If ESPN Can Replay Games With Madden '09, Let Us Do It Too
from the boom-goes-the-dynamite dept
In an effort to become more relevant to a new generation of football fans, this Sunday on “NFL Countdown,” ESPN anchors will interact with simulated football players created using EA’s video game technology. Using Madden ’09, ESPN’s football analysts can model different variations of plays to demonstrate possible outcomes. So, instead of just drawing X’s and O’s on a telestrator, ESPN anchors will be able to interact with the virtual players on camera to illustrate various football strategies and outcomes. ESPN and EA forged a 15-year partnership back in 2005, and this move strengthens both brand’s ties with their audiences.
As the video game has improved, using Madden to illustrate plays has been done increasingly over the past few years, but football spectating still has to cross the chasm of interactivity when compared to the video game experience. In the video game, you’re able to change camera angles, slow down the cameras, and highlight things like passing routes and defensive coverages — all at the click of a few buttons. EA’s new system, EA Sports Virtual Playbook, loads in actual gameplay data from the previous day’s game, with which ESPN’s anchors can then replay and modify the simulation to become the ultimate version of a Monday morning quarterback. That’s great and all, it would be even better to let fans download that data to their Xboxes, do their own analysis and then share that back with the community. Though, that scenario is most likely a pipe dream, considering that the NFL still freaks out about even sharing more than 45-seconds of game footage.