Traditionally releasing the first or second Tuesday of August, Madden NFL 12 this year moved to the end of the month, Aug. 30. EA Sports insisted the schedule change was not because of this year's NFL lockout, but because it provided a more natural alignment of the game's launch to the league's opening week in September. Well, that's not actually the case, according to Madden's director of marketing.
"We launched the last day of August because of the lockout, instead of the second week," Anthony Stevenson told Industry Gamers. "In years past, we would spend so much money in the beginning of August. The TV ads are talking to the mass fans, but they're not fully engaged in early August. So it made so much more sense to move the launch closer to the football season launch when fans were engaged."
What's more, this year was the most expensive marketing campaign in Madden history, Stevenson said.
"We did decide to spend even more this year than we ever have before, because of the NFL lockout," he told Industry Gamers. "A large part of the increase in our spending was our partners stepping up and helping out. Madden is typically in the top 2 [best-selling games of the year] ; we contended it would be top 10 if not top 5, even if there was no season. They [our retail partners]rely on Madden to be a big seller for them, so they would go with it."
The new release and augmented marketing seemed to be worth it. Madden NFL 12's early sales clocked in 10 per cent higher this year than they were after the same time last year, despite the weakest reviews for the series in the past five years.
Madden NFL 12 Post-Mortem [Industry Gamers]