In 1987, EA Sports wanted to enter the football video game market. They licensed former Oakland Raiders coach and Monday Night Football analyst John Madden, who already had a large following. EA Sports would create a video game like none before. They would incorporate the very essence of John Madden himself. He was consulted on every detail of the creation of the game and once the product was finished, his play-by-play was added. In 1989, EA Sports released John Madden football and console gaming was forever changed. Because of its cult following, celebrity endorsements and attention to detail, John Madden Football continues to be the most popular video game of all time.
John Madden Football has a cult following unmatched by any other game. I have been playing John Madden Football since I was 16 years old. As the years passed, I went from begging my mother to buy the newest version, to begging my wife to allow me to buy the newest version. Either way I had to have it. The need for competition is addictive for former high school athletes like myself, and this game is the closes you can get to the real thing. I play against my family, friends and (as an upgrade of the last two versions) online against some guy in Boise, Idaho. I enter online tournaments to test my mettle against players from all over the country. We exchange e-mails about player tournaments and sale or trade playbooks. I enjoy certain since of community with my fellow gamers.
Just like any other fan, musicians and the football players themselves can not get enough of it. Each new version boasts a host of songs, submitted by the artists" themselves for the chance to be included in this phenomenon. The athletes portrayed in the game beg for pre-release copies to see if their digital doppelgangers" skills match their own. The commercials shown during football games state, "If it's in the game, it's in the game", because of all the celebrity involvement, this is true.