Over 700,000 votes were cast in the final pairing of Sanders and Peterson with Barry securing 58 percent of the vote. In total, roughly 40 million votes were cast to choose the cover athlete for the 25th edition of Madden football with the result oddly putting a Detroit Lion on the cover for the second consecutive year after Calvin Johnson graced it last year.
Sanders winning the cover vote says two things about the audience for Madden football. First, a retired old school finesse runner beat out an active player and the reigning NFL MVP. Madden's core audience is likely aging along with the franchise.
Second, the infamous "Madden curse" is off the table this year as Sanders is obviously retired. Unless we learn that he participates in online Madden leagues and ends up placing dead last this fall.
There is a game beyond the Madden NFL 25 cover and EA Sports has released the first teaser trailer to coincide with the cover vote finale. Dubbed "Run Free," the trailer looks suspiciously like last year's game, though we all know an upgraded Infinity Engine is in play and gameplay has been tweaked to make star players play like star players.
Madden NFL 25 is expected to arrive this August on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 at minimum. The potential exists for PS Vita and Wii U versions as well, though EA Sports has made no announcement confirming those versions and retailers have not listed them for pre-order.