As I so "boldly" predicted 10 days ago, Electronic Arts'
But as "bold" as my prediction was, it wasn't nearly as bold as the agitprop in EA's press release.
According to Vice President of Marketing Todd Sitrin, "Gamers were demanding the best Madden NFL Football ever this year and the response at retail indicates that we delivered the game that everyone wanted. Consumers have voted with their dollars, and the vote is in -- this is the best version of Madden NFL Football ever."
That's not an entirely accurate interpretation. For the most part, ratings for Madden NFL 06 are down from previous years. For example, IGN.com gave both Sony's
|Madden NFL 06||8.8||8.8|
|Madden NFL 2005||9.5||9.5|
|Madden NFL 2004||9.5||9.4|
|Madden NFL 2003||9.1||8.8|
|Madden NFL 06||8.2||8.2|
|Madden NFL 2005||9.0||9.0|
|Madden NFL 2004||9.2||9.1|
|Madden NFL 2003||9.0||8.6|
That doesn't necessarily mean that Madden NFL 06 is or isn't superior to previous versions; it just means that it is a stretch to attribute the gains to "giving the customers more of what they want" than before.
As we've discussed, the biggest difference this year is clearly EA's lack of competition. Last year, Take-Two Interactive
It's not all talk, though. EA's NCAA Football 2006 for the PlayStation 2 was the best-selling video game for July, while the Xbox version came in second for the month. And even if EA's marketing propaganda doesn't quite ring true, it is a pretty good bet that EA will sell more copies of Madden at the full $50 price than it did last year, when it had to lower prices (because of Take-Two's competition) earlier in the season than ever before.