and a lot of people I know.

EscobarPR_basic
EscobarPR_basic

Please explain to me where I perpetuated the ignorant and baseless hatred of people who are different than I am that goes on everyday in this country? I guess the struggle for equality and tolerance equates to hatred of caucasians in your eyes, right?

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

EscobarPR_basic, for all your whining about how you have been discrimated against and hated on, you sure exude a lot of hate towards other people. Isn't that just perpetuating this vicious cycle?

reactionsok
reactionsok

dragon stop being selfish. this only makes football more popular to a wider audience. tu es vo grande puta y cambron.

reactionsok
reactionsok

dragon stop being selfish. this only makes football more popular to a wider audience. tu es vo grande puta y cambron.

EscobarPR_basic
EscobarPR_basic

And Dragonsama, you ever bother to think that there are some parts of the world, including PARTS of the United States, where Spanish is the official language and people speak mostly Spanish? Ever heard of Puerto Rico? Or did you not bother reading that this game would be sold both inside and outside of the US in latin american nations? I'm sure if Chinese in China who only speak Chinese bought Madden games, EA would have a Chinese-language version pronto..

CapitalG17
CapitalG17

A thought occurs... Does the PS3 really need a separate version of Madden just to accommodate a second language? Isn't that why Sony switched to the Blu-Ray format in the first place? (The answers are: NO, and NO!) Therefore, I can only assume this new version is Spanish-only. ...It's the cover athlete switch that bothers me. "A cover athlete that fits the personality of the game"? What, Vince Young doesn't "fit the personality" of the world's only NFL game? Just say it out loud, you condescending weasels: you wanted a Spanish-speaking NFL player on the cover of your Spanish-speaking game.

EscobarPR_basic
EscobarPR_basic

Hey Bench_Scientist, you've had your "caucasian" version of Madden and most other games, TV shows, magazines, radio, images of Jesus and nearly everything else since the very beginning of this country and western civilization in general. Give the hating a break, especially the white people. You've had your run of this country for centuries treating everyone else as second class citizens of second class races who speak second class languages and live second class cultures, now that some of us are getting some equality just because we have a few dollars in our pockets that your mostly white-owned corporations want to get after, you all cry bloody murder as if your civil rights were being violated. As someone who actually knows what its like to have your civil rights violated because of your race, please just shut up.

dragonsama
dragonsama

Ok this has to stop. We live in America for crying out loud and in America we speak English. If you move somewhere else like Italy they don’t have to learn your language, you have to learn their’s. America is no different. Besides that if you are going to have things in English and Spanish they you are leaving out a whole lot of other languages as well. We have a ton of Chinese people here (My wife is Chinese) they should have it in Chinese too. If not then its discrimination against Chinese people. Then they need to have it in Japanese, Korean, Italian, French, Swahili, ect… Sorry but this multilingual crap is getting out of hand. Either have it in English since English is the language of this country (whether you like it or not), or if you are going to do Spanish you have to do every other language on the planet!!!

Bench_Scientist
Bench_Scientist

Wait...so they changed the cover to entice a certain ethinicity? I'm caucasian, where's my madden cover with Urlacher or Favre? What about all the Aussies? Where's their madden cover with Sav Rocca? What about the Kailee Wong cover for the Asian population? Or better yet the Hines Ward cover for the Blasian population? F-this I'm calling Sharpton

CrushedGroove
CrushedGroove

Alright...now Madden can flood the Spanish market every year! My "Give-a-Crap-Meter" is resting firmly on zero.

glhx1rush
glhx1rush

Lamprey263 : "illegal immigration is a problem, just ask the indigenous peoples of the Americas" Immigration is a problem, just ask the indigenous animals there were here first.. You think people just sprouted up from the dirt? Hahahahah

IXIAntiksIXI
IXIAntiksIXI

EA Is thinking about everybody here, mark my words one day EA Is going to be a political party in the near future.

Priest57
Priest57

One would think that a Spanish option would have been available since the original release. Nevertheless a game being re-released onto the market in Spanish isn't a bad idea at all, just a marketing move that plans on making money on a different market. Also all the talk about Hispanics not caring about American Football and only caring for traditional Futbal is a ridiculous statement. Who cares how many copies and re-releases they have for a game in whatever language it's just a marketing scheme and is actually, IMO, very considerate.

MrSickVisionz
MrSickVisionz

I'm shocked (and partially baffled) that they didn't have a "Spanish" option in the game settings to switch over all text and load alternate commentary. "I don't know where u live but here in L.A. were' having to shut down Hospitals and wait in massive daily traffic jams because of these people." Yeah, because there'd be NO traffic in LA is weren't for immigrants... and everyday would be rainbows, lollipops and sunshine.

josephmadde2005
josephmadde2005

Getting ready for Georgie boy's North American Union. Also if we are all supposed to be scared to death by the evil terrorists around every corner, Why the hell was nothing ever done to secure the borders, yet us Citizens have to be ass raped to get on a plane? And the Neo-tards keep telling us..."Golly gee the terrorists could bring a bomb over the borders any time now so be afraid and surrender your rights or you are evil and un-American and hate the troops n stuff" Screw both of our political parties in the a$$

ocdog45
ocdog45

thats a good move t oprmote awareness for spanish people

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

Typical EA there was no real problem with having a language option in Madden 08 (English) but i am curious to see how well this sells