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Madden NFL 18's Connected Franchise Mode Comes Up Short: Here's Why

Madden NFL 18

Madden NFL 18's Connected Franchise Mode Comes Up Short: Here's Why

Sports games have a certain responsibility to perform regular upkeep on their game modes. There’s an unspoken agreement between a game’s developers and its fans that as long as people maintain their enthusiasm for a mode, it will then continue to update and evolve with each passing year as needed. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case with Madden’s Connected Franchise Mode. With a UI that’s largely been unchanged since 2013 and with few ground-breaking innovations in that time, CFM has fallen by the wayside as the more lucrative Madden Ultimate Team has continued to see the majority of EA’s attention. In the last few years, it’s as if the neglected CFM has gradually become like an overgrown backyard that’s desperately in need of a groundskeeper’s touch, or an overlooked room where the paint flaking off the walls is screaming out for a fresh coat.

For me, the frustration with the arrested development of CFM has reached new heights now with Madden 18, where there are few changes that will satisfy any hardcore franchise players that have been calling out for a more substantial overhaul for the last couple of years. That’s not to say Madden 18 doesn’t bring anything new to the table at all, but it’s obvious just how little time and effort went into improving the mode when so many of the points on Madden 18’s Franchise blog involve “tuning” various aspects of the mode rather than the implementation of anything new.

What Has Actually Changed…

When trying to place this year’s paltry CFM updates in order of importance, it becomes a little difficult to gauge which of them might actually excite fans the most. Surely, there are those who will be pleased with the opportunity to play a game in conjunction with the real-life NFL schedule and then jump into the season from that point on with their favorite team.

Or perhaps some will delight in the new customizable draft board that allows for placing your draft prospects in any order you like. It’s possible, albeit a littleobsessive, that there might even be someone out there who’s had their own personal CFM wish granted with the chance to make more preseason cuts or have their starters get more realistic playing time in those preseason games.

To be fair, one of this year’s best CFM additions is probably the mode-specific commentary from Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis that continually references specific achievements in your franchise, such as when players have reached season or career milestones, or the duo will also provide a breakdown of the playoff picture and where your team stands within it.

There have also been some valuable adjustments to both player progression and regression that are designed to make for a more realistic experience in seeing players develop over multiple seasons and then have them fade out of the league fairly quickly to replicate the relatively short careers of the average NFL player.

Where’s the Progress?

Then there are those areas that have seen some attention this year but they just haven’t been changed quite enough to satisfy the lofty expectations of those that were hoping for more than just a tweak. Injuries, for instance, have been fine tuned this year on simulation to allow for more players to go down regularly but not necessarily miss a huge chunk of time.

It would be nice, however, to see more ambiguity when it comes to injuries, resulting in the kind of uncertain timetable for return that leads to the real-life designations of questionable, doubtful or out for players each week. It would also be nice to see more variety in the injuries. I haven’t once encountered plantar fasciitis or even your standard-issue burner. But I’ve seen a million bruised ribs.

Free agency is another franchise component that has grown increasingly stagnant, despite slight changes this year to prevent players from immediately accepting deals for far below what they’re actually worth. Other than that, it’s still the same old few periods of advancement that allow users to easily outbid the CPU for players or anyone to swoop in and make a winning bid right before advance in online franchises.

In order to make this process more realistic and challenging, there needs to be more cutthroat counter-bidding from CPU-controlled teams and free agents that are influenced by their own idiosyncratic personal desires of where they want to play.

Updates that Fell Short

But some of this year’s updates designed to fix issues that have plagued CFM in the past seem to just flat out not work.

For instance, there’s been an attempt by EA to make position grades more accurately reflect the talent that’s on a roster. However, I experienced a situation where my team didn’t have a kicker on the roster but still somehow managed to score a “B-” grade at the position with the punter temporarily slotted in as kicker. Needless to say, that’s a pretty optimistic assessment of a considerably dire kicking situation. EA also claims that quarterbacks will no longer retire quite as early in their career as they did in the past, specifically mentioning how a 40-year old cover boy Tom Brady will no longer hang up his cleats after only one season, but that didn’t stop Eli Manning from retiring after the 2017 season in my franchise when that looks as if it’s entirely unlikely to happen in real life.

It would be one thing if these new tuning mishaps were merely an anomaly when it comes to CFM, but the truth is that it’s all right in line with an interface that’s so dusty at this point that it might as well be covered in cobwebs.

It doesn’t take long when navigating the familiar franchise menus to start seeing glitches rear their ugly heads. Whether it’s Odell Beckham lacking a stat line for his 2016 season or a cornerback depth chart that sees #3 inexplicably left blank and then insists on listing multiple #3’s when you try to rectify the error — there’s certainly no shortage of annoying hiccups and oversights that could easily be fixed if only EA were willing to devote the time and resources to do so.

The Mode’s Future: Uncertain

Aside from merely working out some of these persistent bugs, the real question facing EA when it comes to CFM is what they should really be focused on doing in order to significantly improve the mode going forward. It’s been suggested by creative director Rex Dickson that next year will finally be the one where they get around to the franchise overhaul that’s so badly needed (a move that’s supposedly been delayed in order to sync franchise features with NBA Live), so what are the areas where Madden’s CFM simply doesn’t measure up?

It must be said that there are components of its foundation that are perfectly serviceable, with last year’s addition of Play The Moments providing a welcome ability to breeze through games quickly while still offering the user enough control to feel as if you have impacted the outcome.

Madden’s CFM also boasts one of the more involving scouting and draft systems of any sports game, rewarding those who invest the time throughout the season to find the NFL’s next superstars while also allowing for some hidden gems to be unearthed in later rounds.

Where’s the Differences?

The biggest drawback of Madden 18’s CFM though still appears to be the total lack of exciting storylines from around the league to keep you invested and differentiate each year from the next.

There’s no league with as much inherent drama on a week-to-week basis as the NFL, so why are we not seeing that reflected in our franchises? As it is now, the main CFM menu will cycle through a few bland stories and tweets of what’s happening around the league. The only problem is that these will often be at least a week behind and leave you confused as to why people in the league are still talking about that loss you had last week when you just finished winning a game.

