EA Sports' "Madden" franchise is more than just John Madden's game in name. The legendary Raiders coach and analyst might be 80 years old, but he still influences how the video game is made, even if he no longer provides his voice for the game's commentary.
According to Seann Graddy, an executive producer of "Madden," the game designers speak with Madden at least two or three times a year on the phone and meet with him once to show him the design of the game. And when Madden gives them tips, they listen.
For instance, when the NFL changed the extra-point rule last offseason, Madden gave the creators a call to discuss how the game needs to make kicking more difficult to mimic what kickers would experience during the real season.
"Last year, we got a call from John Madden himself where he said, 'Guys, the PAT is under review, it's going to be a 33-yard kick now,'" Graddy told GamesRadar+. "And it's going to change the game. The knock-on effect is that we knew we had to change the kick mechanic this year to make it more of a challenge, just like in the real NFL."
Madden also impacted the terminology that the game used, as Graddy explained to GamesRadar+:
The big boss man had a similar effect on one of Madden NFL 16's biggest features. "Last year we showed up [to a meeting with Madden] and said, we're adding new catch types, and one of the catch types we're adding is called 'YAC.' He's like, 'What's a YAC?' And we reply, 'It stands for 'Yards After Catch'. And he says, 'No, it's a RAC -- Run After Catch. And I know this because I'm the one who coined it on broadcast TV!' So we ultimately changed that terminology based on what he said."
"Madden NFL 17," which features Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski spiking a football on the cover, is scheduled for release on Aug. 23. Here's a look at the game:
So, only two questions remain: If Madden is still keeping up with video games, is it possible that he is also playing Pokemon Go like pretty much everyone else on the planet? And if so, is he allowed to put Stickum on his Poke Balls?
Wink of the CBS eye to GamesRadar+