Chat with Chris Erb
As is typical, EA has been mum about the identity of the man chosen for the cover honor, but we do have a few clues in advance of the unveiling, which will occur on the Jimmy Kimmel Show on Tuesday night just after midnight. We know that Devin Hester, Chicago return-man extraordinaire, is the first player to ever achieve the maximum 100 Speed Rating in the game, and we've heard that Hester joined Titans QB Vince Young and New Orleans RB Reggie Bush to film a series of Madden commercials that are slated to run during the Draft. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and LaDainian Tomlinson are also being considered for the honor of a cover.
Send in your questions now and join Chris in The Show on Tuesday at 3pm.
Buzzmaster (3:00 PM)
Chris will be here shortly, so keep the questions coming!
Is there anything about this year's game that will be exclusive to one console versus another?
Chris Erb (3:06 PM)
We haven't started talking about features yet. But when we build games we optomize for each platform, so you will see different things for different platforms. For instance you can draw hot routes for the DS and that does not really work on other platforms. So we optomize for the technology of different systems.
Derrick, San Diego, CA.
Are you guys ever going to consider having a lateral button for the 08' version?
Chris Erb (3:07 PM)
That's a great question. Good timing. It has been something we have been looking at for while. Hopefully you will be happy with what we have added.
what systems is Madden 08 coming out for
Chris Erb (3:09 PM)
Everything that plugs into a wall: Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PC, PSP, and NDS!
Chris Erb (3:09 PM)
Craig (Norwich, CT)
Do you ever have athletes, their coaches, and/or their fans asking you not to put a particular athlete on the cover, citing the supposed "Madden Cover Curse"?
Chris Erb (3:10 PM)
No players have ever turned us down. I think players love it. We get a ton of calls asking to be on the cover. Fans of particular teams are the most vocal on not putting athletes on the cover.
Lane (Kukuihaele, HI)
What's the biggest change/addition to the game to look foward to?
Chris Erb (3:12 PM)
We haven't started talking about the new features yet but we will start talking about them right before the draft.
why hasnt there been a wr on the cover
Chris Erb (3:13 PM)
No particular reason. We haven't had a feature that is solely fixed on a wide receiver, but we will have one on the cover at some point.
I like how NCAA slowed down plays to make it more dramatic at times...is Madden considering this at all?
Chris Erb (3:15 PM)
I agree, I actually loved that as well. We are always looking at different opportunities to improve the game. I think it works well for a college game, but I am not sure how well it would work in Madden. But I think it is a great idea.
Chad (Savannah, GA)
Will you all ever do regional or split season covers?
Chris Erb (3:16 PM)
Probably not for Madden. But I think that that strategy might work well for other sports games.
Steve Steele halifax nova scotia
I BEG YOU BRADY NOT MANNING.
Chris Erb (3:18 PM)
You got your Super Bowl ring you shouldn't be too mad at the Pats!
How much feedback do you get from players when designign the game each year?
Chris Erb (3:19 PM)
We get a ton of feedback from players and coaches. Our deal with the NFL allows us some great access, access we have never had, and I think it really adds to the games authenticity.
What is more of a focus for Madden 08, graphics or AI?
Chris Erb (3:21 PM)
I can tell you the emphasis on the game this year is improving overall game play from frame art, to AI, to eveything in between. We want this to be the best playing Madden ever.
Joe (Port Huron, MI)
Have any of the past cover atheletes acknowledged the curse?
Chris Erb (3:22 PM)
I don't know if they have, but they are asked about it a lot. I think Shaun Alexander put it best when he said "Would you rather be hurt and on the cover of Madden; or just be hurt?"
lark (detroit, mi)
what do you love must about your job?
Chris Erb (3:24 PM)
I have been a Madden player and fan my whole life, so it is a dream come true to work with the production guys to make the game and play the game early; and it is also great to interact with all the players.
What's with the rumors that Vince Young is on the cover of Madden this year? A second year QB??
Chris Erb (3:26 PM)
We have not confirmed who is on the cover yet, but we will tonight live on the Jimmy Kimmel Show!
Robert (Raleigh NC)
Who decides who is rated what? It seems every year there are handful of guys who are awful in real life that are good in the game and vice versa.
Chris Erb (3:28 PM)
We have a team of guys who work on the ratings. They work very closely with all sorts of resource materials to determine the ratings. Everything from sitting down with coaches, from watching high 22 cam footage. Tons of time and effort goes into this, and none of the players are ever happy with their ratings, but we think we do a very good job with getting as close as possible.
Jon (California, MD)
Hopefully it's Jimmy Kimmel on the cover, that would be cool....
Chris Erb (3:29 PM)
Better Jimmy Kimmel than Uncle Frank!
The Dish (Elgin, IL)
With no competition on the market for NFL licensed video games, do you feel a sense of complacency?
Chris Erb (3:31 PM)
Great question! For a brand like Madden, we have tons of competition which keeps us motivated to improve the game. With Halo 3 and GTA 4 and tons of other great titles coming out soon, we have to be on top of our game, because we are competing with them, as well as the fact that Madden is our game and we make it for us to play. So every year we want to make the best game possible, so we can play it together; and if everyone else likes it that is cool too!
Chris Erb (3:34 PM)
Thank you for all the questions. I am sorry we could not do more. I hope to do it again soon. And don't forget to tune into the Jimmy Kimmel Show, tonight on ABC, for the cover announcement! Thanks again guys! Bye!