We should be provided with a much more detailed weekly breakdown of who’s playing well, who’s not, notable injuries, league leaders, highlights from other games and bonus points if they can package all of this and more into some sort of in-game show. This may sound like a lot to ask for, but imagine how much it would raise the bar for franchise modes if they were able to pull it off.

Final Thoughts

Setting aside any number of innovative ideas that could and should be implemented, some of the most necessary alterations to Madden’s CFM are purely cosmetic in nature. Those of us who pick up the game every year are simply tired of seeing the same old menus and screens within the mode while EA tries its best to convince us that even though everything looks the same, there’s been a lot of tinkering going on under the hood.

We have waited patiently while EA perennially puts CFM on the back burner in favor of other modes like MUT or this year’s story mode Longshot, and can only hope to be rewarded for our loyalty to the series by having our concerns and suggestions heard.

As we begin to look ahead to Madden NFL 19 and contemplate everything that we hope it will be, all of us out here in Franchise Nation should at least be unified in the same desire: We want this lawn mowed. We want these walls re-painted.

Be sure to leave your own thoughts on this year’s CFM in the comments!

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  1. Well said. We do need an overhaul to the mode. They really should start from scratch. I do enjoy some of their innovations, like play the moments and stuff, but the meat is not there. Anyhow, I am curious what they mean when they say that they want to sync the franchise features with NBA Live? These are two different sports, some franchise aspects can be similar, but there should be a lot of differences. I am concerned about that
    I tried to start a franchise during the EA Access trial and found myself bored of it before I ever started a game. Too much of it looks exactly the same as it has been for years now. It's disappointing because I really like the graphics and gameplay. The lack of attention to CFM is why I decided to skip the game this year. I don't even want to get it used anymore. 
    A Madden Frachise Mode hasn’t been great since it left ps3 & next Gen. Madden franchise was great when allowed you to hire/fire Head Coaches, Coordinators, all while still letting you rebuild a new stadium or even relocate. EA purchased the 2k series years ago, while everyone was excited about the move thinking we’d be getting better features along with the better graphics etc. only to be let down. Meanwhile the 2k series in basketball is STILL outdoing any EA game to date, implementing all the perfect features to make you My Player/GM/Frachise Mode as close to realism there is. Madden Franchise won’t ever be the same unless it’s an actual gamer to begin creating the Mode. 2k series football had ESPN segments with Chris Berhman before drafting or even before a game began, while in gameplay it would show highlights from other games going on if you’re in franchise mode, it was the best you can ever ask for out a sports game. Here we are years later and Madden is still failing to satisfy buyers. The graphics and gameplay is cool but people expect more with the game modes. 2k basketball series let’s you download draft classes that someone may have created while in your season or just save them after download and meanwhile in Madden it’s no way, you have to settle for unknown players and go thru an editing process. It’s ridiculous!!
    The loss of the NCAA Football series killed CFM for me.  If they would allow the downloading of community created draft classes (like the 2K basketball series) that could change my mind. 
    EA need to find someone else for working on Franchise Mode in NBA live.  John White and his team should do overhauled on CFM in Madden 19
    there are alot missing things for Madden's CFM 
    realistic storylines
    full coaching staffs : assistant coach, offense, defense and special team coordinators
    team chemistry and morales
    option for open roof  to allow rain or snow come inside stadium like Colts, Cardinals and Cowboys
    team expansion with build new stadium on any cities
    New CFM UI menu
    As someone who is not interested in playing the CPU this mode is dead to me. As soon as they give me ability to send a friends invite from the team selection screen (or otherwise give me the ability to play a human when playing against non-human controlled teams) I will never play this mode. Me and my buddy couldn't even "Share Play" this mode and play each other....which to us is really bizarre considering you can hot seat and take control of the other team. It's unfortunate because if we could play each other (while online or via share play) it would be the only mode we play.
    Just to play devil's advocate, you say at the beginning, "There’s an unspoken agreement between a game’s developers and its fans that as long as people maintain their enthusiasm for a mode..."
    Perhaps that's the issue. Does EA's data show that people just aren't playing connected franchise enough to warrant the commitment?
    Doesn't Madden always disappoint? EA strings us along like no other video game company.  Look at MLB The Show and NBA 2K. They are always light years ahead.  Flat out taking advantage of having the exclusive liscense. It's a joke.
    They should look at the ps2 maddens. Specifically 04-06. Those had a far better franchise mode with realistic restricted free agency. The jump to Xbox 360 and PS3 is when franchise started going down the toilet.
    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Until I can buy 17 used for cheaper, as a franchise only player what's the incentive to buy right now? The few minor changes they made are more of a mockery of how dumb and willing their fanbase is to buy every year. let's take the draft board we implemented last year and make it to where you can move players up and down! Wow such an innovative addition, something that could have been possible over 10 years ago. Or how about every feature that made franchise great in the 2000's being added little by little back into the game as if they are new features? EA knows people will buy their game every year, they have the resources to do better and they have done better in the past. EA does not seem to follow the "build on every year" model of progression that everybody hopes for.
    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Operation Sports mobile app
    craigscar
    Just to play devil's advocate, you say at the beginning, "There’s an unspoken agreement between a game’s developers and its fans that as long as people maintain their enthusiasm for a mode..."
    Perhaps that's the issue. Does EA's data show that people just aren't playing connected franchise enough to warrant the commitment?

