EA Sports is constructing one heck of an elaborate trick play for the latest installment of NFL Head Coach. Benched after a modest performance following the 2006 season, EA said in February that it would be giving the coaching sim another go this year, with Super Bowl XLI-winning Colts chief Tony Dungy fronting the cover. Dungy cover duties were promptly called into question a month later, when EA said that NFL Head Coach 09 would only be available as part of the Madden NFL 09's 20th-anniversary $90 collector's edition bundle, available August 12.
Aspiring virtual skippers were apparently none too happy about the compulsory purchase of Madden NFL to receive Head Coach 09, a fact EA Sports president Peter Moore noted yesterday in his company blog. "I have to admit, even I was surprised by how much feedback we've gotten the past few weeks since we announced it as a featured item of our Madden Collector's edition," said Moore.
As such, EA has said that in addition to being packed in with the $90 Madden bundle, NFL Head Coach will also be offered as a stand-alone product on September 2. Available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the game will retail for $49.99.
In related EA Sports football news, the publisher also took the wraps off of the NCAA Football 09 cover athlete for the PS3 edition of the game. With Arkansas tailback Darren McFadden named to the Xbox 360 game, EA said today that Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan will grace the PS3 edition of NCAA Football 09. Now awaiting the 2008 draft, Ryan finished his career at BC as the school's all-time leader in pass completions, and was named the ACC's offensive player of the year in 2007. The NCAA Football 09 season kicks off July 15 on and will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, and Wii.