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Madden's latest video game extends win streak

The game has already raked in billions and is showing no signs of getting sidelined. By CNBC's Mary Thompson
/ Source: CNBC

The latest version of Madden NFL 07 is out and it’s hot. The game has already raked in billions and is showing no signs of getting sidelined.

Electronic Arts is dominating the virtual gridiron with Madden NFL, the best-selling sports video game of all time. This week the 17th version of the game, Madden NFL 07, hit store shelves. Electronic Arts even declaring a “Madden-oliday” in where else but Madden Mississippi – a town of 74 homes, all of which got an Xbox 360 and the game.

Since its launch in 1989, domestic sales of the game in the U.S. have topped two billion dollars. Electronic Arts estimates they have sold 51 million copies to date.

“It is without a doubt the biggest franchise, not only in sports gaming, but video gaming in general. I like to say that the Madden franchise is like the video game equivalent to Coke or Pepsi, in that people recognize that brand as being representative of the genre”, said Brian Ekberg, Sports Editor at

Madden is now the only licensed NFL game on the market. Electronic Arts has sacked the competition by paying for the exclusive right just last year. But, it’s not just a game. It’s a brand and a culture. The hype over this year’s release was so big that ESPN broadcast a sneak peak at the game earlier this month for fans willing to cough up $19.95.

So what’s the new and improved about Madden 07? It’s not just a passing game anymore. Electronic Arts takes cues from this year’s Super Bowl champs, the Pittsburgh Steelers, so gamers can now control their running game.

“We’re calling our feature ‘run to daylight’. The idea we’ve created is a whole new way to run in Madden. We’ve really blown out the running game”, said Chris Erb, Director of Marketing for Electronic Arts.

The man behind the franchise – even though Electronic Arts Sports won’t disclose how much John Madden’s stake is worth, reports have estimated his payout at ten million a year.

“It’s my game. I started it. It’s my game forever. No one else can be Madden”, said John Madden.

Nobody else can be Madden, but everyone wants his game.