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Madden NFL 17 Championship Recap


 

Sixteen of the top Madden 17 players locked up in Burbank, CA this past weekend for their shot at $150,000, a title belt that would make The Rock blush and the right to call themselves Madden 17 Champion. Before the weekend was over, a total of $500,000 would be given away to the top-32 players.

Quarterfinals (Day 2)

The quarterfinals started off with a battle between Skimbo and LOS. The match was hyped as Skimbo being ranked as the top player going into the tournament, while LOS was riding a hot streak and ranked 31 overall. At half, Skimbo lead 35–21 after stalling out on his first possession and then giving up a score on LOS’ first drive. In his first possession of the second half, LOS scored after Skimbo cleared his safety out leaving DeAndre Hopkins wide open for the touchdown. That would be the last time LOS got into the end zone as Skimbo shut him down with great defense and added 10 points on to his victory, taking out LOS by a score of 45-28.

Game two saw #7 Young KIV taking on #9 SpotMePlzzz in a game most people saw being one of the higher scoring matchups. Young KIV user-lurked SpotMe with just seconds left in the first half and went into halftime with a 24-10 lead. SpotMe missed an extra point on a missed button push, which was very costly in the moment. The second half saw an offensive explosion by SpotMe as he scored 24 points to KIV’s 10. With seconds left on the clock, SpotMe and KIV played a knee and timeout battle that was won by SpotMe as he took a knee on third down and called his own timeout before kicking a field goal to take the game and punch his ticket to the semifinals.

Then it was time for a match between two different personalities in the quiet Boogz and the hype train Joke. This was the lowest-scoring game going into half as Boogz lead Joke 7-3. The second half started off all Joke, but in the fourth quarter Boogz came back with a toss to make it a three-point game, then followed it up with a fantastic user-lurk INT to get the ball back in field goal range. Boogz would tack on three points to make it 17-17, but the last laugh would go to Joke as he would take the match with a field goal of his own, beating Boogz 20-17.

The last game of the quarterfinals would put Problem up against Volterax. At various points, Volterax had drawn criticism for his “overuse” of the swerve, a glitch where a user-controlled receiver pushes inside the route then back outside in a "swerve" maneuver causing the defender to be rendered almost useless. But Problem is an elite Madden player, and he was ready for anything. Problem did not have an issue dealing with Volterax, as he was ready for the deep pass and intercepted Volt when he tried to hit the swerve -- while also bottling up his Chris Johnson. Problem lead 17-7 at half and didn’t look back, taking Volt down 30-13.

Semifinals (Day 3)

The semifinals saw Skimbo, who has never won a live event, take on SpotMePlzzz, who was looking to be the first to win two events. Both guys came to play as the game was back and forth throughout the first half of football. Skimbo’s Moss made play after play, but SpotMe took a touchdown away from Skimbo with a user interception in the end zone with just 1:27 left to go in the 2nd. The half would end 14-14. The halftime adjustments were made by Skimbo as he would put up another two touchdowns to take the match from SpotMePlzzz 28-14.

Then it was time for the match we were all waiting for, Problem vs Joke. Problem said being able to go home for the night and get rest in his own bed would be the difference for him in the final day of play. But Joke is no slouch and was ready to take on the veteran in the second game of day three. This was a defensive game going into halftime with a score of 10-3. Problem struggled all game with his offense, but his special teams and Deion Sanders made all the difference with two kick returns for touchdowns. He stopped Joke's final drive, and Problem won the best game of the tournament in a 28-27 comeback. 

Finals – Aired Live On NFL Network

#1 Skimbo vs. #5 Problem

There were fireworks before the match even started. Problem was asked about a comment Skimbo had made earlier, saying if there was one person that couldn’t beat him it was Problem. Standing on the stage, Problem called his shot and was visibly ready for his finals matchup with Skimbo. 

There was more than tension in the air as $100K was up for grabs in the next four quarters. The first strike was hit by Skimbo, who hit Moss on a pass to get inside the 10-yard line, then followed it up with a toss to Ricky Williams for an easy score.

In the second quarter, Problem would use his run game to give himself an opportunity to score, but an overthrow by Aaron Rodgers to Demetrius Harris meant he had to settle for a field goal, cutting Skimbo’s lead to 10-3. 

By half, Skimbo would see Problem put up another field goal. Overall, Problem was playing well between the 20s, but was having issues in the red zone. That would all change in the third quarter as Problem was able to put another return into the end zone and take the lead 20-17. 

The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth battle, much like the first three quarters, as Skimbo tossed a deep pass to Demaryius Thomas late in the game to take a four-point lead with just seconds left. Problem dinked, dumped and bombed Skimbo down to the 21-yard line with just six seconds left on the clock. Rodgers was able to throw a pass into the end zone that was not caught but left one second on the clock. Problem’s last pass was broken up, and Skimbo stood up, dropped his soundproof headset and gave an emotional interview to ZFarls. 

It was a great weekend for Madden eSports that saw newcomers and vets give it their all. I honestly thought Problem was going to have a huge game in the finals as his struggles against Joke made him hit the sticks with Young KIV -- a player who runs a similar offense to Skimbo -- prior to the showdown. However, it seemed like the issues plaguing Problem did not quite get solved. A lack of red-zone scoring and a neutered special teams attack led to Problem falling short, and that is a credit to Skimbo.


Member Comments
# 1 jerwoods @ 05/18/17 06:30 PM
my main beef with this is why does both players have most of the same guys ie Rodgers bosa
 
# 2 canes21 @ 05/18/17 07:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerwoods
my main beef with this is why does both players have most of the same guys ie Rodgers bosa
Because it is about stick skills more than front office skills so the idea is to allow duplicate players and the more skilled guy should win.

Personally my biggest beef with it all was the playstyle of the games. The first game I watched should have started with a 3 and out, but instead we had a failed 4th down attempt at a player's own 30 yard line that led to a score. A drive either ended in a turnover or points every series I watched. This is what the masses want I guess, but I would rather watch two guys play a simulation slugfest and punt 15 times than what I did witness.
 
# 3 frostbyt @ 05/19/17 07:51 AM
Yes...play style is my biggest gripe. EA promotes playing this way even though this is not how typically it goes on Sundays. I get it...it's a game...but to play a football game without any of the normal strategies in a NFL game just irks me...that is why I choose not to watch or support these players.
 
# 4 JayD @ 05/19/17 08:22 AM
I can't watch these types of games as it has hurt the sim aspect for the majority of sports gaming
 
# 5 T4VERTS @ 05/19/17 08:36 AM
I see this a lot amongst the community ("I can't watch that game play") so my question then becomes who is watching? They are getting the ratings which means someone is tuning in. I would be curious how much market research they have done amongst their user base around who and how often they watch these events. I also wonder if the general "curiosity" will eventually die down, or if it is sustainable.

I am in the group that believes the push for Esports is a dangerous and short sighted pivot for EA. They could end up alienating their core users in an attempt to ride the "hot" trend. In the end what they could end up with is a game tailored for a competitive culture, but that group may have moved on to something else.

The other issue I see is they are actually hurting their own monopoly on the market as they push the competitive side. In the competitive realm they are stripping away what makes their license valuable, the qualities of the real players themselves. As they move to less rating and dice roll based outcomes, and they use similar rosters, they essentially are making the actual players irrelevant in favor of the users controlling them.

The issue with this is if they create a real demand for this type of play it is not unreasonable a competitor emerges to challenge them. Using generic players, they could provide a game better designed to capture user skill in a competitive football environment. Because the competitive teams are players from various NFL teams, the team licenses aren't important. Because the name on the jersey is the only thing differentiating guys as they make the ratings not matter, it would appear there could come a time that the players licenses aren't that important.

I could see a day where they create the market for football as an Esport, but they aren't necessarily the game used for it. This is me just hypothesizing, but I really question if they have thought through what they may be doing long term.
 
# 6 OhMrHanky @ 05/19/17 08:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by T4VERTS
I see this a lot amongst the community ("I can't watch that game play") so my question then becomes who is watching? They are getting the ratings which means someone is tuning in. I would be curious how much market research they have done amongst their user base around who and how often they watch these events. I also wonder if the general "curiosity" will eventually die down, or if it is sustainable.

