By: Ben Sieck
June 8, 2016
Madden players will be hearing two new voices narrate their virtual exploits this fall. The video game franchise announced Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are out, and two new voices will be in the booth for the franchise’s next installment, Madden 17.
Nantz and Simms will be replaced by Georgia Tech play by play announcer Brandon Gaudin and NFL Network and Fox Sports analyst Charles Davis.
Gaudin spent the last three years as the voice of Yellow Jackets, serving as the play by play announcer for the school’s basketball, baseball, and football teams. Before that, he called sports for Butler University. Gaudin will have a new home this fall with the Big Ten Network as a play-by-play announcer, he will also be the lead college football announcer for the Westwood One radio network and occasionally call NFL games on the network.
Davis is a former University of Tennessee football standout and has been with Fox since 2006. He transitioned from Fox’s lead college football analyst to an NFL analyst in 2015.
Gaudin does not command a lot of name recognition on the national level, but he is a rising star in the industry. In fact, you have probably already heard one of his calls — if not several — without even realizing it. His most famous call probably came at the conclusion of last season’s Georgia Tech-Florida State football game.
He was also behind the mic for one of the most memorable college basketball finishes in recent memory, Butler-Gonzaga in 2013.
Gaudin and Davis both have the talent and experience to thrive in their new roles with Madden. EA Sports usually goes for splashy names in the booth, but it is nice change of pace for the franchise to showcase some fresh voices. It is doubtful many players will be upset at this change in direction. The team of Nantz and Simms has fallen out of favor with many football fans in real life, with Simms in particular drawing ire.
Madden 17 also announced its usual swath of changes to gameplay and game modes, including an updated player control system on running plays and an enhanced franchise mode.
The game, featuring Rob Gronkowski as its latest cover athlete, is scheduled for release on August 23.