The sideline reporting gig in a video game is a pretty under-the-radar job. It can especially go unnoticed when some gamers play with the sound on their televisions or monitors turned down. That's not very nice to a person like Danielle Bellini.
She is the new sideline reporter for Madden 25 and though all we heard her in is the demo, the analysis is at least relevant.
Bellini is actually an Emmy Award-winning television host who has covered everything from breaking news and sports to entertainment. I'd say she's qualified for the role.
We don't realize how much we depend on sideline reporters when we're watching a real NFL game.
Do you play with the sound on or off?
Usually, they give us the scoop on injuries—if Twitter doesn't beat them to it—and they are the ones holding the mic, running alongside head coaches at halftime trying to get a compelling sound bite.
In the Madden 25 demo, we hear a little of that from Bellini, but I'm hoping she and other sideline reporters get bigger roles in future sports games.
For now, Bellini is also charged with delivering the information during Madden 25's halftime show, though it is unclear whether this aspect of the presentation will be expanded for the full version.
Bellini doesn't appear on screen during the demo at any time. That may remain the same in the retail version, but hopefully we'll see those segments added in on the next-generation versions of Madden.
The Madden series was smart to put Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on screen in Madden 13 and that has carried over to Madden 25. It would seem to be a smart decision to evolve Bellini's role in the same way.
Along with an on-screen appearance, it would also be great if Bellini could provide essential news during the game. The sideline reporter already reports the injuries, but if she also reported benchings, sideline arguments that affected team chemistry and other cool stuff, that would teach gamers that choose to bump Kendrick Lamar instead of listening to the game's audio.
All in all, Bellini's role is a step in the right direction and hopefully just the beginning of a more engrossing broadcast experience.
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