As of 2013 Electronic Arts has sold more than 100 million copies of Madden NFL, and more than five million in one year, for more than $4 billion in total sales. At EA Tiburon in Orlando, Florida a team of 30 developers and more than 100 game testers works on each new game in the series, which as of 2012 contains more than 10 million lines of source code.
Madden, once better known for Ace Hardware commercials than football despite winning Super Bowl XI with the Oakland Raiders, is now better known for Madden NFL than as coach or broadcaster. He receives an estimated $2 to 3 million each year for his endorsement but describes himself as “never a good player” of Madden, and prefers to watch others play. Although Madden says that “a computer is a helluva lot smarter than me” he has influenced the series’ design from the first game, and since retiring from broadcasting and doing videogame voice commentary in 2009 his participation in each Madden’s development has increased:
EA estimates that the series has five to seven million dedicated fans, and an underground circuit of Madden cash tournaments exists. Marshall Faulk in 2010 estimated that “50 percent on up” of NFL players are Madden players, who play in the league with or against childhood heroes they once chose to play as in the game. Players typically play as themselves regardless of their electronic counterparts’ abilities and immediately check new releases of the game for changes in the more than 60 ratings of their talent. They often complain to Madden and EA about allegedly inaccurate ratings (only Emmitt Smith has told him that the game rated him too high), or ask for changes in their in-game appearance. Such complaints began as early as 1990, confusing the broadcaster, who did not contribute the player statistics for that year’s version due to lack of time.