    I think I saw on Twitter where 65% of their users played CFM. I could be wrong. As the saying goes, if you want your answer, follow the money.
    Solid article. Good to see things like this be written. I look at a lot of these high review scores out there and can't help but feel the importance of Franchise Mode has fallen really far in the past 5 years. As a consumer, I'm really tired of being told to "just hang in there" and having to take their word that Franchise is getting overhauled, only to be disappointed when the news comes out of what they actually did.
    Or even worse, hearing the excuse that Madden has the best Online Franchise of any sports game.
    I'll also say that I'm worried about this Live Content push in the future. That will likely only be for Cloud Franchises, which is an obvious problem for those who like to control more than one team. With Offline Franchise in the shape it's in right now for Madden 18 where a lot of the stuff is bugged or straight up doesn't work, I think we may be saying goodbye to any significant improvements to that specific section.
    while i agree the UI still isnt good , i really hate when people call for better UI. Why? Because every single year that is about half the " improvements" they spend on CFM and yet its still a mess. But i could deal with this mess, if they would just friggin' put in working features instead. I would much rather they focus on features, making the mode much more in depth, before spending another second on UI.
    I mean they been working on it for years , its not really years worth better. The time needs to be spent instead working on features imo.I just tired of half the improvements being UI ,and it still isnt good.
    I'll be playing my good ole Madden 2007 on my PS2 for my football fix.  Most of my sports gaming time will be going to NBA2K anyways.  Light years ahead of Madden in so many ways..
    Landle
    Doesn't Madden always disappoint? EA strings us along like no other video game company. *Look at MLB The Show and NBA 2K. They are always light years ahead. *Flat out taking advantage of having the exclusive liscense. It's a joke.

    I would agree that 2k is light years ahead when it comes to Franchise Mode, but the Show really hasn't changed much in years. It's the same as Madden, minor tweaks and changes each year. They are another game that needs a complete franchise mode overhaul.
    Quite frankly, there is no excuse why something in Madden 2004 shouldn't not be in Madden 18.
    Madden is the only form of technology I know, where its' older version has more capabilities than the current version.
    Could you imagine if apple ran the iPhone like that? Where the 2007 iPhone had more apps, and depth. But their selling point for the iPhone was that it had a better display and ran smoother???
    These responses disappoint me. I personally think Madden CFM is the best franchise in any sports game and this year's improvements were perfect. Tuning is really all it needed. I played 12 seasons last year with 4 friends across the country and we loved every bit of it. We made 5 or 6 franchise "rules" and stuck to them, having a blast.
    I don't get what everyone wants added? Relocation is in this Madden (you can even move to Vegas). It is such a dynamic game mode with the progression/regression, dev traits, scouting, schemes, etc. Now add all the tuning that has been done this year, and you have a wonderful product.
    True football fans and hardcore CFM fans are thrilled with CFM this year. Unfortunately people now a days just expect a new "wow" factor every year. The fancy cutscenes and whatnot like in 2k. I bet if there was an addition that as a coach you could get a salary and purchase your house and car with that money, then drive to the stadium or practice facility each day, people would say "wow, what a cool game and game mode!". I know people probably also want the "MLB the Show Feel" where you get to be in the locker room. Why does that stuff matter? This Madden brought exactly what it needed, subtle tuning changes, fantastic new gameplay, and the fresh new rosters.
    miamifan1997
    I played 12 seasons last year with 4 friends across the country and we loved every bit of it. We made 5 or 6 franchise "rules" and stuck to them, having a blast.

    This is the difference. I could play an exhibition game of Rocket League with friends and have a great time. Doesn't mean it has the depth a lot of us are looking for.
    People have fun in different ways.
    miamifan1997
    These responses disappoint me. I personally think Madden CFM is the best franchise in any sports game and this year's improvements were perfect. Tuning is really all it needed. I played 12 seasons last year with 4 friends across the country and we loved every bit of it. We made 5 or 6 franchise "rules" and stuck to them, having a blast.
    I don't get what everyone wants added? Relocation is in this Madden (you can even move to Vegas). It is such a dynamic game mode with the progression/regression, dev traits, scouting, schemes, etc. Now add all the tuning that has been done this year, and you have a wonderful product.
    True football fans and hardcore CFM fans are thrilled with CFM this year. Unfortunately people now a days just expect a new "wow" factor every year. The fancy cutscenes and whatnot like in 2k. I bet if there was an addition that as a coach you could get a salary and purchase your house and car with that money, then drive to the stadium or practice facility each day, people would say "wow, what a cool game and game mode!". I know people probably also want the "MLB the Show Feel" where you get to be in the locker room. Why does that stuff matter? This Madden brought exactly what it needed, subtle tuning changes, fantastic new gameplay, and the fresh new rosters.

    The best franchise in any sports game?... Are you serious?.... If you are lemme get some of what you're smoking.
    Sent from my SM-A520F using Operation Sports mobile app
    miamifan1997
    These responses disappoint me. I personally think Madden CFM is the best franchise in any sports game and this year's improvements were perfect. Tuning is really all it needed. I played 12 seasons last year with 4 friends across the country and we loved every bit of it. We made 5 or 6 franchise "rules" and stuck to them, having a blast.
    I don't get what everyone wants added? Relocation is in this Madden (you can even move to Vegas). It is such a dynamic game mode with the progression/regression, dev traits, scouting, schemes, etc. Now add all the tuning that has been done this year, and you have a wonderful product.
    True football fans and hardcore CFM fans are thrilled with CFM this year. Unfortunately people now a days just expect a new "wow" factor every year. The fancy cutscenes and whatnot like in 2k. I bet if there was an addition that as a coach you could get a salary and purchase your house and car with that money, then drive to the stadium or practice facility each day, people would say "wow, what a cool game and game mode!". I know people probably also want the "MLB the Show Feel" where you get to be in the locker room. Why does that stuff matter? This Madden brought exactly what it needed, subtle tuning changes, fantastic new gameplay, and the fresh new rosters.

    There is no offline value and there are many exploits for online CFMs. It may be "dynamic" but SIM players want realism and this franchise does not offer any realistic scenarios or immersion. You are off base with your assessment, people here aren't clamoring to be able to purchase a car, we want realistic progression, realistic scouting/drafting, a competent AI, things like that. People have to buy a 2nd controller just to change the CPU playbook so they somewhat resemble a real life team and spend hours on sliders to barely replicate real life gameplay. It is sad the lengths people have to go to replicate realism and immerse themselves in the franchise. Football is all about strategy on the field and in the general manager's office but you do not get that at all with CFM.
    Toupal
    Quite frankly, there is no excuse why something in Madden 2004 shouldn't not be in Madden 18.

