There are few videogame franchises with the staying -- and selling -- power as Electronic Arts' Madden NFL. Year after year, EA sells millions of copies of Madden across multiple platforms. This week's debut of Madden NFL 09 on everything from the Xbox 360 to the Nintendo DS is not likely to be any different, especially since EA has effectively buried all competition through aggressive licensing deals.
Of course, creating a fine game of football that has won over a dedicated fan base certainly hasn't hurt either. But even though Madden is now absolutely synonymous with videogame football, it wasn't always the champ. Madden had to come up from nothing, finding hooks and smart marketing to establish its leadership position before then strongly defending it.