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Madden 19: NFL star Antonio Brown will be on cover of new American football game, EA announces before release date

Andrew Griffin
Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers catches a touchdown pass in the third quarter of the game against the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field on December 20, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Antonio Brown will be on the front of Madden 19.

The American football game, one of the biggest titles of the year, will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver on its cover.

Brown will also appear on the mobile version of the game, Madden NFL Overdrive.

It also comes after Brown joined the exclusive "Madden 99" clubs. That refers to players whose virtual characters are rated over 99 overall within the game – a metric that the real athletes are increasingly concerned about.

“I am beyond honored to be on the cover of both Madden games,” said Brown. “There’s a lot of milestones athletes dream of, and after being inducted into the Madden 99 Club earlier this year, and now appearing on the cover of this year’s games, it’s clear that business is not just booming, but I’m also among the all-time greatest with these honors.”

Brown's involvement had been teased hours before the official reveal, after his partner posted a picture of what turned out to be the official cover onto her Instagram.

A different NFL star has been chosen each year since 2001 to be on the front of the Madden games, before which the cover always included a picture of John Madden himself. Last year's cover featured Tom Brady, who was also a central part of the game's graphics and cutscenes.

The game will be officially launched on 10 August. But players can actually get hold of it earlier than that: either by buying the Hall of Fame Edition to get it three days before the release date, or by taking part in a demo that will be open to Origin Access members for 10 hours on 2 August.

Madden NFL Overdrive – which EA says has been completely rebuilt from the ground up this year – will be released on iOS and Android on 15 August.