    Actually it seems there is about 10-20 "legit" ( i use that word very loosely) excuses if you listen to some
    miamifan1997
    These responses disappoint me. I personally think Madden CFM is the best franchise in any sports game and this year's improvements were perfect. Tuning is really all it needed. I played 12 seasons last year with 4 friends across the country and we loved every bit of it. We made 5 or 6 franchise "rules" and stuck to them, having a blast.
    I don't get what everyone wants added? Relocation is in this Madden (you can even move to Vegas). It is such a dynamic game mode with the progression/regression, dev traits, scouting, schemes, etc. Now add all the tuning that has been done this year, and you have a wonderful product.
    True football fans and hardcore CFM fans are thrilled with CFM this year. Unfortunately people now a days just expect a new "wow" factor every year. The fancy cutscenes and whatnot like in 2k. I bet if there was an addition that as a coach you could get a salary and purchase your house and car with that money, then drive to the stadium or practice facility each day, people would say "wow, what a cool game and game mode!". I know people probably also want the "MLB the Show Feel" where you get to be in the locker room. Why does that stuff matter? This Madden brought exactly what it needed, subtle tuning changes, fantastic new gameplay, and the fresh new rosters.

    hey, happy that you're happy. You'll likely stay happy too, unlike many of us, b/c the mode is apparently going to stay the way you like it.
    Serious question, how long have you been playing Madden? I think it's important to specify that when you make your comments. B/c the examples you referenced in your post were quite exaggerated compared to what the majority of us are asking for. Most of what we want are things we had in previous Madden versions. If you've only been playing the game a few years, I can understand you thinking CFM is 'fantastic'; it's certainly upgraded from M13/M25. Did you play the PS2 versions of the game? Did you play Head Coach '09?
    You are more than entitled to your opinion and I respect it, but a little more context from you is expected when you start to exaggerate your statements.
    miamifan1997
    These responses disappoint me. I personally think Madden CFM is the best franchise in any sports game and this year's improvements were perfect. Tuning is really all it needed. I played 12 seasons last year with 4 friends across the country and we loved every bit of it. We made 5 or 6 franchise "rules" and stuck to them, having a blast.
    I don't get what everyone wants added? Relocation is in this Madden (you can even move to Vegas). It is such a dynamic game mode with the progression/regression, dev traits, scouting, schemes, etc. Now add all the tuning that has been done this year, and you have a wonderful product.
    True football fans and hardcore CFM fans are thrilled with CFM this year. Unfortunately people now a days just expect a new "wow" factor every year. The fancy cutscenes and whatnot like in 2k. I bet if there was an addition that as a coach you could get a salary and purchase your house and car with that money, then drive to the stadium or practice facility each day, people would say "wow, what a cool game and game mode!". I know people probably also want the "MLB the Show Feel" where you get to be in the locker room. Why does that stuff matter? This Madden brought exactly what it needed, subtle tuning changes, fantastic new gameplay, and the fresh new rosters.
    I don't know where you're getting the idea that people love CFM this year??!! Even Millennium speaks of how shallow and boring it is, and the lack of improvements. Think you're not reading many of the reviews in here.
    Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk
    miamifan1997

    Unfortunately people now a days just expect a new "wow" factor every year. The fancy cutscenes and whatnot like in 2k. I bet if there was an addition that as a coach you could get a salary and purchase your house and car with that money, then drive to the stadium or practice facility each day, people would say "wow, what a cool game and game mode!". I know people probably also want the "MLB the Show Feel" where you get to be in the locker room. Why does that stuff matter?

    As a commish of a long running , online league, i can easily speak for 32 people in this statement alone and know its 100 % fact. Not 1 of us care about any of this stuff you mentioned here, not 1 . WhY ?Because we skip every cutscene,halftime shows, etc .We skip all stuff like that because games already take an hour to play without all that.
    After madden 17 , honestly this is the worst ive seen peoples morale for Madden. They felt burned by the " most resources ever" " focus on franchise" line of (sorry but its true) crap we were sold last year. Normally this time of year guys are dying to get the game, talking about all kinds of things for the league, this year, its been rather quite. Numerous have about all but given up on EA and CFM because they are tired of the run around excuses. As many other have mentioned, theres alot from older gen, less powerful consoles franchise had, yet they cant " get around to" putting it in this much more powerful console , and having generated a butt load more of money from this game in that time frame( lets not forget about that please).
    Guys want alot of depth. Coordinators , Contract Negotiations, Improved Game Prep, More Opponent Scouting Information( not just last weeks first down playcalls) , True Waiver Wire , Live Weather, Ability to Suspend Players , Create a Draft Class, Allow Formation Subs to Be Use With Custom Playbooks , Ability to Export Cfm Team, Flex Scheduling, etc just to name a few .None of which has anything to do with movie scenes. I am very serious when i say ive never seen people be this not excited for madden right before launch, ever in our league , that has been running year round since madden 12. Its never been like this, guys are fed up with EA, not just on this forum, not just on twitter. Alot of people in online leagues dont use this site or twitter, or social media. So im here to tell ya, its not about cut scenes for a large majority who are upset with where CFM is 6 years after it was started.
    miamifan1997
    These responses disappoint me. I personally think Madden CFM is the best franchise in any sports game and this year's improvements were perfect. Tuning is really all it needed. I played 12 seasons last year with 4 friends across the country and we loved every bit of it. We made 5 or 6 franchise "rules" and stuck to them, having a blast.
    I don't get what everyone wants added? Relocation is in this Madden (you can even move to Vegas). It is such a dynamic game mode with the progression/regression, dev traits, scouting, schemes, etc. Now add all the tuning that has been done this year, and you have a wonderful product.
    True football fans and hardcore CFM fans are thrilled with CFM this year. Unfortunately people now a days just expect a new "wow" factor every year. The fancy cutscenes and whatnot like in 2k. I bet if there was an addition that as a coach you could get a salary and purchase your house and car with that money, then drive to the stadium or practice facility each day, people would say "wow, what a cool game and game mode!". I know people probably also want the "MLB the Show Feel" where you get to be in the locker room. Why does that stuff matter? This Madden brought exactly what it needed, subtle tuning changes, fantastic new gameplay, and the fresh new rosters.

