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Bring the Hype! Improving Madden NFL Pregame Presentation

Madden NFL 19

Bring the Hype! Improving Madden NFL Pregame Presentation

If you’re a sports fan like me, then you appreciate the excitement sports provide. The lead up to a big game usually begins building up on the Monday before Sunday kickoff. There is trash talk, there is tailgating and then comes game day. The day of put up or shut up; the day where we separate the rams from the lambs so to speak. Now, if only it were possible to re-create that suspense you feel in a video game. The pregame hype!

I feel pregame hype in Madden has been ignored. Don’t get me wrong, Madden has come a long way with presentation in terms of in-game cuts and commentary, but there is a missing piece prior to the kickoff that could be greatly improved. The interesting thing about Madden NFL 19 is the opening video to the game starring Antonio Brown had me more pumped up than any game I played during the regular season and playoffs. There is sizzle, a beat and lead up to playing the game. In other words, EA does know how to hype people up, the company just doesn’t seem to make it a priority on a larger scale with Madden.

I would love to see Madden focus more on the differences between the normal broadcast games and those prime-time matchups. Imagine you play your first two weeks of the season with a normal broadcast — your standard 1 p.m Sunday matchup. Now imagine you are scheduled to play on the Thursday, Sunday or Monday night prime-time game.

You press start, and boom, you’re greeted with the equivalent of “everyone’s waiting for Sunday night” — assuming EA would not get the rights for these real-life intros, you create your own. Following the pregame video, you see cuts of fans tailgating in the parking lot or lined up to get into the stadium. These sorts of touches would be a great addition to the pregame. There are a variety of external factors that play into the outcome of game. Weather is a big one, and a significant factor for underdog teams that need to pull off an upset win. A screen describing how cold it is in Green Bay prior to kickoff, or how much rain has come down in Seattle would really create a deeper and more detailed experience to build off as the game progressed.

The current pregame in Madden 19 also seems to struggle a bit with mixing the audio and visuals. The audio commentary is often loud and overbearing, drowning out any hint of hype to get pumped up for kickoff. It also just feels somewhat dull, and the jump cuts between teams are so fast that the entire pregame is quickly blown over into the kickoff. I would like to reiterate that Madden 19 has come a long way in their commentary improvements from previous versions, but it has not made the same leaps over the years in establishing that pregame hype I’m seeking.

For example, what do we love most about WWE games? We love the entrance, the hype, the start of the show. Fireworks, theme songs and signature style. There are the good guys and the bad guys. Each wrestler has a personality that is evident before the bell has even been rung. This is true in the NFL as well, take a look at the Raiders. They are black and silver, mean and dirty. Then you have the Patriots and Tom Brady, a cool more methodical style of play. You even have rivalries like the Chicago Bears going up against the Green Bay Packers that just mean more. There can be multiple pregame creations that could build the hype in a matchup such as this. Monsters of the Midway versus Go Pack Go, or the run game versus the gunslinger Aaron Rodgers. This is an area where the WWE 2K series has struck gold.

Take this video, for example. This is the entrance of The Rock; the build up here is a fantastic prelude before the ringing of the bell. It brings the gaming experience to the level of what it would be like watching the show on television. As you watch him stand and stride to the ring, the pump up builds with the theme in the background. A work of art by 2K.

Now I know there are licensing issues because Madden doesn’t have any licensing with NBC or ESPN, but EA does have resources to utilize to do something in-house, and I’m sure there is the ability to create content that can mimic this kind of hype. Whether that be from creating JumboTron team videos, or spending more time capturing team- and matchup-specific intricacies.

Another way to build the hype is by bringing in the crowd. You could do things like apply more exterior cutscenes of the crowd walking outside the stadium and showing exterior shots of the stadium. You could even have a cut screen that displays what the attendance is and filter in the latest tweets about the matchup. NCAA Football 14 did a great job in the pregame screens and also in conference standings or rankings. The college game could even make you feel that you were outmatched by simply adding in Herbie and Corso game picks.

Presentation and pregame seem to be consistent areas that 2K Sports developers focus on each year. Look at NBA 2K18 and NBA 2K19. They focused on graphical improvements, timing of cuts, and how audio sounds and feels with the starting lineups coming onto the court. There is distinct difference and great re-creation of watching a game on TV. Even their playoff pregame has the addition of pregame videos that made me feel like there is something more on the line.

There are a variety of ways to add to the pregame presentation of Madden, and if the developers can spend some time this offseason improving the hype, I think it would change the feel of the game in a big way.

