EA Sports. It's in the game!
Madden 96 was being developed by Visual Concepts, famous for many of Sega's sports games. Electronic Arts decided to scrap the project leaving the only football game on the PlayStation being Sony's NFL GameDay. There were many rumors about why EA didn't release Madden 96. One rumor was that Sony wouldn't give approval to release it so that NFL GameDay (a Sony release) would be the only one on the market. This is untrue.
The truth of the matter is that Madden 96 failed EA's quality assurances tests and would not have been polished enough and finished in an appropriate timeframe. The game is plagued with long loading times between play calls, however Visual Concepts was working to correct this. The sprites used in the game were quite big, but frames of animation were lacking, an indication of the developer's steep learning curve to programming on the PlayStation. The graphics are colorful, yet pale in comparison to NFL Gameday or even 3DO's Madden NFL. In the end, EA decided to not to release Visual Concept's Madden 96 because of the quality. Insiders say that EA was so disgusted with the results that they teamed up with Tiburon Studios to develop Madden 97 through 2005. Was this a smart move on EA's part? Visual Concepts happen to be the developers of the 2K sports series including the ESPN NFL 2K series on Xbox which many believed to be as good if not better than Madden.
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