    While I can appreciate your opinion, this comment I have an issue with:
    True football fans and hardcore CFM fans are thrilled with CFM this year.

    I'm not sure which "True football fans and hardcore CFM fans" you're referring to, but there are a ton of people who aren't even buying the game because there was practically nothing done to CFM this year.
    I could pick out 50 hardcore CFM guys from this site and I will bet cash money that atleast 90% of those 50 do not like the state CFM is in right now and the fact that barely anything was done to the mode.
    extremeskins04
    While I can appreciate your opinion, this comment I have an issue with:
    I'm not sure which "True football fans and hardcore CFM fans" you're referring to, but there are a ton of people who aren't even buying the game because there was practically nothing done to CFM this year.
    I could pick out 50 hardcore CFM guys from this site and I will bet cash money that atleast 90% of those 50 do not like the state CFM is in right now and the fact that barely anything was done to the mode.

    id say this, tuning is something they can do in updates.....not "features" of the mode after 6-9 ( however long they work on it) of working on the mode for the next year. This year is play live now, draft board, tuning..... or a continual dev cycle update.....Remember they were able to add xp sliders in the middle of 16...... yet since then nothing during the year but fixing bugs.
    miamifan1997

    I don't get what everyone wants added? Relocation is in this Madden (you can even move to Vegas). It is such a dynamic game mode with the progression/regression, dev traits, scouting, schemes, etc. Now add all the tuning that has been done this year, and you have a wonderful product.

    I have a lot of fun with Madden Franchise every year as well but that doesn't mean it is perfect or doesn't need any changes. I am gonna reply strictly to the above paragraph though.
    1. Relocation. Yes it is in the game but it is very limited. You can't pick your own logo or team name or even design your own uniforms. You have 3 options for each city which mostly suck. And then you are stuck with just two uniforms per team. Look at what is possible in other EA games like NHL when it comes to relocation.
    2. Progression/Regression. They basically put a band-aid on it for this year. It still needs a ton of work and a lot of people here (myself included) despise the XP system for progression.
    3. Scouting. Scouting is this game is such a joke it shouldn't even be called scouting, they should call it the draft mini game.
    Get used to it, folks. The ultimate team modes are the money makers and thus where a majority of the attention will be focused at, at least when it comes to EA. The best franchise mode hands down is the NBA2K series. And NBA2K still has its own ultimate team mode. So it shows you can have the best of both worlds if you aren't lazy. Take notes EA.
    miamifan1997
    These responses disappoint me. I personally think Madden CFM is the best franchise in any sports game and this year's improvements were perfect. Tuning is really all it needed. I played 12 seasons last year with 4 friends across the country and we loved every bit of it. We made 5 or 6 franchise "rules" and stuck to them, having a blast.
    I don't get what everyone wants added? Relocation is in this Madden (you can even move to Vegas). It is such a dynamic game mode with the progression/regression, dev traits, scouting, schemes, etc. Now add all the tuning that has been done this year, and you have a wonderful product.
    True football fans and hardcore CFM fans are thrilled with CFM this year. Unfortunately people now a days just expect a new "wow" factor every year. The fancy cutscenes and whatnot like in 2k. I bet if there was an addition that as a coach you could get a salary and purchase your house and car with that money, then drive to the stadium or practice facility each day, people would say "wow, what a cool game and game mode!". I know people probably also want the "MLB the Show Feel" where you get to be in the locker room. Why does that stuff matter? This Madden brought exactly what it needed, subtle tuning changes, fantastic new gameplay, and the fresh new rosters.

    Have you never read a Wishlist?
    It annoys me as someone who is a fan of Madden that resources were taken away from that game to make another game.  EA makes money hand over fist, but went cheep on the development of Madden this cycle.  Seems like thier focus was on making NBA Live viable.  Fine so be it, but why not hire more developers a year ago when you knew that was the focus.  Why take talent from another AAA IP and not replace it?
    If I am being 100% candid my 32 man CFM is the only reason I purchased Madden this year.  I enjoy the guys in that league and the time I spend shooting the shit and playing games with them.  That was the only reason EA got my money this year. Don't know if that will be enough next year....
    I think it is safe to say that this company bit off more than it can chew when they snabbed the exclusive NFL rights.
    With the death of NCAA, they are the only football game on the new generation of consoles. They are in the spotlight, and as opposed to using that spotlight to show off what they can do, people are noticing how in over their heads they are.
    They have a hard enough time keeping NBA Live afloat, let along Madden. Now they are going all in by anchoring NBA Live to Madden?
    I was about to make the purcahse after trying the franshise mode and reading this article. Going to hold off until it's free on EA Access. No reason why we can't have a better and deeper franchise mode. A weekly wrap-up show like they've done with NBA Live 2018 would have suffice.
    EA needs to look at NFL 2K5 and how that was done. EA continues to disappoint with Madden.
    Glad that I read this thread... if I do decide to purchase the game, it will be next summer when the price drops and all of the patching is completed...
    Thanks for the heads up:tongue:
    CFM has a long ways to go to compete with other sports franchise modes. I feel if it remains CFM (connected) it may never reach that point. The idea of combining player, coach, and gm/owner into a singular mode wasn't a bad idea, but perhaps it lowered the amount of resources available to put into franchise mode, since single changes now effect three modes instead of one.
    With the modes being combined it may also limit what changes can be made. We want realistic contracts, better offseason experiences, more complexity overall. But more complexity means much more balancing between the modes, if adding depth to GM/Owner modes causes issues with the player experience, perhaps the changes are delayed or dropped?
    I like the small changes made this year to CFM; preseason changes (varied starter play time and only one cut day), better trade balancing (difficult to perfect for any sports game), more automation choices (don't know how auto trades work but 32-team control may become easier this year). Draft board isn't a big change (slightly altered watch list) but being able to rank is a good first step.
    I, like others, wish for sweeping changes. Something that makes us go 'WOW', but I don't think it's a realistic approach with the current system of combined modes. Everything has to move in the same direction, so as long as they continue to add and tweak, we are at least moving in the right direction, if only very slowly.
    PS - I hate the UI of CFM, but I will gladly suffer through it if that means more time on tweaks. Changing the UI for the sake of changing, and not including features/additional information (expanded stats, historical stats, updated news feed, etc.) is not high on my list.
    The Yurpman
    Get used to it, folks. The ultimate team modes are the money makers and thus where a majority of the attention will be focused at, at least when it comes to EA. The best franchise mode hands down is the NBA2K series. And NBA2K still has its own ultimate team mode. So it shows you can have the best of both worlds if you aren't lazy. Take notes EA.