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  1. I always thought in CFM the day games should have very minimal pregame presentation. Just go straight to the game almost. Whereas for Sunday Monday and Thursday night games should get the pimped our pregame stuff. Also changing the score overlays for each of those games would really bring the presentation to life (not really gonna mention another commentary team cause I don’t think they’re capable of doing that). Also MAKE THE PLAYOFF PRESENTATION DIFFERENT
    Great article, would LOVE to see this in Madden!
    When I sit down to play a game, it's a preparation for me, lighting in the room just right, volume on 25, favorite controller, etc.. Madden needs to do its part by pumping up the visual aspect of the game to really enhance the mood.
    I hope Madden 20 does a better job with this. I am doing a franchise with the 49ers and it’s week 17. Us the rams are tied for the division and second place in the playoffs. No mention of this and how important the upcoming game is.
    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.  EA is proven to be incapable of creating an authentic and enjoyable game that resembles the NFL.  The Show & 2k aren't perfect games, but the games are playable and enjoyable and close to the real game. EA has shown that they are only interested in catering to the MUD crowd, because that MUD crowd doles out extra cash.  
    Every year EA will add something cool or good in madden that they neeeded or what we like, but most things they add or take out that we don’t agree with. Like someone else said, mut is their strong suit, I’m already ready for madden 20 though
    One of the things that everyone applauds NFL 2k for is its pre/half/post game show. I will admit... it's very cool. They definitely get an A+ for it.
    But seriously ask yourself... how often did you REALLY watch it vs skipping through it? That's the problem with these pre/halfpost game show things. 90% of gamers will simply skip through it 90% of the time. Because of that, you really need to ask: is it really worth it?
    If EA has 100 people working on the game: would you rather have 5 of those people work on pre/half/post game shows or have those 5 work on figuring out how to make all the ratings matter in the game and how to prevent DL from covering WRs? Or maybe you can put those five working on injecting some life into franchise?
    kennylc321
    One of the things that everyone applauds NFL 2k for is its pre/half/post game show. I will admit... it's very cool. They definitely get an A+ for it.
    But seriously ask yourself... how often did you REALLY watch it vs skipping through it? That's the problem with these pre/halfpost game show things. 90% of gamers will simply skip through it 90% of the time. Because of that, you really need to ask: is it really worth it?
    If EA has 100 people working on the game: would you rather have 5 of those people work on pre/half/post game shows or have those 5 work on figuring out how to make all the ratings matter in the game and how to prevent DL from covering WRs? Or maybe you can put those five working on injecting some life into franchise?

    Why can't we have our cake and eat it too?
    I never skip the halftime recap in Madden, it adds immersion to me. Now.. showing my coach after every play.. yeah I skip that.
    kennylc321
    One of the things that everyone applauds NFL 2k for is its pre/half/post game show. I will admit... it's very cool. They definitely get an A+ for it.
    But seriously ask yourself... how often did you REALLY watch it vs skipping through it? That's the problem with these pre/halfpost game show things. 90% of gamers will simply skip through it 90% of the time. Because of that, you really need to ask: is it really worth it?
    If EA has 100 people working on the game: would you rather have 5 of those people work on pre/half/post game shows or have those 5 work on figuring out how to make all the ratings matter in the game and how to prevent DL from covering WRs? Or maybe you can put those five working on injecting some life into franchise?

    The presentation team is separate than the game play team, so, that is why it's a reasonable ask.
    Personally, after a few times, I skip it, because my games on the playing field are 1.5 hours at length and I just don't have time outside of those 1.5 hours per game with family commitments taking priority.
    More options are a good thing.
    MizzouRah
    Why can't we have our cake and eat it too?
    I never skip the halftime recap in Madden, it adds immersion to me. Now.. showing my coach after every play.. yeah I skip that.

    This, and the random "zombie" player that is behind him freaking out like a 5 year old who got the nerf gun he wanted for Christmas. I was playing last night and thought JuJu was having a seizure.
    I never watch pre-game or half-time stuff. Thank god for the skip option. I am not a fan of stuff I can watch on TV before or during a game because a video game will never match it.
    In my opinion, having more locker room pre-game and half-time visuals where game planning and player interaction happens would be more exciting because it is not something the average NFL fan sees, plus the video game would not be competing directly with a comparable source.
    4thQtrStre5S
    I never watch pre-game or half-time stuff. Thank god for the skip option. I am not a fan of stuff I can watch on TV before or during a game because a video game will never match it.
    In my opinion, having more locker room pre-game and half-time visuals where game planning and player interaction happens would be more exciting because it is not something the average NFL fan sees, plus the video game would not be competing directly with a comparable source.

