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Madden NFL 25 vs. Madden NFL 06: It is Different This Time
The year was 2005 and the console was the XBOX 360. The game - Madden NFL 06, a showcase launch title for Microsoft's brand new console. Fast forward to 2013. The console is the XBOX ONE (and Playstation 4), the game is Madden NFL 25 and the comparison is inevitable.

Both games are launch titles for a new generation of hardware. Both titles had much talked about trailers. Both have been hyped as changing the way we experience video game football. But come with me and let's delve a little deeper into these two games and how EA Sports' approach has changed - and how it might have stayed the same with the Madden NFL franchise.
 

Madden NFL 06 was heavily focused on it's newfound graphical prowess.
 
Marketing Emphasis

The first thing we need to break down is the marketing emphasis for each title. Back in 2005, EA Sports emphasized the huge leap in graphics showing off a pre-rendered interpretation of what the next-generation could look like. EA told us that the real thing would actually look better than the target. We were shown a 60 second vision of the Eagles and Giants playing through a fierce battle in the snow. We saw Donovan McNabb and his every facial expression. We saw Michael Strahan and his menacing pre-snap intensity. We saw Terrell Owens making a spectacular diving catch for a touchdown. It all looked so real! Yeah the animation was a little stiff but look at the details!

What wasn't hyped was gameplay, features, or much else. We heard bits and pieces about a brand new game engine, animation engine, and a new online infrastructure but EA kept directing us back to the next-gen visuals. That was clearly the focus. Now let's compare that with how Madden NFL 25 for 'gen 4' has been marketed so far.


Madden NFL 06 Next-Gen Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02ajPL3Kna4

Madden NFL 25 Next-Gen Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VWVSwEtJQU
 

Madden NFL 25's Marketing is more gameplay related, with graphics being an unspoken plus.
 
Marketing Focus - Graphics

Madden NFL 06 - Graphics were the big selling point for Madden NFL 06. This was where the major focus was from the start when the trailer was revealed during the NFL Draft. We expected facial expressions in real time, cloth physics, dynamic weather, and so much more just from the trailer alone. EA Sports was making the leap to high definition and Madden NFL 06 was it's showcase game. And the game did look beautiful for it's time. It never could live up to the pre-rendered footage and the framerate was locked at 30 fps, but it was a pretty game.

Madden NFL 25 - Graphics are obviously something that EA Sports is proud of in Madden NFL 25 but it's really taken a back seat to gameplay related issues. The footage shown is supposedly all in game footage as well, compared to the pre-rendered interpretation from Madden NFL 06. The team at EA Sports has learned a lot since the launch of that game and it shows with how they've chosen to present Madden NFL 25. If what we've seen in the trailers is even close to the final product, then EA Sports will actually be much closer to the 2005 target render then I ever thought possible.
 

Player movements/animations are a focal point of the marketing for Madden NFl 25.
 
Marketing Focus - Player Movement/Animation/Control

Madden NFL 06 - Player movement wasn't a big focus for the team at Tiburon. Madden senior producer Jeremy Strauser said at the time that the game had "a new animation engine that drives player movement and gameplay." If there was truly a new animation engine to drive player movement then it wasn't done very well, because Madden NFL 06 for XBOX 360 didn't control particularly well. Animation were improved from the XBOX/PS2 version but not by leaps and bounds.

Madden NFL 25 -One of Madden NFL 25's biggest touted innovations is what EA Sports is calling "True Step" player motion and this is supposed to calculate every step and give the player an unprecedented level of player control. Feel is a big buzzword coming from EA Sports about this iteration of Madden and that's a huge difference between the way these two games were marketed. We've also heard a lot already about the "war in the trenches" finally improving, "Player Sense" with up to 50x as many contextual calculations per ball carrier, and a much smarter AI. Whether these innovations work as intended we won't know until the next-generation consoles arrive, but what we do know is that Madden NFL 25 is working hard to be seen as more than a cosmetic upgrade.
 

