Madden NFL 16 Primer: Why 'Draft Champions' Matters

Madden 15 Ultimate Edition Could Feature ‘Legion of Boom’

Speculation surrounding a special LOB cover for Madden 15 has re-emerged.
Speculation surrounding a special LOB cover for Madden 15 has re-emerged.

It’s no big secret that the Madden 15 cover has emerged online in recent days at online retailers, and that to the chagrin of much of the community it doesn’t feature the Legion of Boom as Seattle Seahawks cover star Richard Sherman, and many fans have been petitioning for. That doesn’t mean, however, that all is lost, because there still may be a Madden cover that has yet to be revealed.

There’s a special version of Madden being released this year, called Madden NFL 15: Ultimate Edition and it features a bevy of Madden Ultimate Team card packs (30 pro packs and 1 draft class pack). This special edition of Madden is only selling for a few dollars more than the standard version, but includes a purported $40 worth of MUT content packed inside, making it a great deal for MUT fans and a good introduction to the series for those with first-time interest. Could this be the Legion of Boom’s way of making the Madden cover?

All is Quiet on The Front Line

I thought it was a bit odd that over the past week, while the Madden 15 cover appeared online, there was barely a peep heard out of EA about it. Sure, they updated the background on their social media pages to reflect the art for the new cover, and yes they must have given the all-go to retailers to update their placeholder art with the official cover, but typically the unveiling of the cover is a much more talked about event. To me, something doesn’t quite add up. Why wouldn’t EA at least Tweet out a look at the new cover?

The Madden cover is a big deal to EA every year. They go through great lengths to market the game by setting up a tournament bracket of NFL players for fans to vote upon each season, and the actual cover art that ends up being used is an important part of Madden’s history — sort of a rolling stone cover for sports games, if you will. So, then, why hasn’t there even been a word spoken to the community showcasing the box art? My best guess: Because it’s not the only cover on Madden games this year, and they want to wait until the other is done to avoid confusion and maximize the announcement.

A Game Without a Cover

I quickly jumped on online retailers to check and see if perhaps there might still be placeholder art up for current-gen copies of the game, as opposed to next-gen. In Madden 25, there were different covers for both old and new platforms, so there was potential for the same to happen this year. Straight to EA’s official pre-order page I went. Unfortunately, it appeared all the games were rocking the same cover… until you take a look at Madden 15’s Ultimate Edition at official retailers.

Of the five official retailers listed on EA’s Madden NFL 15 pre-order page, four of them have updated their box art for the standard edition of the game. Wal-Mart, of course, is still light years behind everyone else and is stuck on placeholder art, so let’s take them out of the equation.

Of the four attentive official retailers (Amazon, GameStop, Best Buy, Target), three of them have refused to update the cover art for the Ultimate Edition. Best Buy even goes as far as having a placeholder art that still says “ACTUAL BOX ART PENDING.” If the Ultimate Edition was set to feature the same cover, then surely they wouldn’t deliberately seek to hurt pre-order sales by keeping placeholder art intact while they were already updating the artwork, would they?

The caveat here is that Amazon — perhaps EA’s closest retailer — has in fact updated their Ultimate Edition art and it’s the same as standard Madden 15, but that might be a red herring considering their close relationship with EA, and frankly their need for some type of art to drive sales through the many widgets displayed online. There is still plenty of circumstantial evidence to believe a separate cover might be in the works.

A Player That Spoke Too Soon

And then there’s Richard Sherman himself, who let out a particularly peculiar message on his blog nearly a week after the cover announcement, and just a few days since he made it known he wanted the LOB to be featured along with him.

It took a while, but this was later changed to mean something very different. You can confirm yourself it existed by typing the key phrase into Google and seeing the outdated display cache lead you into the same web page. Was this a simple wording mistake, or did Sherman know something that we didn’t?

A Smart Business Move

And then, of course, there’s the rationality of it all. Put the lack of Ultimate Edition box art at online retailers aside for a moment, and even disregard the remarks made on Sherman’s own blog. From a financial point of view, featuring the Legion of Boom on the special version of the game makes sense. The Ultimate Edition is all about Ultimate Team, it’s about a collection of players, and a multi-player cover would perfectly represent that and deliver a clearer message to consumers. As well, the fan-grown petition for the LOB on the cover and Sherman’s own request will certainly drive potential buyers to grab the more expensive version.

If you wanted to see the Legion of Boom on the cover, and you found out they would be on the Ultimate Edition for $10 extra, which in itself includes $40 of MUT content packed in, would you make the purchase? I’m betting many people would, and I suspect EA might be betting the same.

A History That Doesn’t Fit

And what about that cover art for Madden 15? Forget the kamehamEAha pose for a moment, doesn’t Sherman’s cover art look suspiciously wide open compared to recent years, almost as if to better draw contrast with another, multi-playered cover that will sit alongside it?

Alright, so none of this is actual proof that the Legion of Boom will be on the cover of Madden 15’s Ultimate Edition. In fact, it’s not even proof that there even will be a different cover for the UE. It is, however, incredibly odd the way in which these things line up. Call it confirmation bias if you want, but my instincts tell me something is going on here, whether it’s related to the LOB or not.

Whether or not the Legion of Boom will be on the cover of Madden NFL 15: Ultimate Edition is still speculation at this point, but I think there’s enough evidence to suggest EA hasn’t revealed all their cards just yet.

We contacted EA earlier this morning to confirm whether or not the Ultimate Edition would have a fundamentally different cover, but have yet to receive a response. I’ll update this story if and when EA decides to comment.

Update: Just a day after this story went online and we reached out to EA about the lack of social media activity surrounding the cover, a Tweet from the official Madden NFL twitter tweeted out the cover along with pre-order links for the first time.

Would you buy the Ultimate Edition if the Legion of Boom was on the cover?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

daily fantasy football league
  • Jason Coiner
  • Steel226

    Really wish these pre-order bonuses would include another option for big Madden fans who aren’t interested in MUT.I personally haven’t ever cared for it .I’ve always pre-ordered and the bonuses just go to waste for me.Would be a nice change.

    • GoMadden

      Did you like the season ticket bonus? I know that polarized some fans. Some people couldn’t use it so it was a waste, but others thought it was a great deal.

      • Steel226

        I don’t remember anything involving that actually now that you mention it.

      • Steel226

        Love your site btw.I’ve been checking for updates everyday since I discovered it.Spreading the word too.

        • GoMadden

          Thanks man, I really appreciate that! News has slowed down a bit the last few days but I expect things will pick up in July. There’s still CFM/Ultimate Team stuff that I think EA hasn’t dug into yet. Plus ratings etc likely in August, maybe team ratings as early as mid July.

          • Steel226

            Yeah I’m looking forward to the CFM news.Any personal best guesses?

  • boomNation

    I hope they do this the cover right now looks lame

  • ChampBailey24

    nice detective work homie. get the LOB on the cover EA!