REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Electronic Arts Inc. announced April 26 that Peyton Hillis, running back for the Cleveland Browns, was selected by millions of fans across the country to grace the cover of Madden NFL 12. Hillis, a No. 10 seed, defeated former Madden NFL 04 cover athlete and No. 3 seed Michael Vick (QB, Eagles) in the finals of an unprecedented campaign with ESPN.com and SportsNation that allowed fans to determine, by an online vote that was open to the public, the player to be featured on the cover of Madden NFL 12 when the game launches on August 30.
More than 12.7 million votes were logged overall in the campaign, which ran from March 21 – April 27 through ESPNSportsNation.com online and via the mobile Web, the most ever for an ESPN poll or vote. With deep integrations across multiple ESPN platforms, including TV, radio, online, mobile, social media, ESPN Deportes, and more, Hillis defeated Vick by a final margin of 66% to 34%. Fans rallied behind Hillis as he continually ousted higher seeded players in the bracket-style voting campaign, including No. 7 seed Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens), No. 2 seed Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons), No. 6 seed Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs), and No. 1 seed Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers).
“Our fans have responded in record-setting fashion to honor Peyton Hillis, and we’re extremely pleased to welcome him into an exclusive fraternity of NFL players to appear on the cover of the Madden NFL franchise,” said Anthony Stevenson, Senior Product Manager of EA SPORTS. “This year’s cover voting campaign with ESPN has sparked incredible debate and conversation amongst fans and NFL players, which is a testament to the interest in and anticipation for Madden NFL each year. The amount of support that Hillis generated nationally and within his home market of Cleveland was truly impressive.”
“This has been a humbling experience and I want to thank all the fans in Cleveland and throughout the country that got behind me and voted each and every week,” said Peyton Hillis, running back for the Cleveland Browns and the fourth running back to appear on the cover of the Madden NFL franchise. “I’ve been playing Madden NFL for ten years, and it’s a dream to know that I’ll be on the cover of this great game. I’m looking forward to another big season with the Browns to show fans how much we appreciate them.”
In celebration of Hillis’ victory and to officially kick off the Madden NFL 12 season, EA SPORTS hosted an event for fans in the middle of New York City’s Times Square on April 26 featuring a photo shoot and a first preview of Madden NFL 12. One image from the photo shoot with Hillis will appear on the cover of this year’s game.
Madden NFL 12 launches on August 30 and transforms on-field action and core gameplay modes, driving innovation in six key areas: Playbooks and Gameplay; Presentation; Franchise and Superstar modes; Dynamic Player Performance; Madden Ultimate Team; and Online Communities.
Playbooks and Gameplay
- All-New Collision System: Now maintain full control of players up to the point of impact – from tackling to blocking – providing the most authentic collisions in franchise history. This new system uses a player’s momentum and over 100 new tackle animations, including 40 gang tackles, to provide more impactful hits, stolen tackles, and consecutive hit tackling.
- Advanced Defensive AI: Over 100 defensive A.I. enhancements resulting in the smartest Madden defense ever. Players in zone and man coverage will properly recognize and react to plays, including the ability to break out of assignments when appropriate, resulting in a defensive team that truly works together.
- Custom Playbooks: The #1 most requested feature by fans in recent years, allows you to build the ultimate game plan by modifying an existing playbook or creating your own by selecting up to 400 offensive or defensive plays from 75 different playbooks. Integrate your custom playbook into a game plan for use with the improved GameFlow system, which executes an authentic, situational game plan for you.
- Broadcast Redefined: Experience NFL Sundays like never before with completely overhauled presentation, including 32 team-specific run outs featuring mascots and cheerleaders, over 500 dynamic broadcast cameras authentic to every NFL stadium, innovative “real” on-field cameras shot by expert NFL Films cameramen, and a network inspired new broadcast graphics package.
- Unprecedented On-Field Authenticity: Hundreds of visual improvements across all areas of the game including: new player equipment, helmet stickers, pylon and ball physics, a player degradation system that affects uniforms and helmets based on weather and field surface, 3D grass, and new player specific animations that showcase the personalities of each NFL player.
Franchise and Superstar Modes
- Franchise mode includes more than 100 new features and enhancements, including expanded rosters, an all-new rookie scouting system, a free-agent bidding system, and more.
- In Superstar mode, fans can now control the growth of their superstar with an all-new progression system that allows you to earn skill points by participating in practice and games. More details on Franchise and Superstar modes will be released on May 16.
Dynamic Player Performance
- Dynamic Player Performance is an all-new feature that creates unprecedented realism as a player’s skills and confidence will rise and fall based on his performance throughout a game or in Franchise mode, just like the real NFL. No two players will play the same in Madden NFL 12, and more details will be revealed at the E3 Expo on June 6.
Madden NFL Ultimate Team
- The perfect combination of Madden NFL Football, fantasy football, and trading cards comes to life in Madden NFL Ultimate Team. More information on how to earn, buy, auction, and trade players will be released on June 20.
- Online Communities will provide an all-new way for Madden NFL gamers to meet and play. More details will be released on July 25.
Since its debut in 1989, Madden NFL has over 90 million units sold-in to date. Starting today, fans can visit www.maddenNFL.easports.com to learn more about Madden NFL 12 pre-sale opportunities.