Madden NFL 06 was trimmed down even to spite the TV broadcast presentation -- not so with Madden 25.
 
Marketing Focus - Feature Set

Madden NFL 06 - Madden NFL 06 was widely panned by series fans for removing many of the features found in it's XBOX and PS2 counterparts. Gone were fan favorites and pro football game staples such as the ability to challenge a call on the field, player editing, create-a-player, scaled back defensive playmaker controls, mini camp mode, and owner mode. The game was felt like it was made more for one off matchups and online play than a complete NFL experience.

Madden NFL 25 - Madden NFL 25 made it known far and wide at E3 that the Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions would be fully featured, the exact same feature set as this generation. This was a monumental announcement that really spurred many to go ahead and give Madden NFL 25 a shot for next-gen. This announcement couldn't be more welcome by the beleaguered football gamers of this generation of console gamers
 

The Presentation in Madden NFL 25 remains a mystery, but it's likely to be a step up, not down.
 
Marketing Focus - Presentation

Madden NFL 06 - To be honest this was probably the most underwhelming part of Madden NFL 06 for XBOX 360. Gone were commentators John Madden and Al Michaels. In their place, a generic "radio" announcer with very generic lines. On-field audio was supposedly a huge focus this year and player chatter was more noticeable than ever before. But the loss of the announcer crew, coupled with only a PA announcer and a radio guy, left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths. The UI and menu screens were re-done for Xbox 360, but I don't think you'll find too many who were in love with them. They were unnecessarily cluttered at times and slow to respond at others. The whole presentation package was just a bad deal on Madden NFL 06.

Madden NFL 25 - Presentation, next-level presentation in fact, is a key part of the marketing for Madden NFL 25. EA Sports promises the most intelligent commentary in franchise history. Phil Simms and Jim Nantz will supposedly recall everything about your career - injuries, stats, awards, etc and do it in the right context. Not only that, but there is the promise of a dynamic, living stadium and crowd, something that has been sorely lacking for a long, long time. Presentation is not being neglected this year. Again, EA Sports does not want to repeat the mistakes of Madden NFL 06, and that's obvious here too.
 

Online play will be fully featured in Madden NFL 25, but not likely revolutionary.
 
Marketing Focus - Online Play/Multiplayer

Madden NFL 06 -Madden senior producer Jeremy Strauser said in an interview back in 2005 that "Madden for the Xbox 360 has been built with online gaming in mind." Madden NFL 06 wanted to be out front as a champion of Xbox Live and did so with this game. One of the first "always online" console video games, Madden was a big hit with online gamers looking for one on one competition. No online league play or anything like that was available, but it offered matchmaking and other standards at the time.

Madden NFL 25 - Madden NFL 25's Connected Franchise mode is something that gamers in 2005 were just dreaming about, or setting up themselves and keeping track of outside the game. This evolution in Madden's single player mode also extends to online multiplayer with the identical feature set as the single player mode. We saw a glimpse of how this would work last year with Madden NFL 13's Connected Careers mode, but this year may be the year where it really comes together.


As you can see, there are two vastly different marketing strategies between Madden NFL 06 and Madden NFL 25. One emphasized the leap to high definition while the other tries not to emphasize any one part of the game over the other. I think whether or not Madden NFL 25 disappoints the fans or not, you can't put that at the feet of the marketing job done by Electronic Arts. They have learned a lot since the last console launch and they are very skillfully building up excitement for their new next-generation Madden experience without taking away too much from the current generation game. The same couldn't be said about Madden NFL 06, which suffered from constant comparisons to it's XBox/PS2 version because of the amount of missing modes and features.

Yes, EA Sports has learned their lesson and I think we're in for a treat this November.

Madden NFL 25 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 prototype561 @ 07/01/13 10:47 AM
As I go back and look at that 06 Madden trailer I believe current gen consoles easily surpassed that after a few years. The trailer looked good for the time, but it looks horrible to me now, looks like a cartoon. Just like I thought NFL2K looked great when I first saw it back in 2000, after while it starts looking bad because the graphics keep progressing.

