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Madden 19 will steer clear of anthem issues


For decades, EA has marketed the Madden series by claiming, “If it’s in the game, it’s in the game.”

Here’s one thing from the game that won’t be in the game: The national anthem controversy.

At the EA Play event, which precedes E3 2018, producer Ben Haumiller told GameSpot that the Madden 19 game will not include anything related to the anthem.

“We work very closely with the NFL and the NFLPA,” Haumiller said. “We work very closely about how we want to represent the game, and really make it a celebration of the sport. And maybe a place where you don’t have to . . . you love the game, but you don’t have to worry about everything else that’s going on that might be distractions from [the reason] you’re trying to be here -- it’s about the game.”

According to GameSpot, after the anthem issue first arose in 2016, EA said that the announcers would address the issue in the commentary during the game. That never happened.

Two years later, EA is firmly committed to avoiding what Haumiller called a “distraction” from the game.

“We really want to get you to the gameplay,” Haumiller said, and anyone who plays Madden on a regular basis agrees.

The people who play just want to play, and that means minimizing everything else, from the amount of time it takes to load the startup screen to the amount of time that elapses from starting a game to the actual kickoff to the various delays that pop up in connection with penalty calls, the end of quarters, and replay reviews, any moment spent doing anything other than playing the game feels like wasted time.