Brett Favre Asks for Release from Packers

Posted July 12th, 2008 at 9:54 am

Brett Favre has always found a way to get media attention and that has certainly continued to be the case this offseason. After announcing his retirement he kept flirting with the media by dropping hints of a possible return. This was even the case when he went on the David Letterman show for the first promotional appearance as cover athlete for Madden 09 and said that “something’s bound to happen”.

Now comes the news that Favre has requested a release from the Packers so he can consider options elsewhere. As stated before it would be naive to think that EA didn’t anticipate the possibility that he would unretire, though him returning and playing for a different team was probably thought too unlikely to be a factor. If he were to return, it was thought to be as a Packer, and the cover would still be accurate. Either way EA would receive the benefit of having Favre in the news and sure mentions of this year’s Madden along with it.

I’m not aware of any player on the cover of a game ending up playing for a different team that year. The closest thing to this situation would probably be when Greg Oden was injured before even playing a single game leading up to the release of College Hoops 2K8. Given that he was to be a rookie in the NBA the only thing lost was the daily exposure on ESPN.

So Favre playing this year, potentially even for a different team, seems to be a positive for EA. The problem comes from him being in a different uniform. It would be awkward to have Favre’s Packers image on the cover but him actually playing for a different team.

So if/when Favre becomes an official member of another team what options would EA have? At this point at least initial packaging runs of the game have probably already been produced and it would be too late to make changes. So they may do nothing different and keep producing the original cover throughout the year. But it could also be that they release a special edition of the game with a new cover, among other possibilities. I’d imagine they would look at this as an opportunity rather than a disruption.