• Mike Holtz

Seven Glaringly Obvious Things EA Sports Could Do To Improve The MADDEN Franchise Right Now

There's been a lot of talk and really, pure anger directed towards the weak updates announced by EA Sports regarding Madden 2021. At first, I thought to myself "These are just the typical complaints, mostly made by people who don't understand the pure joy hardcore Madden players like myself get out of the game each year." But now that I've though about it?

I'm goddamn enraged.

You see, the usual complaints are "Why do you want to buy the same game every year?" To which my response is, as much as I play it, it's honestly worth it for the new rosters alone. I'm excited to use all the new rookies and play on the teams post roster upgrades. It's also fun to pick apart each new feature and talk to my friends about what we like this year versus last year, so on and so forth. The problem is those features are getting less and less interesting or even present whatsoever by the year. Did Madden really try to sell us on touchdown celebrations as a new feature?

The REAL problem is when you start thinking about why those features are no longer updated and it's a straight up smack in the face of their longtime fans. But we'll get to all of that.

For now let's just discuss a few things that I sat down and popped off the top of my head in a matter of minutes that I think would dramatically increase the entertainment value of the game. Concepts so glaringly obvious, it really makes you wonder what the hell is going on over there.

Full disclaimer......I enjoyed the gameplay of Madden 2020 and found that they've fixed a lot of the issues I had with 2019 for example rocket up their butt linebackers who can intercept 60 yard passes from 10 yards away. This is part of the reason I wasn't really getting the hate until I really sat down and thought about it. Here we go....

The Crowd -

Ironically in the season of which there will likely be no fans in the stadium, it would be nice if EA could put some work in for once on their crowd atmosphere. It's sad that in the year 2020 when people are out there somewhere bangin' sex robots, the Madden football audience is just four different people and animations copied and pasted over and over again throughout the stadium waving half interested noodle arms around (I don't know the exact number but you get the idea). There are no fun fan-fare cut scenes or specialized chants or really any gosh darn effort put at all into the audience experience at all and there hasn't been for years.

Seems like it would be a generally easy fix to make each stadium environment feel unique but hey this is what happens when nobody is allowed to compete with you I guess.

Franchise Mode As A Whole -

Here's the big one. I can't tell you how many years it has been since Madden put in any real work into their Franchise mode. The sad part is the basic idea of franchise mode with the draft and trades and upgrades is such a fun experience that it would be so, so easy to focus on just one really cool feature a year but we can't even get that. And by one cool feature I don't mean some bullshit X-factor or upgrade detail. I'm talking an RPG addition where you can interview possible draft choices or haggle with a GM over a trade. Or really put work in on a specific player in training to try and help their XP. Marques Valdez Scantling having issues with drops? Head into training mode and make him put some work in on the ball machine. (That was a weird sentence).

Point is, it would be so easy to upgrade this feature. The fact that they don't likely means that we're lucky it still exists at all and they haven't pushed us towards the Madden Ultimate Team shit by literally removing the franchise feature from the game altogether. It's a joke.

Put SOME work into the announcer presentation -

Another thing I just can't understand about the team over at EA. Why is there ZERO effort made every year on the presentation? This is what made NFL2K so popular during it's short run. They CRUSHED Madden on the presentation scale. Monday Night Football felt like Monday Night Football. I actually watched the Halftime show. All Madden does is trot out the same two announcers spouting the exact same shit game after game, year after year. I swear to God if there's an "Oski" joke on this years game I'm going to burn all my belongings.Could we maybe get a different crew for Monday Night Football or Sunday Night games? Anything? Please?

Online Rankings -

Wouldn't it be cool if you had more analytics than just a generic "Top 30%" stat to let you know where you stand versus other Madden players? Or better yet, an overall actual detailed ranking? What if you could find out that you have the 3,104th most efficient passing stats in the Madden verse but are 103,456th against the run?

What if you could see the overall rank of your opponent before you play during the loading screen? How hyped would you be if you were ranked 10,124th and you find out you are about to play against a top 30 player? It would be like the Lions looking to pull an upset against the Patriots. It's just funner and more competitive.

If we're being honest here, it was pulling the 1-50 ranking system that really took the fun away from Halo multiplayer post Halo 3. Reverse engineer that and you could add some extra fun into Madden.

The Music -

Madden used to be an eclectic mix of rap, rock and just weird shit. I enjoy some of the rap songs but playing it for hours on end, you want to switch it up sometimes, right? Why did they decide to completely take out all other genres of music?

The Game Should Know When You Do Something Special -

In my last season I broke the receiving touchdown single season record with Davante Adams. Breaking Randy Moss' record with 25 touchdown catches. You know what the announcers said? Nothing. Nada. They said "Davante Adams with his 25th touchdown of the year." Yet, the NFL records are literally listed in the game so I imagine it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to at the very least have the announcers recognize record breaking moments.

Shit, even early 90's Tecmo Superbowl paused to celebrate touchdowns with a graphic. How cool would it be if the game stopped (In franchise mode obviously) to show the player receiving a standing ovation or having his teammates give him some love? Why would this be so hard to add in the game EA?

Oh, you don't make any extra money off Franchise mode like you do with MUT? Gotcha. I'm actually getting angry writing this because I'm starting to realize this is all calculated.

Oh, don't get me started on Superbowl's. You win the Superbowl after hours and hours of playing and you get a four minute corny music fueled cut scene with the players standing there holding the trophy looking like NWO vs Nitro World Tour wrestlers on Nintendo 64? Get the fuck out of here with that, it's 2020. Do better.

How cool would it be to have a parade afterwards where they gave the teams MVP the chance to speak and you got to decide RPG style whether to give a guarantee you would win the next year or play it down a bit. Or even retire a player. I don't know, this shit is off the top of my head and it's already better than what EA is doing which is NOTHING.

Alright, I've convincingly pissed myself off now. I'm still going to buy and play Madden 2021 because it's literally the only game I spend any considerable amount of time playing. I enjoy the competition of going head to head with someone on live games and I take my Packers to the Superbowl at least once a year, complete with the draft and free agency afterwards and will even play a few games of the follow up year before becoming bored with the same franchise mode set up I've been playing for the past 17 years at least.

Jesus Christ, THE FRANCHISE MODE WAS THE EXACT SAME IN 2003!!!!! For fucks sake, EA what's the deal?!?!?

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