The next iteration of Madden will miss its traditional release date.
Madden fans have always circled the second Tuesday of August on the calendar, but the annual launch of the franchise will no longer be an early August event. The release of Madden 12 has been pushed back from Aug. 9 to Aug. 30, and EA says that the three week delay will be a permanent change for all future versions of Madden.
[The NFL player lockout] had no impact in the decision," said EA spokesperson Rob Semsey. "This is a long term approach in wanting to align the launch of Madden NFL to the start of the NFL regular season. Not just this year, but in future years as well."
The current labour impasse between the NFL owners and players does make 2011 a good year to implement a new release date. If the NFL players and owners are able to come to an agreement, the extra time will allow EA to smooth out any last-minute roster changes, and if there's no agreement by the end of August, at least NFL fans will have something new come September.
Either way, it just goes to show how frustrating the labour dispute will be for fans of NFL football.