"Madden Football" marks 20 years with new offerings

The EA Sports studio which is used in the production of many video games released by the company is seen here in Burnaby, British Columbia, May 7, 2008. REUTERS/Andy Clark

NEW YORK (Billboard) - With the “John Madden Football” videogame franchise nearing its 20th anniversary, publisher Electronic Arts is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the occasion.

Most notable for the music industry is a tie-in between the game’s soundtrack and the “Rock Band” videogame. (EA serves as the game’s distributor, which is actually published by MTV.)

Under the deal, “Rock Band” will feature music from the “Madden 09” soundtrack in its weekly downloadable songs update, a handful at a time, over several weeks, with each song carrying the “Madden” brand. Additionally, each soundtrack song will be available for sale via iTunes as part of a special “Madden” playlist.

EA is also offering fans who pre-order the game from Target an iTunes gift card worth 10 free downloads once they pick up the title.

A special 20th-anniversary collector’s edition of “Madden 09” will include a version of the new “NFL Head Coach” game, which won’t be available to gamers until three weeks after the “Madden 09” launch. The collector’s edition will also bundle the classic “John Madden Football ‘93” game and exclusive video content that includes footage of cover athlete Brett Favre.

On August 12, EA will host Maddenpalooza, a one-day “Madden 09” game tournament and concert featuring such bands from the soundtrack as Good Charlotte, Airbourne and From First to Last.