Barry Sanders discontinues relationship with Madden NFL games

The Hall of Famer and Detroit Lions running back won't be in any more EA Sports titles.

As the Madden NFL series of games continues to trudge onwards, it will be doing so without one of the franchise’s icons: Barry Sanders. The Hall of Famer announced on social media that he has ended his relationship with the brand and the products.

Barry Sanders took to X (formerly Twitter), on April 30, 2024 to announce that he has chosen to discontinue his relationship with EA Sports and the Madden NFL brand. He goes on to say that he apologises to fans that were expecting to see him in any upcoming games. Sanders did not provide any additional information on this decision.

Sanders has a vast career in football, where he played for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League for 10 seasons. Following his time on the field, Sanders was immortalized on the front cover of EA Sports Madden NFL 25, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the series.

The Madden franchise as a whole has not been in a great place recently. Fans of the series have lamented the lack of evolution in the game, with Shacknews’ own review of Madden NFL 23 receiving a measly 3 out of 10. In it, Shacknews CEO Asif Khan slammed the game, calling it a “poor pro football simulator” and that it’s “not even a fun arcade-style game.” Madden NFL 24 scored only slightly better, but Donovan Erskine admits, “As a die-hard football fan, it sucks that we’re still doomed to this annual mediocrity.”

It’s not clear if there’s any correlation with the franchise continuing to disappoint and Barry Sander’s ending the relationship. Regardless, keep your eye on our EA Sports page for the latest on Madden and the other titles developed by Electronic Arts.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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