I am in the group that believes the push for Esports is a dangerous and short sighted pivot for EA. They could end up alienating their core users in an attempt to ride the "hot" trend. In the end what they could end up with is a game tailored for a competitive culture, but that group may have moved on to something else.

The other issue I see is they are actually hurting their own monopoly on the market as they push the competitive side. In the competitive realm they are stripping away what makes their license valuable, the qualities of the real players themselves. As they move to less rating and dice roll based outcomes, and they use similar rosters, they essentially are making the actual players irrelevant in favor of the users controlling them.

The issue with this is if they create a real demand for this type of play it is not unreasonable a competitor emerges to challenge them. Using generic players, they could provide a game better designed to capture user skill in a competitive football environment. Because the competitive teams are players from various NFL teams, the team licenses aren't important. Because the name on the jersey is the only thing differentiating guys as they make the ratings not matter, it would appear there could come a time that the players licenses aren't that important.

I could see a day where they create the market for football as an Esport, but they aren't necessarily the game used for it. This is me just hypothesizing, but I really question if they have thought through what they may be doing long term.


This is kind of thought provoking, actually. But, I think, in the end, for another company to spend the resources and development effort for a brand new football game for esports only without NFL players, I just don't think it would pay off for them. I mean, what, 3 years for the first game? As much as people have talked about monopoly, no monopoly, etc, etc, I, personally believe no football game would make it without NFL players. Ultimately, that's the point of the game, replicating football with the actual players in the NFL. Now that madden is splitting game styles, I'm hopeful the sim will continue to be solid, and the comp style will appease the esports crowd. It would be very interesting, though, if someone did do this, however, and created an amazing football sim out of the box with real physics, ball flight, etc. To see how it would compete with esports and/or sim crowd. If it had customizable rosters, I'm sure some people here would be all over it. Lol. And/or, if they created an option to download rosters and people on the internet maintained generic teams based on NFL (whatever they need to do to not be sued. Lol. [emoji6]), that could be the end of madden. But, again, and this is my personal opinion, the NFL license is a big deal. I don't just want to play football. I want to play football with my dirty birds, and that's it. Or, I want to play with the 85 Bears or something. Just playing 'football' doesn't really do it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
# 7 T4VERTS @ 05/19/17 09:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMrHanky
This is kind of thought provoking, actually. But, I think, in the end, for another company to spend the resources and development effort for a brand new football game for esports only without NFL players, I just don't think it would pay off for them. I mean, what, 3 years for the first game? As much as people have talked about monopoly, no monopoly, etc, etc, I, personally believe no football game would make it without NFL players. Ultimately, that's the point of the game, replicating football with the actual players in the NFL. Now that madden is splitting game styles, I'm hopeful the sim will continue to be solid, and the comp style will appease the esports crowd. It would be very interesting, though, if someone did do this, however, and created an amazing football sim out of the box with real physics, ball flight, etc. To see how it would compete with esports and/or sim crowd. If it had customizable rosters, I'm sure some people here would be all over it. Lol. And/or, if they created an option to download rosters and people on the internet maintained generic teams based on NFL (whatever they need to do to not be sued. Lol. [emoji6]), that could be the end of madden. But, again, and this is my personal opinion, the NFL license is a big deal. I don't just want to play football. I want to play football with my dirty birds, and that's it. Or, I want to play with the 85 Bears or something. Just playing 'football' doesn't really do it.
I think it could be done by using historical players to give it a "real" feel. Those players should own their own rights (like Montana) but maybe can't be associated with a team they played for. Call it "legends of the gridiron" and you need maybe 10 guys per position that guys can choose form when assembling their teams, because EA is already making ratings not matter in competitive it would be easy. As for wanting to replicate what they see, that is true in some modes, but I don't believe it to be true in competitive as seen by their play style. They want to win over everything and a competitor could produce that.

If a new game came out that was really built around user skill and offered large cash prizes year one out of the gate you would capture a share from the jump. Those guys who play both games competitively would be your best promoters.
 
# 8 kyle81 @ 05/19/17 11:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by canes21
Because it is about stick skills more than front office skills so the idea is to allow duplicate players and the more skilled guy should win.

