EA Sports has announced the cover star for Madden NFL 23, and it’s none other than John Madden himself. The legendary football coach and commentator, who died in 2021, will be seen on three different covers, one featuring him as a coach, one depicting him as a broadcaster, and a stylized rendering of him from Philadelphia-based artist Chuck Styles for the digital All Madden Edition.
John Madden was featured on the cover of EA’s early Madden games, but it has been more than 20 years since he graced a cover. Over the last two decades, EA has chosen an athlete to be on the cover, or in the case of Madden NFL 22, two athletes–Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.
The All-Madden Edition, with art from Chuck Styles
June 1 is a memorable day for the Madden franchise, as the original John Madden Football launched on this day in 1988. To celebrate the occasion, EA is not only announcing John Madden as the cover star for this year’s game, but the publisher has dedicated its new field at its Redwood Shores headquarters as “John Madden Field.” A ceremony is being held today with EA CEO Andrew Wilson, members of John Madden’s family, and EA employees to commemorate the field.
EA also shared the first details on what’s new in Madden NFL 23. The game will include two versions of coach Madden leading two opposing teams of “All Madden” athletes in the 1970s Oakland Coliseum. Additionally, EA put together “remastered audio clips” of Madden that act as a callback to his days as a broadcaster years ago.
EA has yet to announce any new gameplay features for Madden NFL 23 or a release date, but the game is expected to launch in August ahead of the new NFL season in September. The reveal trailer for Madden NFL 23 is coming tomorrow, June 2, at 10 AM ET. A new feature called “Fieldsense” will be part of the game, but it remains to be seen what this is.
Madden coached the Oakland Raiders to great success, including a Super Bowl victory in 1976. After retiring from coaching with the second-highest winning percentage of any coach (behind the legendary Vince Lombardi), he moved on to become an NFL analyst and won several Emmy awards. The heavy travel demanded by Madden’s broadcast job was aggravated by a severe fear of flying, leading the analyst to drive from destination to destination in a tricked-out RV called “The Madden cruiser.”
As of 2016, Madden was still helping out with the video game series.
After John Madden died in December 2021, EA Sports said, “John Madden was synonymous with football for more than 50 years. His knowledge of the game was second only to his love for it, and his appreciation for everyone that ever stepped on the gridiron. A humble champion, a willing teacher, and forever a coach.”