    MUT is a goldmine for EA and it gets deeper and deeper every year. But if the above statement were true, Longshot wouldn't be in this years game. They aren't going to make money off of Longshot like they do with MUT. MUT has its own resources/team that works on it, it has little effect on what happens with CFM. CFM received little attention this year because of Longshot and NBA Live not because of MUT.
    forget 2k5 what ea needs to look at is MLB The Show and 2k17 copy their fran and u will make at least 8-10 mil in sales
    if i ran EA it would be a 4-year plan
    year 1 have madden 12 fran in the game
    year 2 big blowout 90 man rosters a team builder type for fran historic stats dating to 1960 1 player fran or 32 more player syeles not just QB everywhere 5 diff paly by play the EA guys now they are great 2 fox aikman buck andwens 3 cbs nance romo 4 espn 5 nbc u can pick all 5 in play now for fran the EA guys do all games but primetime playoffs and fox cbs game of week
    draft class wouild be 400 and editable in full after week 1
    year 3 superstar mode that is 90% my career from 2k a nfl live hightlight show with trey wingo a full NFL Draft prestation u choice kiper mcshay or mayock coach mode that is Nfl Head Coach syile owner mode that is madden 07/08 to the max for ps2 this is what u use for 32 team contal GM Mode just like 2k gm mode
    and year 4 for the grand finale every idea in madden that ever been in the game can be NFL ok'ed
    For the guy who said CFM is the best sports franchise experience, please read the blog about NBA 2K18's MyLeague (NOT MyGM). What they have done with their franchise mode is hands down the deepest and best that's ever been implemented, from mirroring the real-life cba down to restricted free agency and the new 2-way contracts, to the ability to completely overhaul your team's identity (name, jerseys, court). You have the ability to edit almost everything to your liking, including control of roster moves-from blocking dumb trades, to undoing nonsensical free agent moves. It's not perfect, there will always be flaws with AI, but it's pretty damn close. Madden CFM has nothing on it. The 2K devs went as far as passively calling out EA on their lackluster franchise mode. If everything 2K did was adapted to Madden, the people on this board would be ecstatic. I repeat the opinion that it is a damn shame what has happened to Madden on next-gen, it's so shallow compared to Madden's of the past!
    jerwoods
    forget 2k5 what ea needs to look at is MLB The Show and 2k17 copy their fran and u will make at least 8-10 mil in sales
    if i ran EA it would be a 4-year plan
    year 1 have madden 12 fran in the game
    year 2 big blowout 90 man rosters a team builder type for fran historic stats dating to 1960 1 player fran or 32 more player syeles not just QB everywhere 5 diff paly by play the EA guys now they are great 2 fox aikman buck andwens 3 cbs nance romo 4 espn 5 nbc u can pick all 5 in play now for fran the EA guys do all games but primetime playoffs and fox cbs game of week
    draft class wouild be 400 and editable in full after week 1
    year 3 superstar mode that is 90% my career from 2k a nfl live hightlight show with trey wingo a full NFL Draft prestation u choice kiper mcshay or mayock coach mode that is Nfl Head Coach syile owner mode that is madden 07/08 to the max for ps2 this is what u use for 32 team contal GM Mode just like 2k gm mode
    and year 4 for the grand finale every idea in madden that ever been in the game can be NFL ok'ed

    Make that an 8 year plan and maybe half will be in by M26.
    It would be nice if the dev's gave us their plans going forward, but probably would generate more flak towards them.
    Follow the micro-transactions and you will see where the time and resources go in the game. MUT, just like FIFA UT, MLB17 THE SHOW and even NBA 2K (although every mode requires money, how people are okay with this is beyond me) is where all the time and money is being used. Look at other games like COD with supply drops and other FPS, this is the way most games are going. Being shocked that a company like EA not improving a mode that doesn't make them extra money is flat out ignorant. As annoying and disappointing as it is, this is just the future of sports games, and games in general. I just wish (like everyone else) that EA didn't hold the exclusive rights to the NFL, but that's not changing anytime soon, so buckle up and brace for many more years of mediocrity when it comes to offline/single player modes.
    Grey_Osprey
    I wonder if they will go the "online only" route, eliminating offline franchise? I'd like to believe there's no chance, but I don't know anymore.
    I think that's a very real possibility, unfortunately. Can see it moving more in that direction especially these last 3 years.
    Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk
    this is why i went back to ps2, and having a blast. ya see to me a video game is just that. "SUPPOSE TO BE FUN" these console graphics has really spoiled a lot of people, i mean yeah we are allowed to be very upset as a consumer because frankly, with out us there is no EA period.
    look you play what you play, but in all honesty i'm seeing things more n more, every creator claims they care but they really dont, i'll give 2k that, there game may not emulate perfectly but they give its fans a deep mode of variety, and that goes the same for mlb the show.
    these mut games and squad games is just another ploy to inch closer and closer to that all online play only. now personally i was in Rex's channel on his twitch stream and heard him say that they would be going all out for cfm next year and that him and clint hold cfm close to heart. well give them that, see if they mean what they say..
    yeah i have the game on psn, but after playing this game im looking at it for just what it is, a clean roster update, with a couple new uniforms and stadiums, that has better game play than 17, now that aint saying much because we weren't given much.
    but i should be jumping for joy that i can at least take my team and attempt to go and win a Superbowl minus all the bells and whistles that a game of this age and magnitude Should have and enough to make me happy as a cfm player right? i gotta go through all these hoops with setting depth charts, manipulating sliders etc just to try and get a somewhat decent feeling right? smh.... look...
    out of the box 12 years later Madden 2005 on ps2 and espn 2k5 has a better set up & for me will be my real franchise this year and the rosters are up to date, with full classic rosters.
    N51_rob
    It annoys me as someone who is a fan of Madden that resources were taken away from that game to make another game. *EA makes money hand over fist, but went cheep on the development of Madden this cycle. *Seems like thier focus was on making NBA Live viable. *Fine so be it, but why not hire more developers a year ago when you knew that was the focus. *Why take talent from another AAA IP and not replace it?
    If I am being 100% candid my 32 man CFM is the only reason I purchased Madden this year. *I enjoy the guys in that league and the time I spend shooting the **** and playing games with them. *That was the only reason EA got my money this year. Don't know if that will be enough next year....

