National Football League TV announcer John Madden declared his retirement today, but don't expect Electronic Arts to stop leveraging the name of the legendary personality in its hit Madden NFL franchise.
EA Sports rep David Tinson told Gamasutra that the publisher has "a long term contract with John Madden."
EA Sports president Peter Moore also said in a statement, "We’re excited to see [Madden's] legacy live on in the 21st year of Madden NFL football, and well beyond.
"It’s been a privilege for EA Sports to have had the strong relationship we’ve had with John for more than two decades and one that will continue into the future.”
Madden's likeness first appeared on 1988's John Madden Football for Commodore and Apple II.
Following its August 2008 release, the most recent franchise entry, Madden NFL 09, had sold 4.5 million units as of September 2008. The franchise overall has sold many millions more, serving as a staple of EA's portfolio for years.
Madden NFL 10 is slated for this August.
Moore also called Madden "a true sports icon who has made an indelible impact on the sport of football which will be felt forever."
Due to an agreement between EA and the NFL and NFL Players Association, Madden NFL holds the exclusive rights to feature real-life players, stadiums and teams. In February 2008, EA and the NFL extended the agreement through the 2012 pro football season.