Personally my biggest beef with it all was the playstyle of the games. The first game I watched should have started with a 3 and out, but instead we had a failed 4th down attempt at a player's own 30 yard line that led to a score. A drive either ended in a turnover or points every series I watched. This is what the masses want I guess, but I would rather watch two guys play a simulation slugfest and punt 15 times than what I did witness.
I'm with you, but part of the issue is that there isn't a lot of time. You kind of just want as many possessions as possible. Punting when 50k is on the line is a hard thing to do.
 
# 9 therealsmallville @ 05/19/17 12:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by T4VERTS
I think it could be done by using historical players to give it a "real" feel. Those players should own their own rights (like Montana) but maybe can't be associated with a team they played for. Call it "legends of the gridiron" and you need maybe 10 guys per position that guys can choose form when assembling their teams, because EA is already making ratings not matter in competitive it would be easy. As for wanting to replicate what they see, that is true in some modes, but I don't believe it to be true in competitive as seen by their play style. They want to win over everything and a competitor could produce that.

If a new game came out that was really built around user skill and offered large cash prizes year one out of the gate you would capture a share from the jump. Those guys who play both games competitively would be your best promoters.

Who would host it, though? I know a lot of people who turn on NFL Network (or ESPN) in the morning and leave it running all day. Madden Championship goes on NFL Network and they have an instant viewer base, which also means easy advertisers/sponsors and easy money for the Network.

If the game was generic, NFLN won't show it. ESPN probably won't see the revenue in it, so they are out. Which leaves channels like maybe Spike TV? Or possibly only a streaming solution ala Twitch or Youtube? I'd love to see a generic game if it played fantastically and had lots of customization, but using it for esports is just a non-starter when we're talking about money, imo. The winner of Madden might get 100k, but that's not much compared to the exposure and revenue they & the NFLN get by doing it in the first place.

Just my .02, and I could be wrong of course.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
# 10 OhMrHanky @ 05/19/17 12:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle81
I'm with you, but part of the issue is that there isn't a lot of time. You kind of just want as many possessions as possible. Punting when 50k is on the line is a hard thing to do.


Yeah, that's the tricky part and why I don't mind them doing that. Not that I watch these things all the time, lol, but I do catch em every once in awhile because I'm curious if there's still cheese, or maybe the top player is actually playing with no cheese or whatnot. That's why, for a true competition of video game 'football,' it should be 15 min qtrs with acc clock around 16) to better mimic huddle time and getting to the line. This would limit ridiculous hot routing as well and be more about strategy. Although, someone can still run no huddle, of course, but I get my meaning. If they played 15 min qtrs and actually had time to comeback, I'd think you'd see more true football strategy such as punting on 4th and 10 from your own 20 instead of going for it. And, I think it would punish people more who go for it on ridiculous 4th downs. It could actually play out like a real NFL game. Now, don't get me wrong, people don't want to watch a single 2 hr game. Lol. I understand that. But, to be fair/honest, I suppose that's the difference between playing 'madden' and playing 'football'. If you're going to play an entire 'game' of video game 'football,' u should play 15 min qtrs. If they have esports for The Show, do they only play 3 innings? Or, do they play the full 9, u know?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
# 11 T4VERTS @ 05/19/17 12:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealsmallville
Who would host it, though? I know a lot of people who turn on NFL Network (or ESPN) in the morning and leave it running all day. Madden Championship goes on NFL Network and they have an instant viewer base, which also means easy advertisers/sponsors and easy money for the Network.

If the game was generic, NFLN won't show it. ESPN probably won't see the revenue in it, so they are out. Which leaves channels like maybe Spike TV? Or possibly only a streaming solution ala Twitch or Youtube? I'd love to see a generic game if it played fantastically and had lots of customization, but using it for esports is just a non-starter when we're talking about money, imo. The winner of Madden might get 100k, but that's not much compared to the exposure and revenue they & the NFLN get by doing it in the first place.