    Same here man , and not only that said for myself but all 31 other owners as well, we are all fed up with the lip service but lack of action by EA when it comes to CFM. If it wasnt for talking and playing with this guys in league, i would not even hesitate to not buy madden ever again, but they keep this up another year, and im out for good.Its flat out ridiculous with the amount of money EA makes that they cant do alot better than they do already. Which is why when i hear people calling for micro's in CFM, i just cant stand it. These cats are not hurting for money in any sort of way. No way they "deserve" more money to finally care about CFM. Screw that ignorant mindset because that is what it is.
    I can not say I am not enjoying the game. Definitely worth the money I paid for it. Many small differences that matter from sliders to contract negotiations. However, it does leave a lot to be desired. EA is resting on the faCT that nobody else can make a nfl game. If another company with half the budget and twice the desire were allowed in the market ea would lose half their market share in a single year. My hope is that they are working on a whole new franchise mode behind the scenes and will reveal that next summer like they did longshot this year. That would explain them not wanting to waste much time on cfm this year. That is my hope, hope floats.
    I pretty much would only buy this game for this years schedule. I'm strictly a cfm player so now I'm looking for an alternative. Year two of my seasons are usually flawed and the schedules are so glitchy. What are guys doing instead of buying this years game for their CFM's?
    I agree with this man,CFM is the only thing I buy madden for and year after year I'm disappointed. We need a halftime show with highlights and of other games that are going on in your franchise.
    Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
    Maybe EA thinks people will buy the game no matter what, but some like me won't. 
    I wanted to get this year's game since didn't last year (1st year with current gen console), but I only play Offline Franchise mode and was unimpressed with trying it out on EA Access. Them not really doing anything to this year's game made it another pass.
    EA needs to play MyLeague on NBA 2K. That Franchise mode blows Madden's CFM out of the water with all the options and customization you can do on there!
    I didn't not purchase last year and I'm not buying this year either. NCAA was my favorite game off all time, I still play 14 today. What CFM lacks for me is that it doesn't feel like its my team, my players or my game. It looks good, plays well and is football. It just feels like I'm playing a game and not my game. I should feel tied to long time players, it should feel like my new 1st round pick will be the next star. My rival games should feel special. The past means nothing in these games, its like the stats and players didn't happen. To me they need to make this game feel like a family and not a weird cousin you see once a year.
    spoofrice11
    Maybe EA thinks people will buy the game no matter what, but some like me won't.*
    I wanted to get this year's game since didn't last year (1st year with current gen console), but I only play Offline Franchise mode and was unimpressed with trying it out on EA Access. Them not really doing anything to this year's game made it another pass.
    EA needs to play MyLeague on NBA 2K. That Franchise mode blows Madden's CFM out of the water with all the options and customization you can do on there!

    Majority of people are going to buy this no matter what (except for you and me). But I agree with everything you said, especially the 2k point.
    everything now days is MUT MUT MUT - not everyone wants to play that mode, but EA Madden team just does what they want - they could care less if you enjoy it or not
    It needs to be more immersive. Seems like we have the same playbooks, the general presentation is the same. One thing I liked that they still haven't done is the crowd. I mean if the score is 35-3 with 5 minutes left in the game then the stadium should be half empty if the home team is losing. That is one thing I liked about NCAA. 
    They also need to implement Coaching in the franchise mode. Now I'm really good at the sticks but I've also played just as a coach well you have to take over as kicker and it is a completely different take on the game. The real strategy occurs then and you have no control over actual play outcome which gives you feelings of frustration  or exaltation, it's great! You feel more like a coach or fan. This should be a franchise option which you could get coaching leagues online along with with other franchise leagues. 
    Shadymamba
    everything now days is MUT MUT MUT - not everyone wants to play that mode, but EA Madden team just does what they want - they could care less if you enjoy it or not

