Tom Bissell for Grantland with a fascinating behind-the-scenes on how Madden is made every year:
Every year for the past three years, key members of Madden NFL’s development team have traveled to the Bay Area suburb of Pleasanton, Calif., to meet with John Madden himself at his production company’s office building. There, Coach Madden and the dev team discuss identifiable trends that have emerged in professional football over the past year and spitball ideas about how these trends might be implemented in gameplay. Coach Madden is also briefed on the creative direction and “feature set” of next year’s game. Once that’s done, Coach (as he’s called) and the dev team watch a fully catered afternoon’s worth of professional football games in a large studio space that Coach built after retiring from broadcasting a few years ago.
I—like, I am sure, many others—did not have any idea that Madden was as intricately involved in the development of each game as portrayed in this article.
It’s a great read on how EA Tiburon works to create a fresh take year after year, and some thoughts on the future of the king of sports video games.