Just my .02, and I could be wrong of course.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

TBS has dove into Esports showing them on Friday night, they could possibly be an option. You could also approach Spike TV as someone who may be looking for content for the same demographic. Twitch and Youtube are also options if the prize money and willingness to market are there. If you offered big money to the winners, and got coverage about it, people would tune in to see it. There are a bunch of networks I am sure though that are looking to have some sort of Esport offering, just would take some legwork to set up a deal.
 
# 12 CM Hooe @ 05/19/17 12:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by T4VERTS
I am in the group that believes the push for Esports is a dangerous and short sighted pivot for EA.
Could not disagree more strongly.

Robert Kraft just invested $15M in an Overwatch eSports league, a league being built around a game which just became a billion-dollar franchise for Activision-Blizzard. Riot Games has built a multi-billion dollar company solely on the back of League Of Legends, the leading video game in the e-sports scene. Psyonix literally changed the fortunes of their company with Rocket League, which for a time was the top console E-Sports game (until Overwatch came out). Even an older game like Starcraft II awarded $22M in prize money to E-Sports competitors last year.

E-Sports is growing, has been growing for years, and will continue to grow. If anything, EA Sports is arguably behind the curve with positioning their professional sports titles as relevant players in the exploding E-Sports scene. Pro sports games directly and obviously translate to competitive experiences, they belong as E-Sports games.

I realize Madden Nation was a thing that existed as early as Madden 07, but EA Sports should have pursued the E-Sports direction more aggressively years ago.
 
# 13 T4VERTS @ 05/19/17 12:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
Could not disagree more strongly.

Robert Kraft just invested $15M in an Overwatch eSports league, a league being built around a game which just became a billion-dollar franchise for Activision-Blizzard. Riot Games has built a multi-billion dollar company solely on the back of League Of Legends, the leading video game in the e-sports scene. Psyonix literally changed the fortunes of their company with Rocket League, which for a time was the top console E-Sports game (until Overwatch came out). Even an older game like Starcraft II awarded $22M in prize money to E-Sports competitors last year.

E-Sports is growing, has been growing for years, and will continue to grow. If anything, EA Sports is arguably behind the curve with positioning their professional sports titles as relevant players in the exploding E-Sports scene. Pro sports games directly and obviously translate to competitive experiences, they belong as E-Sports games.

I realize Madden Nation was a thing that existed as early as Madden 07, but EA Sports should have pursued the E-Sports direction more aggressively years ago.
There are some major differences, one being most those games became Esport leagues organically because the game play fit the idea of playing competitively rather than the game developer trying to simply stick it in as one to jump on the craze. Madden is actually working backward from those games. They are taking a game that wasn't built to work well competitively and trying to change it to fit. EA is banking hard that those changes will be widely accepted. They made a positive step separating modes out, but it doesn't mean the shift won't hurt your core customer base through disillusion, or perceived lack of focus.

As I pointed out before, they are lowering the barrier of entry for other football games if they remove the effects of the individual players on the outcomes of the games. If it's not about the players on the field, but the players controlling them then those users shouldn't care as much about the name on the jersey if they still have an avenue to win money. The franchise and casual gamer care about the names on jersey's because their payoff comes with the reward of "being" them or controlling their destiny. In competitive gaming the payoff is winning and who they use is not as important.

As a whole I am not sure all of these factors have been truly vetted out, this is more of where I am heading with short sighted. Has EA thought about the possibility that they may prove out the concept of competitive football as a Esport, but simultaneously show that their greatest advantage (licensing) is not needed to be a player in the market? If they lose control of the competitive football market after a heavy investment, what does that mean for the game?

I think these are interesting questions, that I am going to attempt to talk to EA about on my developer series next month.
 
# 14 kyle81 @ 05/19/17 01:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMrHanky
Yeah, that's the tricky part and why I don't mind them doing that. Not that I watch these things all the time, lol, but I do catch em every once in awhile because I'm curious if there's still cheese, or maybe the top player is actually playing with no cheese or whatnot. That's why, for a true competition of video game 'football,' it should be 15 min qtrs with acc clock around 16) to better mimic huddle time and getting to the line. This would limit ridiculous hot routing as well and be more about strategy. Although, someone can still run no huddle, of course, but I get my meaning. If they played 15 min qtrs and actually had time to comeback, I'd think you'd see more true football strategy such as punting on 4th and 10 from your own 20 instead of going for it. And, I think it would punish people more who go for it on ridiculous 4th downs. It could actually play out like a real NFL game. Now, don't get me wrong, people don't want to watch a single 2 hr game. Lol. I understand that. But, to be fair/honest, I suppose that's the difference between playing 'madden' and playing 'football'. If you're going to play an entire 'game' of video game 'football,' u should play 15 min qtrs. If they have esports for The Show, do they only play 3 innings? Or, do they play the full 9, u know?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


I've always said if you want to be a football coach go help your local high school team. They'll always take volunteers.
 
# 15 CM Hooe @ 05/19/17 01:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by T4VERTS
There are some major differences, one being most those games became Esport leagues organically because the game play fit the idea of playing competitively rather than the game developer trying to simply stick it in as one to jump on the craze. Madden is actually working backward from those games. They are taking a game that wasn't built to work well competitively and trying to change it to fit.
I'd argue the mainstream cultural appeal of Madden has always been the competitive experience, be it couch multiplayer or later online multiplayer. #MaddenSeason, etc. Sure there are plenty of franchise guys or "sim" guys, but the competitive appeal is why Madden has been one of the most popular online console games since online play on consoles was introduced in 2002, and why Ultimate Team has been so wildly successful since it was introduced in 2009. People enjoy competition, and sports games like Madden are by their very nature competitive.

That's not to say Madden doesn't have to adapt their game to be a wildly successful E-Sports game (as opposed to a niche e-sports game, which it already is and has been for at least a decade); they do, you are correct on that point. The game doesn't offer enough user agency on the field, the game's skill floor is too high, and the game's skill ceiling is too low. That's why we've seeing an increase in not only the number of meaningful and masterable user gameplay mechanics over the past two years - be it the new tackle controls, the new running controls, the new catching controls, and this year apparently new passing controls - but also the breadth and depth of teaching tools in the game - Skills Trainer, on-field visual aids and move prompts, automatic RB controls and one-button modes on lower difficulties, etc. etc.

You are also correct that the game has to walk the line between user mechanical mastery and player ratings affecting results, lest all the money people spend on new Ultimate Team cards be for naught. The fact that Madden is an NFL game absolutely matters and EA can't lose sight of that. This is an achievable goal, however, and it's something Madden has been balancing since its inception.

Quote:
They made a positive step separating modes out, but it doesn't mean the shift won't hurt your core customer base through disillusion, or perceived lack of focus.
Clarification question - who are you identifying as Madden's "core customer base"?

Regardless, I think that expanding the game's competitive appeal, lowering its skill floor, and increasing its skill ceiling will increase its appeal as a video game, regardless of its genre or licensing. Good games with good marketing will find an audience, great games with great marketing will find a bigger one. Madden is probably comfortably in the "good game" group right now, relative to everything else on the market. Making a mechanically better video game will increase the size of the core audience beyond whatever it is today. It literally and figuratively moves the goal posts.

Quote:
Has EA thought about the possibility that they may prove out the concept of competitive football as a Esport, but simultaneously show that their greatest advantage (licensing) is not needed to be a player in the market?
How would they prove this one way or the other, given that Madden the video game and the NFL licensing go hand-in-hand?
 
# 16 N51_rob @ 05/19/17 01:52 PM
I watch this being as open minded as I could be, couple of thoughts.

-This brand of madden doesn't appeal to me personally. I am a "sim" guy. But I am also old enough to know that there is a large(r) community that the sim crowd that loves this and supports this so. Good for them and EA and these guys. I mean that with all sincerity.

-While these guys are obviously skilled and put the time in to learn the ins, outs and limitations of the AI. After a while the games all start to look the same with only 3-4 formations and 5-6 plays being called and then the audibles. But to me that is just boring after a while.

-The one thing EA and the leaders of this community will need to figure out is how to police the toxicity of the community. Mods to a good job, but the chat is just toxic and a huge turn off.

-Lastly, I really hope that with the three different game modes in Madden 18 that each gets the TLC that the MUT/Competative modes have received in years past.
 
