Last night saw millions of viewers around the world glued to the drama of Super Bowl XLIX. After a competitive game that either side could quite realistically have won, a climactic interception saw the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 — exactly as EA's simulation of the Super Bowl in Madden NFL 15 had predicted earlier.
Yes, that's right; a simulated version of the Super Bowl that took place in a Madden video game managed to predict the final score of the game perfectly. That makes for the ninth time that EA Sports have correctly predicted the Super Bowl winner using Madden NFL in the past twelve years.
The prediction is yet another piece of masterful cross-promotion tying EA's behemoth sports franchise to the real-world NFL. When the 2014-15 season was just beginning last year, the studio released the Madden GIFerator to capitalize on football frenzy. Shortly afterwards, the 'Tiny Titan' trailer went viral, further solidifying the online reach of one of the consistently popular franchises in gaming.
Accurately predicting the result of the Super Bowl ends the season on a high note for the Madden series, with this year's instalment having soundly made up for the disappointing Madden 25 that came before it — not to mention generating plenty of buzz that will surely carry over to this year's Madden NFL 16.
For all the flak that yearly sports titles sometimes get for the incremental improvements of offer, Madden NFL 15 should be praised for bucking the trend. Having laid strong foundations in creating a satisfying football experience for fans to dip into, EA has done an expert job of marketing the game throughout the year, making a tenured title seem fresh and current.
However, that won't do much to temper the anguish of Seattle Seahawks fans suffering from a Super Bowl hangover. Things could have turned out quite differently last night were it not for a misjudged play minutes from the end with mere inches separating the Seahawks from the endzone and a second consecutive Super Bowl victory.
That said, Seahawks fans can at least take to the game to repeat the Super Bowl in the hopes of getting a more favorable result for their side. The Legion of Boom will have to console themselves with the prospect of another roll of the dice next time around — while the Patriots can revel in their Super Bowl wins, both real-world and virtual.
Madden NFL 15 is available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.