Connect with us

Madden Needs a Star or EA Needs to Make One

Madden NFL 18

Madden Needs a Star or EA Needs to Make One

It was only a few years ago when Call of Duty was gaining traction on the global esports scene. Once the explosion started and became “mainstream”, there was no stopping the phenomenon. There were, however, two things made the jump happen as fast as it did: one was developer support and second was star power.

Through Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and other social media channels, stars were born. One of the most notable is Matt Haag, a former McDonalds employee who has since captained one of the largest esports organizations, then owned a percentage of it, sold it and launched his own brand. He has grabbed over 2.2 million followers on Twitter, 2.9 million subs on YouTube and over 700K followers on Twitch — not to mention the millions of dollars he has made from both competing and growing his Nadeshot brand.

And it doesn’t stop there, look at Ian Porter (Crimsix), Kuro Takhasomi (KuroKy), Jae Dong (Jaedong) and Lee Sang-hyeok (Faker). Stars in the esports world are the faces of their organization, their brand, their sponsors and their game.

Madden’s Missing Star

For Madden, this is missing in a major way. Sure, there are fan favorites like Problem and last year’s Madden Champ Skimbo, but nobody has taken the reigns and ran with the idea of being “the guy” in this area. Being the main attraction has a lot of responsibilities, first and foremost is being marketable. And that means being relatable, fun and entertaining.

Large corporations like Pepsi, Audi and Gillette don’t want to have to deal with immature, expletive-ridden rants on social media — if anything they will flee from that sort of nonsense as fast as they can in the other direction. Esports professionals, just like real athletes, will be ridiculed, torn apart and dissected.

That is just how the game works. There is no difference between event or tournament buildup and the buildup we see weekly on ESPN and NFL Network for the weekend’s slate of games. Do they think they’re safe from ridicule because they play a video game? Or that they can say what they want because “nobody takes Madden serious as an esport”?

You’re in the spotlight and everyone is going to have an opinion.

In one specific instance recently, top eSport talent for Madden attacked Larry Ridley in a very public way on Twitter. Ridley, by the way, is trying to help build EA Sports’ esport brand and bring together more of the Madden community.

In case nobody is understanding of how this works, that is what makes the eSports enterprise more money. More eyes equals more money.

A Star Needs to be Born

Madden needs a star to rise before EA Sports has to create one themselves. Someone has to be a solid content creator, build a bigger following on Twitch and beyond, have talent, put in hours of work and win. It’s not easy, but in the world of esports careers are not 10-plus years. Being the face of Madden could help you stretch out your career, build a personal brand that lasts, and also help you create a positive atmosphere for the future of the esport.

Hopefully Madden 18 will be the year that we’re able to see a star rise to the top and be successful as the face of the franchise.

14 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Discussion
  1. Interesting article. Not sure that EA can create a star, but I do struggle to connect to any of the online guys. The guys I connect to are more laid back youtubers, who are not in the competitive scene. This group needs more love.
    Most of that article was gibberish to me. Not a knock on the writer, just a reflection of my personal value system where social media scores exactly a 0.
    The problem for madden is 2 fold, imo.
    1. The community is splintered and it is splintered in a bitter way, at least from one side of things. Competitive players probably don't care much one way or the other about sim players. SIM players, however, have a severe distaste for the competitive style of play and how it has influenced the game. The SIM community is not going to follow a competitive star because they view competitive play as a negative. They don't respect it and feel it taints the purity of the game of football.
    2. EA contributes to this division with efforts like M18. The SIM community feels pretty slighted and isn't happy about it. The idea that the SIM community would support at EA star is a farce at this point. An EA critic? Absolutely. An EA star? Absolutely not.
    And here's the rub: a large portion of the devoted madden community are offline and/or solo CFM players. EA caters to online, social media connected non SIM players.
    The SIM community wants a game EA will not make. EA wants a devoted, united fan base that it cannot get without either giving the SIM community the deep, deep franchise experience it wants or isolating the SIM community into exile and just going all in on the MUT/arcade style of play.
    Unlike other (sports) video games, football is truly a team game. There is no equivalent in football to a LBJ or Messi. It is not a FPS. It requires teamwork, strategic IQ, and off the field savvy. EA is producing an embarrassing version of NFL football that caters to a style of play that opposes the very aspects of football that we have loved and respected in real life.
    If EA can figure that out and change direction, social media stars will come.
    Be Good Or Be Gone
    Sent from Galaxy S8+
    GT roll2tide
    Let's play Madden or Fifa!
    Impossible to have a competitive star until they make a game that rewards competitors for employing sound football strategy and tactics. Running money plays and exploiting the bad programming of ai controlled players for the victory will never capture the imagination or admiration of football fans.
    Negative.........EA Sports should stick to sports games. If EA want to do Esports, do it with Battlefield series or bring Medal of Honor series back and do it with those 2 series. Nadeshot is highly annoying and so are the majority of Esports royalty. Hell most of the members of EA's Ronku program and other EA affiliates have become highly annoying too.
    Madden don't need that.
    In order for the Madden e-sports community to create a star player, the Madden video game itself needs more mechanics with which to allow users to better showcase their individual creativity and personality during gameplay. Target passing might be a starting point if that were required during competitive play, but I don't think that's enough. Honestly, it's going to be very difficult with football to allow for the sort of flair you see from users in FPS / MOBA / RTS games because there are so many CPU controlled characters with very rigid assignments on a play-to-play basis, and as a user deviating from your assignment can completely break a play, especially on defense.
    Madden probably ought to implement and surface some advanced stat tracking to showcase how effectively individual users are playing the game as well. For example, if I'm watching Problem Wright user-control a linebacker on his MUT Salary Cap team, show me stats for how well he plays that position in various assignments - how well is he is executing his run fits, how often he beats blocks, how often he is successfully pattern reading in zone coverages, how well he's sticking to his assignment in man coverage, and so on. Football more than any other sport really needs more than the standard counting stats to evaluate how well a player is performing, and unfortunately Madden doesn't track anything like that right now.
    For a star to come or for anyone to care Madden has to not have money plays and things that don't look like football that are necessary to win at the highest levels. We're so far from that point that I don't think Madden will be a serious eSports game in the foreseeable future.
    @roll2tide the 2 play styles are not mutually exclusive.
    EA's design team at Tiburon has never been able to make up it's mind how it would address the various flaws in the game that were exposed via meta-play of moving Madden online starting in the PS:2 days. Clear design flaws that allowed for things like nano-blitzes, putting any player at any position regardless of actual game rules, crazy defences or going for it on every 4th down. All kinds of clearly crazy flaws are now considered to have been intended to be that way for increased competition and higher skill players.
    @DaSmerg I think a lot of SIM players feel that the 2 styles are mutually exclusive.
    See, the SIM guys can't play MUT. Or ranked H2H. Or online multi-user CFM unless he finds one with rules to his liking. The styles of play in those modes turn a lot of people off.
    So, a lot of SIM guys stick to solo CFM. And what is EA offering them? Junk. Broken junk. And Why? Where was the focus? Why wasn't CFM heavily improved?
    Read through the main madden threads. Post after post in thread after thread you see mention that EA doesn't care about CFM or the community that supports it.
    Be Good Or Be Gone
    Sent from Galaxy S8+
    GT roll2tide
    Let's play Madden or Fifa!
    DaSmerg
    @roll2tide the 2 play styles are not mutually exclusive.
    EA's design team at Tiburon has never been able to make up it's mind how it would address the various flaws in the game that were exposed via meta-play of moving Madden online starting in the PS:2 days. Clear design flaws that allowed for things like nano-blitzes, putting any player at any position regardless of actual game rules, crazy defences or going for it on every 4th down. All kinds of clearly crazy flaws are now considered to have been intended to be that way for increased competition and higher skill players.

