Favre chosen for Madden 09 cover

The upcoming release of Madden NFL 09 on August 12 marks the 20th anniversary of the highly successful video game franchise. This milestone of longevity could help explain why the game's producer, EA Sports, seemed to have been in a nostalgic mood with an eye towards history when selecting this year's cover athlete. Instead of going with a bright young star of the game, as has been the tradition since Madden 2001, they chose a man who had been a dominant force in the NFL over much of the 20 year history of the video game, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre. Having announced his retirement in early March, Favre becomes the first non-active player to appear on the game's cover.

"Madden NFL Football and Brett Favre are sports icons who have set the standard and revolutionized their positions within their respective genres," said Madden NFL Executive Producer Dale Jackson. "Brett Favre is a perfect fit for the Madden NFL 09 cover, as he epitomizes everything the franchise has stood for the past 20 years - longevity, excellence, and a love of football."

Favre's legacy is cemented as one of the most beloved players of his generation and one of the most admired NFL players to ever grace the cover of Madden NFL. The future Hall of Famer is the league's only three-time Most Valuable Player and he holds the NFL record for most consecutive starts for quarterbacks. He completed his 17-year career as the NFL's all-time leader in touchdowns, completions, attempts, yards, and wins.

Madden NFL 09 strives to take authenticity and depth of gameplay to an new level with more than 85 new features and enhancements, including the all-new Total Control Animation system. This system will allow players to perform combination moves like never before and includes an innovative picture-in-picture playcall window. In Madden NFL 09, the game engine is continually assessing the player's performance and will adapt a custom experience to every type of gamer, from newcomer to the veteran Madden NFL player.

Madden NFL 09 will also feature a network-inspired broadcast presentation. Players will benefit from the authentic football knowledge of an in-booth play-by-play and color commentary team featuring Cris Collinsworth and Tom Hammond. In addition, numerous graphical enhancements have been made, including realistic weather and grass, sleeker player models and exterior stadium views.

Madden NFL 09 gives gamers the ability to create online leagues. Fans can now take their rivalries online and compete in leagues with up to 32 teams. Online league play will feature in-depth stat tracking and a flexible scheduling option.

Last year, Madden NFL 08 was named the 2007 Game Critics "Best Sports Game" award at the E3 Media and Business Summit, "Best Team Sports Game" at the Spike TV Video Games Awards, "Best Sports Game of the Year" by GameTrailers. The game also earned GameSpot's "Best Sports Game" Reader's Choice Award and was named one of MSNBC's "Best Sports Games" of 2007. According to EA, the Madden NFL franchise has sold more than 70 million copies over the past 20 years and, since 2002, has been the top selling sports game each year in North America.

Madden NFL 09 will be available for the Xbox 360 video game system from Microsoft, PlayStation2 and PLAYSTATION3 computer entertainment systems, Wii, Nintendo DS, PSP (PlayStationPortable) handheld entertainment system and is rated RP by the ESRB.