When they showed the Madden 25 trailer I was amazed, then I saw actual gameplay, I was like it looks pretty darn close. The Madden 25 trailer and gameplay looks 100x better than that 06 trailer.
 
# 2 The_Wise_One @ 07/01/13 11:03 AM
The transition will be 100x times better this time around. I have a feeling sports games are gonna do a lot better on these next consoles.
 
# 3 d11king @ 07/01/13 12:49 PM
I think we should take the 'sit and wait' approach before we start saying its different. Right now, it's been all talk and vocabulary.
 
# 4 ccoaxum @ 07/01/13 01:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by footballfan41
I was hoping they would get it right this time, cause back in 2005, I had to buy Madden for the Xbox and being next gen for the 360, that was $120 just on madden a 60 waste for 360, this year i did per-order Madden for Xbox1..can't buy double anymore, cause i have 2 boys that's a total of 3 360's and 3 Xbox1's, 3 Madden 25 I'm dropping not counting COD, and other games, just can't do the double systems anymore,
i guess we don't teach kids to share anymore, not knocking you or anything...but i remember i when i was growing up my parent had his game and the kids had to share there games with each other, so only on two systems..well my sister had her own system at one point but that didn't last long lol....i think you would save more money if they could share one game device...just a thought.........................anyways i also believe and hope that these sports game are going to be alot better..its just a start the first year but i expect the next couple of years to truly blow us away..can't imagine what we going to get once they perfect these new hardware...
 
# 5 ncaafootball14markus @ 07/01/13 01:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by footballfan41
I was hoping they would get it right this time, cause back in 2005, I had to buy Madden for the Xbox and being next gen for the 360, that was $120 just on madden a 60 waste for 360, this year i did per-order Madden for Xbox1..can't buy double anymore, cause i have 2 boys that's a total of 3 360's and 3 Xbox1's, 3 Madden 25 I'm dropping not counting COD, and other games, just can't do the double systems anymore,
Dang! Why da heck does everyone need their own system and game? Thats the only thought i had after reading ur post.
 
# 6 Rebel10 @ 07/01/13 02:32 PM
It will be different this time around. EA was under a lot of pressure during the development for Madden '06, especially because they had just closed out the market, had looming law suits coming, and had to look like they were progressing the series. The trailer video, unfortunately, ruined Madden (and football videogames) for a good 3 - 4 years... It took EA until Madden '10 to really recover from it, although there were still some vestiges of that trailer even in Madden '13 (the cheesy scoreboard, although it wasn't the focus like it was for '07 and '08).

I think that Madden '25 will be different this time around. First, the console progression is not as much from the current gen to the nextgen, a big focus is on visual fidelity and image quality, not as significant as jumping from 480i to 720p with the previous generation. FUrther, the development time for this game has been longer than Madden '06 on the 360. Madden '06 on the 360 was still in rough development when that trailer came out at E3 in 2005, and the game was even significantly different from the trailer (which was, obviously, all pre-rendered CG).

EA recognizes the huge mistakes they made with the transition to this current generation of consoles. I think that they won't be as aggressive with pushing new ideas on the new consoles ,and will instead focus on having a similar experience to the current gen, but with higher visual fidelity. I don't think that the new Madden is really going to wow any Madden veterans, but it should be an improvment from this gen, which Madden '06 certainly was not.
 
# 7 TreyIM2 @ 07/01/13 02:43 PM
It will DEFINITELY be different this time around. Stakes are higher and waaay better tech. Plus they've taken such a slamming when it comes to their sports games and Madden leading the way, big time, in this super information age and those bottom lines have wavered since those earlier glory days of Madden before many just got sick and tired of what seemed to be the same ole.

