For the first time in 23 years, the late, great John Madden will return to the cover of "NFL Madden 23" in a perfect tribute to the legendary Oakland Raiders coach and color commentator.
EA Sports revealed the cover Wednesday — June 1 is traditionally known as "Madden Day," when the new cover of the game is revealed — which honors Madden and the cover of the first edition of the game in 1988.
— NFL (@NFL) June 1, 2022
The cover revealed Wednesday, which is for the All-Madden Edition, is one of three different covers, and each will pay tribute to different parts of Madden's career. The Pro Football Hall of Famer died Dec. 28, 2021.
Most of the new gameplay features for "NFL Madden 23" haven't been announced yet, but one has already been revealed — and it's full of Madden-y goodness. The first interactive experience in the game will feature two versions of coach Madden leading teams of "All Madden" athletes facing each other in the 1970s Oakland Coliseum. And during the game, Madden will even be in gamers' ears thanks to remastered audio clips.
The Madden tributes don't end with the game. EA Sports gave an update on the $5 million pledge it made to the John Madden Legacy Commitment to Education earlier this year. The money will be evenly split and used in two different ways:
$2.5 million will support programming at four nonprofits: College Track, Mission Bit, StreetCode Academy and Girls Who Code. All of those organizations are focused on helping students overcome systemic barriers through STEM education.
$2.5 million will be used to partner with the United Negro College Fund to create the EA Madden Scholarship, which will support students at 12 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
More game-related Madden tributes will be announced starting Thursday.