We started to hear rumblings yesterday, but today EA Sports made it official: the next game in its football franchise will be named Madden NFL 25, and it's coming on August 27. The title is a clear break from its usual naming convention, which would otherwise call this year's edition "Madden NFL 14."
This year's cover athlete will once again be chosen by a bracketed voting competition, but this year it will pay some homage to the series' long history with classic players in the mix. One 32-player bracket will be composed of all-time greats, and a separate 32-player bracket will feature modern players. In the final round, the last man standing from each bracket will go head-to-head. Will influence and legacy beat modern-day fame? Probably not, but you never know. Voting begins in March.
The name is in honor of the franchise's 25th anniversary, leaving it a mystery what we should expect from next year's game. It may go back to tradition with Madden NFL 15, or EA Sports could intend to break from titles that call attention to their annualized nature.