# 17 T4VERTS @ 05/19/17 02:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
I'd argue the mainstream cultural appeal of Madden has always been the competitive experience, be it couch multiplayer or later online multiplayer. #MaddenSeason, etc. Sure there are plenty of franchise guys or "sim" guys, but the competitive appeal is why Madden has been one of the most popular online console games since online play on consoles was introduced in 2002, and why Ultimate Team has been so wildly successful since it was introduced in 2009. People enjoy competition, and sports games like Madden are by their very nature competitive.
It's competitive in that the game is about two teams competing, but so is any game with a H2H multiplayer mode. That does not mean all can make it as an Esport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
That's not to say Madden doesn't have to adapt their game to be a wildly successful E-Sports game (as opposed to a niche e-sports game, which it already is and has been for at least a decade); they do, you are correct on that point. The game doesn't offer enough user agency on the field, the game's skill floor is too high, and the game's skill ceiling is too low. That's why we've seeing an increase in not only the number of meaningful and masterable user gameplay mechanics over the past two years - be it the new tackle controls, the new running controls, the new catching controls, and this year apparently new passing controls - but also the breadth and depth of teaching tools in the game - Skills Trainer, on-field visual aids and move prompts, automatic RB controls and one-button modes on lower difficulties, etc. etc.
I can agree they are doing better to "train".


Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
You are also correct that the game has to walk the line between user mechanical mastery and player ratings affecting results, lest all the money people spend on new Ultimate Team cards be for naught. The fact that Madden is an NFL game absolutely matters and EA can't lose sight of that. This is an achievable goal, however, and it's something Madden has been balancing since its inception.
This is where I wonder if they are losing course. Your user base of competitive gamer's want the ratings and dice rolls to mean less. If player A and Player B have different names but play the same are is there really anything special about one being called Julio Jones and one being Bob Smith? We know this matters to CFM, Casual play and go users, and some MUT users because the ratings assigned to these guys affect outcome. What we don't know is, does this matter to the competitive set if all players play the same? My hypothesis is that it doesn't, but that is the billion dollar question EA is going to find out with these changes next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
Clarification question - who are you identifying as Madden's "core customer base"?
The core customer are going to be CFM, and average MUT players. While there is crossover, all competitive players play MUT, but all MUT players are not interested in "competitive" gaming. Obviously, this goes back to your contention that the whole game is "competitive" but let's for the sake of this refer to competitive as the idea of win at all cost with the goal of receiving recognition/prizes (leader board standings, money, giveaways, etc.). For instance I will play MUT, but have no interest in doing anything besides building a team and collecting cards. Using the team against others isn't a big deal to me

Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
Regardless, I think that expanding the game's competitive appeal, lowering its skill floor, and increasing its skill ceiling will increase its appeal as a video game, regardless of its genre or licensing. Good games with good marketing will find an audience, great games with great marketing will find a bigger one. Madden is probably comfortably in the "good game" group right now, relative to everything else on the market. Making a mechanically better video game will increase the size of the core audience beyond whatever it is today. It literally and figuratively moves the goal posts.
While we may not agree on how they go about it, I agree with the general idea here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
How would they prove this one way or the other, given that Madden the video game and the NFL licensing go hand-in-hand?
This isn't so much about "proving" as it is understanding the potential future threats to your business. Understanding, and admitting to yourself, part of your dominance has been an exclusive license is the first step. Then understanding that you are POSSIBLY proving the concept for a competitor that licensing isn't needed for a specific mode, by changes your making to your game, could be a detriment down the line. Obviously they can't prove anything, but it should be analyzed going in and as they go.


CM Hooe- Good conversation, we may have to get together on a podcast and do this live. I think it could be a well thought out discussion that some would find entertaining.
 
# 18 4thQtrStre5S @ 05/19/17 03:20 PM
I think ratings will always matter to the competitive/tourney players. And when they make their teams, there are many ways to go about choosing which top players to use, but of course, in MUT, if you got SS Paul Krause, you are gonna use him, because he is that good.

There is actually a great deal of difference between players, but they are subtle.

I don't know that "core" players are the future of Madden. No offense, but the game is seeing where it can be most profitable and it is competitive.