    Just want to point out that none of the things you mention are really indicative of competitive online play in MUT.
    Nano blitzes are not an issue anymore. I mean, some sim guys definitely struggle because they are used to nerfing pass rushes via sliders instead of utilizing the pre-snap tools the game provides to shut them down.
    About the only position swapping I see are guys using TEs as FBs.
    I have no idea what you mean by crazy defenses.
    Going for it on 4th down is actually not an issue, because field position has never been more important. Guys that go for 4th and longs on their own side of the field are not competitive. Similarly, on-side kicks are rare unless you are losing late in the game for the same reason.
    While MUT is not sim, it is not because gameplay and strategy are not realistic. It's because quarter length is shorter, which means offenses do have to be more aggressive. But it is the noobs that think the 4 minute quarters mean they have to play like morons.
    But the real beauty of MUT is that it is more like real life in that you learn to play based on the conditions of the game. There is no adjusting sliders so that you run game is better, or your QB has more time. Unlike solo play, the emphasis is on competition, not creating an illusion of competition, where you adjust the game to produce the results you want.
    The best is seeing my MUT team go down 14-0 early, only to work at finding solutions to the problems my opponent is presenting, then turning the tide to win. There is no whining about what plays my opponent should run, or how successful he should be. It's using the tools the game gives you to to solve your opponents' strategy.
    That's why it is such a strong callback to to the old days when my Madden playing was mostly on the couch with friends. While the whole sim thing was fun for awhile, it is fun to play the game competitively instead of as a paint-by-number set.
    That's not to say that sim playing isn't great fun. But I tire of sim guys constantly mischaracterizing what online play is just to appear as though their preference is superior than what others enjoy. EA has taken taken the the issues with online play seriously and really created a fun and fair way to play.
    Fascinating: at its core, Madden is made for competitive play like Tekken or Splatoon. However, because it is so flawed representing many fundamental aspects of the sport (like blocking) the game itself may never be "sound" enough to garner top billing in the esports world.
    Yeah , the REAL reason Madden isn't big in the esports world is that it is deeply flawed and not a good representation of the game it attempts to be.
    Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk
    timhere1970
    Impossible to have a competitive star until they make a game that rewards competitors for employing sound football strategy and tactics. Running money plays and exploiting the bad programming of ai controlled players for the victory will never capture the imagination or admiration of football fans.

    This 10x over. Watching the last few madden bus tours and going to several competitions alls I can say is WOW.
    What a bunch of trash. Absolute trash. None of them have any clue about real football, just what money plays to run. Every player literally ran the same 2 to 3 defensive plays, and about 5 different offensive plays.
    Those that tried any sort of "Simulation" play were destroyed.
    SteelD34KC
    This 10x over. Watching the last few madden bus tours and going to several competitions alls I can say is WOW.
    What a bunch of trash. Absolute trash. None of them have any clue about real football, just what money plays to run. Every player literally ran the same 2 to 3 defensive plays, and about 5 different offensive plays.
    Those that tried any sort of "Simulation" play were destroyed.
    Yes. May as well be playing techmo bowl
    Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk
Continue Reading

More in Madden NFL 18

Trending


Related

To Top