    Everything is not MUT. MUT itself has a completely separate team that works on it. What happens in MUT has little effect on what happens in CFM. What did affect CFM was Longshot and NBA Live.
    The EA Madden team doesn't do what they want, they do what they are told. That is how big corporations work. When they are told to devote more resources on Longshot and NBA Live, they devote more resources to those or they get fired. It's a pretty easy decision to make when you need your job.
    If i have said it It once I may have said it many times Head coach with current graphics would be great.
    Why can't that be a mode rather than SIM or arcade.....
    While I think Franchise Mode could use a whole lot of T.L.C., I also think that if you're staking out the moral and developmental high ground, more or less omnisciently, you have a responsibility to get the nomenclature right. Because if you can't do that, what can you expected to do (beyond repeating what you've heard others say). The name has been simply "Franchise Mode" for a couple years. Nothing "Connected" about it.
    Good article and very necessary to call EA to task about their failures with CFM. Their answer that they're now trying to share resources and sync with NBA Live's franchise mode should be alarming because NBA Live has been the shakiest sports franchise over the past 10 years. That game still has a lot of work to do to be a legitimate competitor to 2k making it very difficult for me to believe that franchise will be more of a priority next year than it is this year. The odds of CFM being cast to the back burner seem higher now than before.
    IMO EA continues to underestimate the importance of this mode to gamers. Admittedly, I still play this and still have fun, even if I must overlook glaring issues and adopt house rules. That being said, it's laughable in comparison to 2k's MyGM/MyLeague modes.
    I was listening to Kevin Durant on Bill Simmons's podcast talk about playing 2k's MyGM mode. He was talking about how he's 16 seasons deep with an expansion UNC Tarheels team trying to sell Bill Simmons on playing. "It's real GM stuff, real cap room, restricted free agents, unrestricted free agents. It's fun, it's addicting...My boy Bryce was here the other day and he never plays video games. I loaded up the GM mode and he about to go buy a whole xbox for his house right now."
    I don't think anybody or any company would have expected a superstar to big up a franchise mode without solicitation. 2k made their franchise mode a priority, put a hardcore franchise gamer in charge of it, and it's now reaping dividends proving that depth and realism aren't just the desires of the hardcore sports gamer.
    First time in at least 15 years Madden has not been a day 1 pick up for me, and likely wont be at all.
    I dabble in other modes but offline CFM is where 99% of my game time is spent. I enjoyed 17, and there is not nearly enough in 18 for me to invest if CFM is essentially the same with what looks like a different color scheme.
    lol why did i but this game?
    i play 2 video games and i play them almost every day. i run a franchise in MLB the show every spring/summer and a franchise in Madden every fall/winter. for the first time in 20+ years i'm going to skip doing a madden franchise and just stick with MLB the Show.
    i'm not even into basketball but going to give NBA2k18 a shot to mix it up a bit.
    i spent like $500 on MUT cards in Madden 17 and don't even play MUT. i did it out of curiosity and sports card collecting nostalgic feels. i'd like apologize to the community for that lol. i'd also like for anybody reading this who works at EA to know that i'm a customer willing to spend $560+ on this game and i don't see the value in the $59.99 i'm already in for this year.
    My biggest gripe is the lack of news from around the league, that stupid Twitter setup is ridiculous...When one of the big headlines is simply "Eagles gear up to play the Broncos".....that's just lazy. 
    Everyone, if you really want to get upset, go look up images of the last few NCAA games, not just the gameplay parts (which are still beautiful despite being last gen) but the menus. Remember how much fun it was building up a team and a coach, cycling through assistans ,the coach cycle, the race for awards. Remember flipping through the magazine for the 8 or so big stories of the week.....You'd be a small MAC school but still know what's going on with the heisman, and the National Championship race, even if your team had nothing to do with it. There were preseason all americans, major injury updates, you knew when a major upset  happened, there was a denoted "game of the week"....Now, quick, go back to your CFM and tell me the big over-arching storyline for your season? Who's the best team/player? Biggest injury? Biggest surprise? What's the biggest game of your current week......The CFM is so, so very far behind what we had in NCAA football as far as immersion goes.
    cook_diddy
    lol why did i but this game?
    i play 2 video games and i play them almost every day. i run a franchise in MLB the show every spring/summer and a franchise in Madden every fall/winter. for the first time in 20+ years i'm going to skip doing a madden franchise and just stick with MLB the Show.
    i'm not even into basketball but going to give NBA2k18 a shot to mix it up a bit.
    i spent like $500 on MUT cards in Madden 17 and don't even play MUT. i did it out of curiosity and sports card collecting nostalgic feels. i'd like apologize to the community for that lol. i'd also like for anybody reading this who works at EA to know that i'm a customer willing to spend $560+ on this game and i don't see the value in the $59.99 i'm already in for this year.

    Ouch. I'm pretty sure u r EA's #1 demographic.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    So has anyone from EA come out and addressed the public backlash from not doing anything with Franchise....?
    Especially since the release.
    lilrosati56
    My biggest gripe is the lack of news from around the league, that stupid Twitter setup is ridiculous...When one of the big headlines is simply "Eagles gear up to play the Broncos".....that's just lazy.*
    Everyone, if you really want to get upset, go look up images of the last few NCAA games, not just the gameplay parts (which are still beautiful despite being last gen) but the menus. Remember how much fun it was building up a team and a coach, cycling through assistans ,the coach cycle, the race for awards. Remember flipping through the magazine for the 8 or so big stories of the week.....You'd be a small MAC school but still know what's going on with the heisman, and the National Championship race, even if your team had nothing to do with it. There were preseason all americans, major injury updates, you knew when a major upset *happened, there was a denoted "game of the week"....Now, quick, go back to your CFM and tell me the big over-arching storyline for your season? Who's the best team/player? Biggest injury? Biggest surprise? What's the biggest game of your current week......The CFM is so, so very far behind what we had in NCAA football as far as immersion goes.

    so this. cfm is so boring and it's impossible to keep up with the fictional universe created in each franchise. i can still remember details from my WVU dynasty from the NCAA version with the SI magazine covers, etc. I remember the randomly generated players I recruited. Michael Hudson won a Heisman as a MLB and my QB Tyrese Cheetums led us to 2 National Championships.
    i would like to see some kind of story-line curated so that the user knows and cares about what is going on around the league. the most frustrating part of this is that these are old features that shouldn't be hard to keep in these games. i remember having a video highlight show for one of the PS1 versions of madden. maybe i'm thinking of NFL gameday though.
    in NCAA rivalry games, championships, and bowl games felt more real because of the momentum algorithms.
    the relocation feature is insulting at this point. it's been all the same terrible team names and locations for 3-5 years now. they can't even add a few new team names and logos? and why can't teams move to vacated cities? Why can't i change a team name and logo but stay in the same city? why is there no customization?
    why is the trade AI still broken? i want a challenge when rebuilding the redskins every year. it's boring when i play on all-madden and have an all-star roster redskins team going 14-2 and winning the superbowl for 5 straight years.
    ..at least the 0-line blocking AI is good this year
    lilrosati56
    My biggest gripe is the lack of news from around the league, that stupid Twitter setup is ridiculous...When one of the big headlines is simply "Eagles gear up to play the Broncos".....that's just lazy.*

    .

    I have despised the twitter feed from the time it was first implemented. It is completely pointless and never really tells you anything you want to know. Even just finding out who won the Super Bowl can be a monumental task of having to scroll through random tweets that mean absolutely nothing.
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