I won’t lie, I was so close to writing a eulogy for franchise modes in sports games a month ago. So really, I can’t help but feel some relief that EA seems to be taking franchise mode seriously in Madden NFL 20.
The news seems to be mostly positive from what we read on the EA blog today. And if you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out my earlier analysis of the initial franchise announcements in Madden NFL 20.
Let’s break down the additions mentioned today:
Things I’m Excited About
- The Pro Bowl once again being implemented into franchise will be a cool way to immerse yourself and see your performances rewarded. I definitely think this is a small, but noteworthy addition.
- The ratings spreads finally being bigger is a big deal. It seemed like players were working in a pretty narrow range, which didn’t allow for real differentiation between elite talents and subpar talents. This has a real chance to really change the game.
- The scenarios have a lot of potential to introduce narrative into the mode, which has been my biggest want for awhile. Stories are what move us, and without it the whole mode ends up falling short of what it could be.
- The development trait additions/changes seem to be timely and smart.
- The scenarios for coach mode seem to be pretty big as far as additions go.
- Any changes to hopefully modernize and streamline the UI are welcome.
- Having authentically represented contracts are always a plug.
- I like the idea of having new draft classes/rookie generators.
- Having throw power more accurately reflect ball trajectory is a big deal! But this isn’t fully franchise so we’ll wait and see what else is in store on the 5/23 stream.
Questions I Have
- Will the bigger spread in ratings actually be meaningful and lead to more variety in team overall ratings? Furthermore, how does this affect sim stats?
- On the development traits, what changes were made to their frequency and what other additions were made to the system this year?
- On contracts, I can’t help but wonder if the effort on making initial contracts more realistic was part of a larger effort to better model the finances part of managing an NFL lineup?
- The draft is always going to be something that needs work in Madden in some way, but I’m wondering how annoying its going to be to have to wait to find out a players development trait?
To be honest, there’s a lot to like about what EA is introducing with franchise mode this year. You can’t expect Madden NFL 20 to reinvent the wheel, but real improvements and addition are a welcome signal to franchise mode lovers like myself. Right now, I’m optimistic, but cautiously so, as we move towards release this summer.