I think this Madden is going to be pretty decent for next gen. Wasn't blown away by the tech demo they showed on IGN because of it had a familiar look to current gen but after watching some Madden 25 clips on Pasta THEN returning to that IGN tech demo, I noticed it did seem a lil different, mostly in the running animation of AP.

Just gotta see how all this proposed tech comes together in the end product but we're definitely not getting the fake out of 06.
 
# 8 elgreazy1 @ 07/01/13 02:46 PM
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me for the 9th+ straight year... well, I'm an idiot.

Gonna wait and see with this title.
 
# 9 SageInfinite @ 07/01/13 03:04 PM
It will definitely without a doubt be better than Madden 06. Now will it be the system selling football game we've all been waiting for? I highly doubt it, but I think it will be a solid launch title pick up with the new systems. Still waiting to see more, but I think it will be solid. Especially considering the current gen footage I've seen. Add living stadiums/crowds/sidelines, improved presentation, ai, animations, and better graphics, idk man could be nice.
 
# 10 KANE699 @ 07/01/13 03:34 PM
Here is a funfact for you guys, Madden 06 for the 360 was still crashing at or before the start screen a month before launch.

Hard to test a game when you can't even get to the Main Menu.
 
# 11 The JareBear @ 07/01/13 06:08 PM
Yeah, I feel like they learned their lesson with 06
 
# 12 ManiacMatt1782 @ 07/01/13 06:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Wise_One
The transition will be 100x times better this time around. I have a feeling sports games are gonna do a lot better on these next consoles.
Only because it might not actually be possible to screw it up any worse than they did back then
 
# 13 CT Pittbull @ 07/01/13 07:15 PM
nice article and to the final statement. LET'S HOPE SO! it's long overdue and all of us who have shelled out 120 bucks per year for EA football games this generation deserve not only a treat, but a damn tasty treat.
 
# 14 bucs34236 @ 07/01/13 07:28 PM
It better be different!!!!!!!
 
# 15 cattlekiller @ 07/01/13 08:31 PM
Something that hasn't changed and maybe never will(in my lifetime) is the Players online.
American Football is arguably the most team oriented sport in the world.
But yet when we play the game online we play one vs one.
Sure there is team play that has three vs three, but I would say most people buy madden for connected career/franchise/season mode.
Hockey has a full team option for online season play.
In madden you cant even be traded to the same team in superstar connected career.
 
# 16 regroc88 @ 07/01/13 09:25 PM
im just saying it looks different but. looks likes it play the same when I seen the M25 xbox 1 demo!! lets hope they prove me wrong! watch out for EA smoke & Screen PLay!!!!!! lol
 
# 17 Rules @ 07/02/13 09:15 AM
Just watched the E3 demo with the Vikings vs Seahawks. Not impressed as it looks like the 360 version with improved graphics. The kicking meter is still a joke. Why even make the consumer kick when it is automatic in the game? Even the cut scenes are the same. Time to get another company with the NFL license as they rehash everything and sell it like it is Revolutionary
 
# 18 Dogslax41 @ 07/02/13 09:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rules
Just watched the E3 demo with the Vikings vs Seahawks. Not impressed as it looks like the 360 version with improved graphics. The kicking meter is still a joke. Why even make the consumer kick when it is automatic in the game? Even the cut scenes are the same. Time to get another company with the NFL license as they rehash everything and sell it like it is Revolutionary
Pretty sure that is the 360 version. The only next gen gamplay they have release is the peterson practice session.
 
# 19 StormsWarning @ 07/02/13 10:01 AM
ppl need to stop hating on madden, yes it has had it's issues through the years, what game hasn't? next gen is going to be the truth, all the haters are going to see, even the interviewer in the new e3 vid, summed it up and said current gen has gone as far as it can. comments im seeing across the board seems like more ppl want it to fail then strive. better get ya game up!
 
# 20 roadman @ 07/02/13 10:38 AM
Based on the NCAA demo for 14 on this generation, I'm sure NG will be better.

I've never played an EA football demo as long as I have with NCAA.
 

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