While many thought that the biggest change to come to the Madden franchise might be in the defensive and offensive departments, something pretty big is happening for Madden NFL 14. The change, however, isn’t from a gameplay perspective, but rather in the titling of this new game.

EA Sports has today announced that rather than follow the common titling form they are instead going with Madden NFL 25 in celebration of the franchise’s 25th anniversary. The choice is odd, sure, but with the next generation of consoles looming in the future it’s likely this is the last Madden before big changes hit.

However, if EA Sports wanted to, they could simply revert back to their usual naming structure with Madden NFL 15. The only confusion would come when we reach the 2025 season. But if the Madden franchise can keep going that long, it’s highly unlikely many will remember or care about the naming confusion.

In addition to the announcement of the new name, EA Sports also unveiled their plan for picking a Madden NFL 25 cover athlete. In recent years the cover athlete has been chosen through a fan vote tournament, and that will continue for this year. The only difference, however, is that the pool of players will be comprised of NFL legends and current NFL stars in a 64-player bracket.

32 NFL “greats” and 32 NFL stars will be chosen, most likely from all of the NFL’s 32 teams, and the rest will be up to the fans. The entire bracket will be announced March 11th on the ESPN show SportsNation, and the first round of voting will begin.

This is also a clever move on EA Sports’ part to get around the Madden curse, which continues to strike in one form or another. It could be argued that Madden NFL 13 cover athlete Calvin Johnson got away relatively unscathed, and in fact broke a few records this season, but his Detroit Lions team was plenty disappointing. To go from the playoffs to last place in the NFC North has got to be a big blow.

We’ll make sure to keep you posted when EA Sports announces more about Madden NFL 25 in the coming months.

What do you think about EA Sports celebrating the 25th anniversary of Madden with a name change? What NFL great would you like to see on the cover?

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