Super Bowl Predictions: How EA Uses Madden to Guess the Final Score

Electronic Arts is predicting that the New York Giants will defeat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, by a single field goal.

For the past several years, the videogame publisher has been using its hit title Madden NFL to simulate the outcome of the Super Bowl — and in six out of the past eight matchups, it has guessed correctly.

But unlike the camel in the New Jersey zoo that has picked the winner of five of the last six Super Bowls, EA breaks down the score quarter by quarter.

EA simulates the Super Bowl by using artificial intelligence and real data from each team. It even includes variables such as injuries. The simulation is powered by Madden NFL and Xbox 360, the official console sponsor of the NFL.

EA replays the game’s highlights in a video, including Giants quarterback Eli Manning being named MVP for completing 25 of 39 passes with two touchdowns, and the Patriots’ Tom Brady throwing for 327 yards and three touchdowns.

Spoiler Alert: To win the game, Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes will make a 40-yard field goal, with the final score 27-24.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik