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Josh Looman Leaving Madden Team, After 17 Years - Creator of Franchise Mode, MUT, NFL Head Coach 09 & More

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Madden NFL 20

Josh Looman Leaving Madden Team, After 17 Years - Creator of Franchise Mode, MUT, NFL Head Coach 09 & More

Josh Looman, the man that created NFL Head Coach 09, along with quite a few features to the Madden series, including Franchise Mode, Superstar Mode and Madden Ultimate Team, is leaving EA Sports and the Madden team, to pursue a new adventure.

Some of you old heads might remember the days he used to post on our forums, discussing NFL Head Coach 09 and upcoming features in Madden Franchise Mode.

Let’s all wish him the best of luck.

Screen capture taken from NFL Head Coach 09 video, via Headstrong.

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  1. "it's not possible to work 80-90 hour weeks with a group of people and not form the strongest of bonds with them"
    "walking out a wiser old man that's been through more than enough development wars"
    "At some point, we all wake up from the dream"
    "One that has the potential to make a huge impact on the game industry, and at the same time, allow me to spend more time with my wife and kids"

    That's a hell of a lot of shade he's throwing at EA there lol
    Good for him. Best of luck to him, his family, and their future.
    alifeincomplete
    Oh that's heartbreaking, but I wish him the best. I fear that it does not bode well for the future of franchise mode.

    He worked 80-90 hour weeks and franchise barely changes so I highly doubt he was working on franchise. If he was then EA must have been having a lot of memory issues where his work wasn't getting saved.
    Would love for someone like that to write a book with stories. That many years he has seen some crazy stuff go down.
    bigd51
    That's a hell of a lot of shade he's throwing at EA there lol

    That's how the AAA video game industry works; that backbreaking laborious circumstance isn't unique to EA Tiburon. Not that it's not problematic - it most certainly is - but the work-life balance problem only solves itself entirely by leaving the video game industry outright. I'm sure Josh, who certainly has plenty of industry connections outside of Tiburon, would be the first to tell you this.
    That aside, congratulations to Josh on those seventeen years and thanks for his work on Madden, a lot of the stuff he worked on is stuff I have enjoyed in the game the most. I also wish him the best of luck wherever he's going next. The AAA video game industry is a bit of a hellscape right now, and I do kinda envy that he's has the energy (possibly also the insanity? lol) to continue to stay in it after all this time.
    CM Hooe
    That's how the AAA video game industry works; that backbreaking laborious circumstance isn't unique to EA Tiburon. Not that it's not problematic - it most certainly is - but the work-life balance problem only solves itself entirely by leaving the video game industry outright. I'm sure Josh, who certainly has plenty of industry connections outside of Tiburon, would be the first to tell you this.
    That aside, congratulations to Josh on those seventeen years and thanks for his work on Madden, a lot of the stuff he worked on is stuff I have enjoyed in the game the most. I also wish him the best of luck wherever he's going next. The AAA video game industry is a bit of a hellscape right now, and I do kinda envy that he's has the energy (possibly also the insanity? lol) to continue to stay in it after all this time.

    Yeah, I get that. Hell, you hear stories all the time from Tell/Tale to Rockstar about the brutal work hours, so I know it's not exclusive to Tiburon.
    I was more looking at all of his comments put together. "Development wars", "we all wake up from the dream"... especially the "make a huge impact on the game industry" one is what struck me the most because if we're being honest, EA -- not just EA Sports, but EA as a whole -- hasn't made a huge impact on the gaming industry in a long time. At least, not in the way I consider making an impact on the gaming industry like games such as God of War, Red Dead, and The Last of Us.
    It's one thing to work 80-90 hour weeks on a game like those three and get universal acclaim for all the hard work you put into it... but it's a whole other let down when you put in all that hard work for a game that gets universally panned year in and year out because the suits up top refuse to get out of their own ways.
    Which is why I wish him the best. Hopefully, whatever joy he lost slaving over Madden, he can rediscover somewhere else in the industry.
    It’s not a coincidence that everyone is leaving that’s been working on Madden. Your product stinks. What happen to the madden that you use to have radio shows play in the background in the franchise mode menu, training camps, Chris Colinsworth show track(or whatever that feature is called) fight for the fumble. They have scrapped good things about the game I mean hell the challenge system has been broke for decades in franchise when you look at team rankings they don’t even list team seeds they FREAKIN LIST OVERALL TEAM RANKING!!!!!! This product is broke and stupid me still buys the product PRAYING they get there heads out there a** and listen to the fans. I live and die by franchise I’m sorry I hate ultimate team and always will just not my thing and just pray one year that they basically steal my money I actually will be surprised and go back to the days of PS1 and PS2 days. Sorry for my rant but the good people like Josh who care about the game are leaving cause the company does not give A rats you know what about the fans just that money. #SELLTO2K
    He was the creator of Connected Franchise and destroyed a solid franchise mode. I’m happy for him from a personal perspective but he trashed a big part of that game.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    I agree with you ,  I’ve always hated connected career mode. Hearing all of the horror stories from devs and game changers alike, I have no faith in the future of Madden, and it’s sad for me to say that. 
    aholbert32
    He was the creator of Connected Franchise and destroyed a solid franchise mode. I’m happy for him from a personal perspective but he trashed a big part of that game.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Which is wild when you look at how deep HC09 was.
    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    so far these comments are harsh.
    A man is leaving a company, and folks post negative comments...
    Good luck to him and his next endeavor....
    tril
    so far these comments are harsh.
    A man is leaving a company, and folks post negative comments...
    Good luck to him and his next endeavor....
    No respect for most of these comments...filled with negativity. Be better people.
    Very sad to hear this news from a selfish perspective, but I do hope Josh finds his next endeavor even more rewarding. He's the only developer I ever had contact with. He always answered my questions openly and honestly and did an especially solid job on Madden 12, which I played for 5 straight years.
    I wish that his vision for Franchise Mode was embraced and enacted many years ago. In my humble opinion, Franchise Mode today would be light years ahead of where it currently sits if that had been the case.
    edgevoice
    Very sad to hear this news from a selfish perspective, but I do hope Josh finds his next endeavor even more rewarding. He's the only developer I ever had contact with. He always answered my questions openly and honestly and did an especially solid job on Madden 12, which I played for 5 straight years.
    I wish that his vision for Franchise Mode was embraced and enacted many years ago. In my humble opinion, Franchise Mode today would be light years ahead of where it currently sits if that had been the case.

    Lol really? Kane99 was here for years as an active member of the community before he got sucked into the vortex that is the Madden team. :y11:
    When you look at the hours worked and the product that's ultimately produced, this should lend even more evidence that companies should look at investing in multiple development teams to work on a game. Cut people's hours by giving them a 24-month (I know it'd be less than that, but using as a ballpark) development cycle over a 12-month cycle.
    I understand that's easier said than done and companies aren't willing to sacrifice profits for the health and well-being of associates (there's always someone waiting to take your job), but it would be nice if a company broke from the norm and tried to do something different.
    Congrats to Josh on lasting 17 years, and hope his next endeavor works out well for him.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    Lol really? Kane99 was here for years as an active member of the community before he got sucked into the vortex that is the Madden team. :y11:

    And Kane is pretty much the only developer that still comes around in these forums. I it’s know not as often as he used to but he’ll still chime in on threads having to do with equipment from time to time and has attempted to answer questions if people direct them at him.
    DJ
    When you look at the hours worked and the product that's ultimately produced, this should lend even more evidence that companies should look at investing in multiple development teams to work on a game. Cut people's hours by giving them a 24-month (I know it'd be less than that, but using as a ballpark) development cycle over a 12-month cycle.
    I understand that's easier said than done and companies aren't willing to sacrifice profits for the health and well-being of associates (there's always someone waiting to take your job), but it would be nice if a company broke from the norm and tried to do something different.
    Congrats to Josh on lasting 17 years, and hope his next endeavor works out well for him.

    100%. For the amount of money generated by this game, it wouldn't even make a dent in their profits to hire more staff and ease the burden on their employees. Impressive that he last that long. Hard to know exactly what he was responsible for, but he achieved a lot and had a hand in some very big modes that have produced countless hours of fun for all of us.
    TheShizNo1
    Which is wild when you look at how deep HC09 was.
    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

    Which is exactly why I feel so-called CFM was not a direction Josh was completely sold on, yet had no choice.
    Josh, nor any other game developer, could possibly have been responsible for attempting to marry both offline franchise mode with online game modes. That decision would have had to come from above.
    We were sold that this was a good idea, in that every improvement and added feature would benefit all modes. When one of the first moves they made was to remove player editing in Franchise Mode, since this would trigger abuse regarding online play, that told me that online game modes were the filter that all decisions must first pass through, before being introduced in offline modes.
    I actually did speak with my wallet and refused to buy the game again until Madden 17 reintroduced full player editing and began putting at least some effort into the franchise experience.
    I personally believe Josh did the best he could, given the circumstances handed down from above. Again, I wish him all the best.
    edgevoice
    Which is exactly why I feel so-called CFM was not a direction Josh was completely sold on, yet had no choice.
    Josh, nor any other game developer, could possibly have been responsible for attempting to marry both offline franchise mode with online game modes. That decision would have had to come from above.
    We were sold that this was a good idea, in that every improvement and added feature would benefit all modes. When one of the first moves they made was to remove player editing in Franchise Mode, since this would trigger abuse regarding online play, that told me that online game modes were the filter that all decisions must first pass through, before being introduced in offline modes.
    I actually did speak with my wallet and refused to buy the game again until Madden 17 reintroduced full player editing and began putting at least some effort into the franchise experience.
    I personally believe Josh did the best he could, given the circumstances handed down from above. Again, I wish him all the best.

    There is nothing that I disagree with in this post, 100% spot on.
    douevenbench
    No respect for most of these comments...filled with negativity. Be better people.

    I wish him well. It doesn’t erase the fact that his biggest contribution was a flop imo. It also doesn’t help that he was pretty dismissive of people who complained about connected franchise when it first was introduced.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    Lol really? Kane99 was here for years as an active member of the community before he got sucked into the vortex that is the Madden team. :y11:

    Yes. Really. The statement I made was the truth. I did not say, nor imply, that he was the only dev who made himself available. Rex made himself highly visible until the cesspool that social media can be forced him off of it. I also remember Ian doing videos on YouTube.
    Remember we got long shot and the qb1 mode. He was a lead designer on those modes. Long shot took 2 years to develop. I also remember a few youtubers mentioning they don't have the manpower to do more in CFM. I can't blame Looman for everything. Most of Maddens issues go way above the devs heads.
    Sent from my LM-Q720 using Tapatalk
    tril
    so far these comments are harsh.
    A man is leaving a company, and folks post negative comments...
    Good luck to him and his next endeavor....

    douevenbench
    No respect for most of these comments...filled with negativity. Be better people.

    Perhaps I'm missing something, but I saw one somewhat negative comment from aholbert about Looman and it was based on a creative decision not some rampant meanness. He explained why he felt that way and didn't glorify it. Otherwise everyone else is more dreading what it means about CFM or wishing him well.
    (My comment about fight the fumble I'm pretty sure has nothing to do with Looman, I was just commenting on a post above saying they were bummed it was gone.)
    ChaseB
    Perhaps I'm missing something, but I saw one somewhat negative comment from aholbert about Looman and it was based on a creative decision not some rampant meanness. He explained why he felt that way and didn't glorify it. Otherwise everyone else is more dreading what it means about CFM or wishing him well.
    (My comment about fight the fumble I'm pretty sure has nothing to do with Looman, I was just commenting on a post above saying they were bummed it was gone.)

    Exactly. I wish the guy well. I support anyone who wants to make a career path change so they can be with their family more.
    With that said, I’m not going to sugarcoat the past. I remember how he responded during the first year he implemented CF and how much he initially pushed back on 30 team control and player editing. I also can’t forget that the mode started to improve in the ways I wanted it to once he was no longer completely involved with CF.
    It’s possible to wish someone well but also remember how he actually performed in the position
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    aholbert32
    Exactly. I wish the guy well. I support anyone who wants to make a career path change so they can be with their family more.
    With that said, I’m not going to sugarcoat the past. I remember how he responded during the first year he implemented CF and how much he initially pushed back on 30 team control and player editing. I also can’t forget that the mode started to improve in the ways I wanted it to once he was no longer completely involved with CF.
    It’s possible to wish someone well but also remember how he actually performed in the position
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

    Couldn't say it better myself.
    Too bad the NFL license still belongs to EA exclusively--otherwise I'd say "Maybe Josh can develop a new NFL Head Coach title with a better publisher/developer."
    No way to know exactly what Josh contributed, but I suspect he was responsible for a lot of the good "sim" aspects of Madden. I think the sim community will be worse off with him gone.
    ijumpedthegun
    Too bad the NFL license still belongs to EA exclusively--otherwise I'd say "Maybe Josh can develop a new NFL Head Coach title with a better publisher/developer."
    No way to know exactly what Josh contributed, but I suspect he was responsible for a lot of the good "sim" aspects of Madden. I think the sim community will be worse off with him gone.

    IMO, NFL Head Coach was the best football game EA ever created. I was blown away by the depth and fun of it all. It even allowed me to let go of NFL2K5. Then they canceled it, I was ticked but they said they were bringing Josh to Madden and would integrate some of HC into Madden. Well now we're 10+ years later and that never really happened and likely never will happen.
    To be clear, I don't blame Josh for Madden's crappy franchise mode. I believe Josh wanted to do more and we know he was capable.
    Best of luck to you, Josh.
    "Hey, coach what do you want to work on today?"
    truryder4life
    CFM was a bust? Wow I had no idea. My online league is the only reason I've played Madden for the past 10 years.

    Playing with people you have a good time with solves most issues in most games. It's a video game's inherent magical power, especially in sports games.
    By franchise mode, one would think he means CFM. Also, I'm sorry dsk but you have to know a post calling multiple developers liars is not going to fly, especially in this context and this thread.
    ChaseB
    By franchise mode, one would think he means CFM. Also, I'm sorry dsk but you have to know a post calling multiple developers liars is not going to fly, especially in this context and this thread.

    If he had meant CFM, he would've written the acronym, not the lengthier Franchise Mode.
    Also, I was not calling anyone a liar, I was making a factual statement. I guess you want to keep your site members in the dark, so you can remain in good standing with EA/Tiburon. I could post tweets and videos, ones that prove EA/Tiburon boldly lied to US, the consumer.
    I did not post an opinion, I posted FACTS. Tell me, I beg of you, what does this site have against the TRUTH?
    I feel like I'm just being meme'd on now so I dunno what to think honestly. You're coming on so strong, it almost feels manufactured. If you're being serious, you have to dial it back a little.
    If you want to post tweets and videos about this, you can do that -- though without some nuance I don't think the thread would stay open long -- I was simply trying to say this does not exactly seem like the thread for it.
    i dont know whether to be happy or sad
    i wish him the best rl > all
    since cfm/connected was introduced franchise went down the toilet imo. hco6/09, ncaa14, madden 08 and others, and nfl25 all had bits that were better than most later maddens. they stripped things out as mut progressed and reintroduced some as new features saying how good they were to us
    i bear Josh no ill will, i do distrust EA and the NFL more to continue with a meaningful franchise experience now though
    dsk1317
    If he had meant CFM, he would've written the acronym, not the lengthier Franchise Mode.
    Also, I was not calling anyone a liar, I was making a factual statement. I guess you want to keep your site members in the dark, so you can remain in good standing with EA/Tiburon. I could post tweets and videos, ones that prove EA/Tiburon boldly lied to US, the consumer.
    I did not post an opinion, I posted FACTS. Tell me, I beg of you, what does this site have against the TRUTH?

    I've given EA praise when praise is due, but I've also really heavily criticized the company on this site. None of my posts have ever been taken down and nobody has ever asked that I refrain from criticism. You just have to do it in a way that's tactful and well-reasoned.
    Franchise mode is the ONLY way I play Madden. So that I didn't completely quit playing Madden, I have to give big thanks to Josh Looman. Time will tell if this is a positive or negative for Madden, but I'm glad to hear it's 100% positive for him.
    Good luck in the future! I didn't like everything in franchise mode, and I'm certain he was shut down on many ideas for what he wanted to do, but I appreciate what was created over the years.
    My “bye Felicia” post was deleted for being “dumb.”
    I would like to explain my use of the phrase.
    “Bye Felicia” comes from the 1995 film “Friday” when Ice Cube’s character Craig dismissively says goodbye to Angela Mean’s character, Felicia. Craig is often annoyed by Felicia and her shortcomings and is thankful when she leaves in the referenced scene. Due to the popularity of the movie, “Bye Felicia” became a saying in American pop culture when you are saying goodbye to someone in a dismissive way. A way in which you’re thankful they are gone.
    Now, I’ll say I wish Josh Looman well, and his family, and I hope he was great success in whatever he strives for, and that his family has the success hard work deserves. Josh Looman worked hard. But I am a results man.
    So having that said... I’m glad he is leaving. Franchise mode in Madden has lagged behind franchise mode in other AAA titles for years, and lacks direction, and is bland and boring after a couple seasons. Fact. Many aspects of the mode have gone unchanged for years; it lacks even basic stat tracking like “team played for.”
    So maybe Looman leaving is good, maybe it is bad.... but I am in favor of ANY change that MIGHT bring positive changes to Franchise mode. Maybe Franchise mode will still stink after Looman, or maybe it will get better. Since it has been a stinker of a mode for a DECADE... I’ll take my chances with ANYONE else working on that mode, as with him being there it has not led to a good franchise mode. I’m sorry to say but it’s true.
    I long for an engaging Franchise mode. He could have worked there another 10 years, but it was hard to believe after the past 10 years, that would be a good thing.
    Bye Mr. Looman
    IcedCoffee1983
    My “bye Felicia” post was deleted for being “dumb.”

    Thanks for explaining to those that saw the original post.
    I was one of them that didn't see it and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
    roadman
    Thanks for explaining to those that saw the original post.
    I was one of them that didn't see it and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

    You didn't miss anything, all it said was "bye Felicia" haha
    So the second attempt was really the first attempt.
    Shosum13
    And Kane is pretty much the only developer that still comes around in these forums. I it’s know not as often as he used to but he’ll still chime in on threads having to do with equipment from time to time and has attempted to answer questions if people direct them at him.

    Uniforms were a joke before Kane. Always little things, and who could forget the Madden tradition to mess up two different random uniforms each year. I swear I thought they did it on purpose.!!
    Not sure how to feel about his departure to be frank, except to wish him well in his future endeavours.
    It's my understanding that it was Looman who was largely responsible for the old franchise mode and the Head Coach games , which for many represent the high water mark for these type of game modes
    However it is also my understanding that he was the driving force for the current implementation of CFM ( with its cart before horse progression system , its inflexibile structure and drop off in features from its predecessor ) and a major proponent ( along with Mike Young ) of the Longshot modes , which I feel have seriously impacted on CFMs development.
    A few years ago he would do yearly podcast interviews with people from this forum and would seem genuinely invested in improving the mode , however the last one I listened to did offer a slightly worrying ( to me ) insight into the future and gave indications that the Longshot type mode was where he hoped the future was going
    He also used to occasionally interact on twitter , before it became too toxic , and I remember having a lengthy interaction with him over XP , where he insisted progression based on production was realistic as it reflected the weekly roster updates that EA pushes out , which left a sour taste in my mouth
    So all together mixed feelings , but wish him well

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