Source: Electronic Arts via Bloomberg

Madden Built a Game Industry in Orlando—and Now Has to Defend It

Startups founded by ex-EA developers are competing with their former employer for talent

In the mid-1990s, Electronic Arts was under pressure. Development on a new version of Madden NFL, the video game publisher's cash cow football franchise, was behind schedule. With few options left, EA took a chance on an upstart game studio in Orlando, Fla. The swamps and strip malls of Central Florida were an unusual base for a company competing in the California-centric game industry, but the group pulled off its Hail Mary assignment. In 1998, EA acquired the startup, making it the new steward of Madden.

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