Reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes was announced Thursday as the cover athlete for the upcoming “Madden NFL 20.” Not only is he an obvious fit from a marketing standpoint, but publisher EA Sports can leverage his stardom to fit alongside a prominent feature in the upcoming game.
The tie is to the just-rebooted Superstar Mode, where a single player, rather than an entire team, is controlled through a career. The most interesting aspect of Superstar mode is that it will include a college element. The College Football Playoff is included and 10 universities have been licensed to appear: Texas Tech (where Mahomes played in college), Clemson, Oregon, LSU, Florida, Florida State, Texas, Miami, USC and Oklahoma.
With the exception of Texas and Oklahoma, which had brief appearances in “Madden NFL 18” Longshot story mode and Ultimate Team, there hasn’t been any college football presence since “NCAA Football 14” became the final college sports video game as we know it. Those dedicated games will likely not return until the courts or legislation allow for players to be paid.
Publishers can still strike deals with a limited number of schools and utilize them in such a manner, however. A handful of colleges have also been licensed to appear in the “NBA 2K” series, which has utilized them in the story modes and as classic teams featuring past players. Current players cannot be included on rosters.
“Madden NFL 20” is scheduled to release Aug. 2 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The special Superstar Edition will arrive three days earlier with bonus content included. More news on the game is expected during the lead-up to the company’s annual EA Play event on June 7.
Bryan Wiedey posts sports gaming news and analysis daily at Pastapadre.com, is co-founder of the sports gaming site HitThePass.com, hosts the “Press Row Podcast” and can be reached on Twitter @Pastapadre.
Author: Bryan Wiedey