    Now I actually really like this idea thinking about it. I'm picturing the game going to half time and it shows your team heading in to the tunnel. The game then cuts to a locker room scene where players are gathered around the coaches and they are talking strategies and what they saw in the 1st half. The game then pops up a menu where you can make some strategy adjustments, change your custom audibles based on game flow, and change focuses of your team on both sides of the ball. Maybe one of the coaches is holding an Ipad which you can select and it will bring up tendencies of yourself and your opponent from the first half. There are a lot of different things you could do with an idea like this. I think that this could be a cool idea if implemented correctly.
    Whether they decide to focus on a more t.v. like presentation or one like this where it is more strategy focused I just hope they come up with something new and exciting. I feel like madden has suffered from a lack of innovation the last few years. Hopefully this dev team can come up with some fresh ideas to make the game more engaging and really bring it to life. Unless next years game looks much improved it will probably end up being the first time in a long time that Madden is not a day 1 purchase for me. If I do get the itch, which I probably will because of what a big football nut I am, I will probably be waiting to find a used copy of the game that way EA doesn't get my money.
    Madden has a new development team?
    Where have I been?
    I thought the only two that left were Rex and the guy that was fired in 2018 with the game in beta.
    roadman
    The presentation team is separate than the game play team, so, that is why it's a reasonable ask.
    Personally, after a few times, I skip it, because my games on the playing field are 1.5 hours at length and I just don't have time outside of those 1.5 hours per game with family commitments taking priority.
    More options are a good thing.

    Not is no one is using them. I just think there are bigger priorities but to each his own.
    kennylc321
    Not is no one is using them. I just think there are bigger priorities but to each his own.

    As I said, I click on by after a few viewings, but that doesn't mean other people have it a higher priority than I do.
    I also feel we are hedging our bet by saying a lot of people will click on by. I know a lot of people enjoyed it on 2k and Madden in the past.
    And you are correct, at the end of the day, to each their own.
    I just wanted to point out that there are separate teams that work on different areas of the game.
    roadman
    As I said, I click on by after a few viewings, but that doesn't mean other people have it a higher priority than I do.
    I also feel we are hedging our bet by saying a lot of people will click on by. I know a lot of people enjoyed it on 2k and Madden in the past.
    And you are correct, at the end of the day, to each their own.
    I just wanted to point out that there are separate teams that work on different areas of the game.

    EXACTLY!!!! I hate when gamers act as if a company can’t improve in more than one area. Gameplay, graphics, presentation, online, etc. It all contributes to a good game.
    Just look at The Show and NBA 2K.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    4thQtrStre5S
    I never watch pre-game or half-time stuff. Thank god for the skip option. I am not a fan of stuff I can watch on TV before or during a game because a video game will never match it.
    In my opinion, having more locker room pre-game and half-time visuals where game planning and player interaction happens would be more exciting because it is not something the average NFL fan sees, plus the video game would not be competing directly with a comparable source.

    I disagree. Some people like it more from a tv perspective like myself. I don’t skip pregame and halftime.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    statum71
    I disagree. Some people like it more from a tv perspective like myself. I don’t skip pregame and halftime.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    This. During games, I skip through most of the broadcast stuff like the 1000x it shows the coaches and what not, but pregame, halftime and post game stuff I enjoy.. even as bare bones as it is.
    Just enhancing the playoff games/super bowl would add a ton of immersion and make those games feel special.
    Rayzaa
    97% of the time, I skip it all lol

    Nothing wrong with that.. I do that in NHL but for football I want the whole experience!
    Didn't Madden have a quick presentation mode at one time?
    MizzouRah
    Nothing wrong with that.. I do that in NHL but for football I want the whole experience!
    Didn't Madden have a quick presentation mode at one time?

    NFL 2k5 showed highlights at halftime and had Chris Berman talking about other games so that one was cool. But I always skip Madden's halftime. Nothing to see there imo.
    I want to add that during a game I was playing the other day the announcers talked about another game that was in progress and said that Goff(was Rams vs whoever lol) had thrown 2 TD passes and talked about something else,... which I never recall hearing before during one of my games.
    Rayzaa
    NFL 2k5 showed highlights at halftime and had Chris Berman talking about other games so that one was cool. But I always skip Madden's halftime. Nothing to see there imo.
    I want to add that during a game I was playing the other day the announcers talked about another game that was in progress and said the Good(was Rams vs whoever lol) had thrown 2 TD passes and talk about something else,... which I never recall hearing before during one of my games.

    I hear that from time to time as well.
    Rayzaa
    NFL 2k5 showed highlights at halftime and had Chris Berman talking about other games so that one was cool. But I always skip Madden's halftime. Nothing to see there imo.
    I want to add that during a game I was playing the other day the announcers talked about another game that was in progress and said the Good(was Rams vs whoever lol) had thrown 2 TD passes and talk about something else,... which I never recall hearing before during one of my games.

    I wonder if that is a new patch or something because during my game yesterday they did the same thing. Only it was the Ravens and someone.
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