Electronic Arts has put its Madden plans on hold following a shooting at a qualifying tournament for the annual football franchise over the weekend. In a statement released by the company tonight, CEO Andrew Wilson expressed shock and grief at the shooting Sunday, in which a competitor at the Jacksonville, Florida qualifying tournament shot and killed two other players, and shot seven others before taking his own life. Two more individuals were injured in the rush to flee the scene.
"First and foremost, it is an unthinkable tragedy that Taylor Robertson and Elijah Clayton, two of our top Madden competitors, lost their lives in this way," Wilson said. "They were respected, positive and skilled competitors, the epitome of the players and personalities at the heart of our community. Their love of competition was evident through their participation in our events over the past few years. We are committed to supporting Taylor and Elijah's families through this difficult time, and we send our deepest sympathies to their loved ones, to those injured yesterday, and everyone affected.
"The event was a qualifying tournament for the Madden Classic, our first Madden EA Major competition of this season. While these qualifying events are operated independently by partners, we work with them to ensure competitive integrity and to gather feedback from players. We have made a decision to cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators. We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events."
Wilson went on to note that this is the first time EA has had to deal with a tragedy like this, and ask community members to support each other through the crisis.