I look at it like this example, I am a core Metallica fan; I haven't bought an album from them since "And Justice for All" but yet they are more valuable as a business, than they were back with just their "core" fans.

Strategy is big in competitive play, and regardless of what some may think, using a handful of formations and then hot routing to attacking the defense as it is being shown post-snap, is very much a strategy, and even more so than just choosing a bunch of formations..IMO
 
# 19 Thunderhorse @ 05/19/17 06:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by T4VERTS
This is where I wonder if they are losing course. Your user base of competitive gamer's want the ratings and dice rolls to mean less. If player A and Player B have different names but play the same are is there really anything special about one being called Julio Jones and one being Bob Smith? We know this matters to CFM, Casual play and go users, and some MUT users because the ratings assigned to these guys affect outcome. What we don't know is, does this matter to the competitive set if all players play the same? My hypothesis is that it doesn't, but that is the billion dollar question EA is going to find out with these changes next year.
I think this is such a great topic.

I put Madden down for years because I was competitive and the lack of control that I felt playing that game was infuriating. When the AI would let me down in Madden, in those ways all of us are intimately familiar with, it made the experience incredibly negative. Eventually I figured out I would probably be happier avoiding the experience all together, and I stopped playing Madden after 2013.

Without getting to deep into the subject, when looking at a competitor's title (such as 2K's) I ask myself is EA too far behind.

I can play a full basketball game entirely with other users without ever having to hold anything other than myself or another human user accountable. I didn't even like basketball before I started playing 2K15, now I buy 2K every year because I've yet to find another experience where I can play with my friends as teammates in a competitive environment since I played sports.

As I've gotten older, the player names mean less to me personally but the competitive spirit within myself has not waned. My experience with the park and Pro-Am in 2K have showed me that perhaps a football game that incorporates those same principles (teamwork, fundamentally sound mechanics, etc.) could work without NFL players, at least for me personally.

As the game is now, I don't know if it's possible to create that experience. I get the vibe OTP is back this year and it will be interesting to see how that works. I think the game has a lot more mechanics that simulate fundamentals than it used too, and it's probably possible to really illustrate that with multiple users on one side of the ball, but these animations still don't do enough and there is an insufficient number to create a game environment where the user can always trust their eyes, or even accurately simulate differences between skill types.

2K really has something going with the park and pro-am. EA has got to figure out how to match that. Football is the greatest team sport in our society bar none.
 
# 20 TTD71 @ 05/24/17 12:11 PM
EA's best chance to make anything related to Madden a true competitive e-sport would be to develop a 7-on-7 mode and allow users to play each of the on-field positions.

http://aaufootball.org/Rules/7on7.aspx

These are all the rage with kids and college recruiters and it offers a real opportunity for EA to attach a true competitive E-sport to the Madden franchise. Allow the users to control the QB and all 5 eligible receivers. If you really wanted to make it a team-based event, require a volleyball like rotation, where each team member would rotate through the positions, including one play every 7 where they would play as either a DT or the C and be ineligible for a pass...

Hell, you could take the concept down to 3 man teams really easy too....each play one person is QB, one person is WR and one person is lineman...or any combination in between. The idea is a competitive e-sport is nothing to do with real football anyway, so why try to force 11-on-11 action anyway?

The disgrace to EA Sports' Madden developers is not the play style of the players or the tactics that break the AI and the game that were on full display. It was the fact that something as fundamental to football as control of the Line of Scrimmage was a total after thought in "Salary Cap" mode. If all of the competitors were obsessed with getting high dollar QBs and WRs and CBs (as they all were because that was what mattered for a successful offense), then someone should have been able to dominate their offensive or defensive lines by getting highly rated linemen and a dependable running back to control the clock and win the whole thing.

Problem was closest I saw to doing this, but ultimately even he had the QB/WR/CB dominate most of his cap space. If EA built a game that allowed competitors to actually choose different tactics and compete on a level field, THEN they could stay with 11-on-11 "football" as the basis for their e-sport game...as it is, they made a game where linemen essentially mean nothing and the rest flows from there.

Go full 7-on-7 or make the line of scrimmage meaningful to strategy and success but stop trying to have it both ways....
 

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