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Old Madden Franchise Features: Are They as Good as We Remember?

old madden franchise features

Madden NFL 21

Old Madden Franchise Features: Are They as Good as We Remember?

Madden’s franchise mode notes earlier this summer were a bit…light. This caused franchise mode players to, once again, feel slighted. They turned their disappointment to social media and rallied around the #FixMaddenFranchise hashtag. When you read any of the stuff on Twitter or any of the posts on the message boards here, one thing is clear. A lot of the things we want in franchise mode are old Madden franchise features we want back in franchise mode.

Some of these old things have yet to appear in this console generation (and now won’t ever make it since the generation is coming to a close). But some of these old Madden franchise mode features didn’t even make it to the previous console generation. In fact, most of the things we want back are from the PlayStation 2/original Xbox era. (To be clear, it’s not like folks just want old stuff back. DeuceDouglas has outlined a very extensive re-imagining of Madden franchise mode that incorporates plenty of new and old elements.)

Anyway, as folks made pleas for people to skip their Madden purchases this year, I dusted off my PS2 a few weeks ago to see if I’d be fine playing a 15-year-old Madden 06 for the next year or two. I looked at some of the features in and out of franchise that we often recall from a bygone Madden era. It turns out some of these features weren’t all our nostalgia made them out to be.

Relocation/Rebranding

One of the first things I did in Madden 06, both 15 years ago and two months ago, was to try to rebrand a team. My feelings were mixed. When I first got this game in 2005, I planned to rebrand the Bengals as a blue and white team (I have no idea why). I thought I’d be able to just take the Bengals uniforms in the game and make them blue. That was a mistake on my part.

 

In terms of uniforms, what we had was as disappointing to me then as it is now. You were left with four uniform designs: Broncos-style side panel stripes, Texans-style shoulder stripes, Titans-style shoulder stripes, and no stripes at all. The number fonts were equally scarce: standard block, and the fonts for the Bears, Broncos, Eagles and Titans. There were some options for sleeve cuff stripes that were virtually invisible.

As disappointing as the minimal options in Madden 06 were, it’s still somehow better than what we have now. When we relocate, we have three pre-designed options for uniforms, some of which are obviously in templates of real teams in the game. We’re not even able to just update a team’s uniforms without relocating.

Logos were on par with what you’d expect 15 years ago: the same group that appeared in all the EA games at that time. We also got some classic NFL logos, with each team’s current logo available, but at an angle and with a glare.

madden michael vick

Now we have 15 preset cities, with three team names and logos to choose from. It’s less than what we had two console generations ago, but it makes sense from a pre-recorded audio perspective to be able to have the announcers say the full team name at once.

The best part of the old relocation process was customizing your stadium. It was, by far, the most fleshed-out part of the experience. When people recall the relocation part of the PS2 era, the stadium aspect is usually the part that includes an exclamation point. I think this eventually climaxed in Madden 10 or Madden 12 in the PS3/Xbox 360 era.

In the current Madden, you’re stuck with five generic stadium options, which means you’re pretty much able to move only five teams or you risk some the of shine wearing off of the relocation feature.

Coaching Staff/Players retiring

Personally, this is the feature I miss the most. When I went looking through the coaching staffs of every team and available personnel, I found the next crop of real-life great coaches. I also found the up and coming coaches who either never panned out as head coaches or just never got their opportunity. But overall, I saw an entire generation of the league’s coaches, either one season or 12 seasons before everyday football fans knew who these guys were. That adds to the longevity of the mode.

old madden franchise features

In current Madden, we’re stuck with every head coach only (sans Belichick), with a few fake coaches in the free agent pool. By the end of year one of franchise mode, you have to put your realism blinders on.

Perhaps a bridge to fully implemented coaching staffs could be the return of players retiring and becoming coaches. Players retiring and immediately becoming head coaches is something that happens more in baseball and basketball than football, so I’m not sure how well this would work without a full staff.

While it was a nice touch 15 years ago, I felt it could have been tuned better. Most of the players who become coaches in the NFL aren’t the game’s biggest stars from five seasons before. Yet in Madden, we were routinely seeing Brett Favre, Randy Moss and Ray Lewis as the next big coaches.

Holdouts/Restricted Free Agency

Holdouts are something small that may have even been added in the scenario engine, but it added to the reality that you can’t get away with underpaying your best players and them being happy about it. Restricted free agency was also something that was in the game and caused minimal trouble, yet mirrored the realism of the NFL. Both of these things are so small, yet made a difference. It’s still strange why they were ever removed.

Vision Cone

Hard no.

Draft Classes From NCAA Football

Custom draft classes are in the game now, and I think it’s a great feature. But there was something about bringing the guys you just played a college season with over to the NFL, not knowing how they’ll be rated or, in some cases, what they’ll even look like.

retro madden

But something that happened during the PS2 era was that players’ ratings didn’t fluctuate all the much from the college versions. Reggie Bush came into Madden already at a 99. Part of this was the game not scaling the ratings back for imported rookies. But the bigger issue was that a lot of second-string players were rated too high from the jump. Both of these things were later corrected on the next generation of consoles.

Bringing this feature back, while not currently possible, would answer everyone’s prayers for the return of a college football game. The ideal version of this involves the pro and college games working in tandem, allowing you to play both seasons simultaneously while scouting players who may or may not declare for the draft. But I’m not a video game developer so I imagine that’s very difficult.

Radio Show & Newspapers

The Tony Bruno Show on Madden 06 was one of the most franchise-immersive features of that generation, and maybe ever since. It was a snapshot of a specific moment from each week and had interviews during the offseason and preseason.

The good news after listening to the old show after all this time is that the audio didn’t sound as awkward as the Inside the Show segments from MLB The Show. The bad news is there often wasn’t much information in there, which might’ve been the only downside. That, and the fact that three players seemed to achieve career milestones every week.

The radio show format has been used in MLB The Show, but it can be hit or miss (pun intended!). I thought it was done very well in the last FIFA World Cup game from EA with the Men in Blazers hosts. Madden went more of a visual route in the PS3/Xbox 360 era with The Extra Point. And we all remember the ESPN/Chris Berman weekly recaps from NFL 2K5.

I know it’s sacrilegious to criticize the NFL 2K5 highlight show, so I’ll be brief. My issue is that it was visual so it had to be your main focus. Don’t get me wrong, seeing the highlights from around the league was great. But if you’re short on time, it’s nice to have the audio version in the background while you multitask. This is especially handy with there being more and more menu items to take care of within franchise mode.

ray lewis

I didn’t know who Tony Bruno was then, and I honestly still have no idea who he is now. If this show did return, it would likely need a more updated presence behind the mic. It may also need to be rebranded as a “podcast” rather than a radio show. The Good Morning Football crew is already in Face of the Franchise, so maybe they can be used in a podcast form.

Also part of the Madden 06 franchise mode was the local and national newspapers. They helped create storylines for your team and it felt like you were part of an entire football world. A good portion of Madden players have likely never read a newspaper, so this may need to be updated to a website — perhaps even partner with The Athletic or another similar site.

Right now, Madden uses a Twitter feed feature that a few other games use as well. It’s pretty much a combination of the radio show and the newspapers. There’s just not a lot of information in there to make it worthwhile.

Superstar Mode

I really enjoyed Superstar mode despite being a franchise-only guy up to that point. Connected Franchise (as a player), Longshot, QB1, and Face of the Franchise are all extensions of this mode. While the Madden 06 version had a series of text-based interactions, we’ve now evolved into a heavier dose of cutscenes. I think this is an improvement, but much like NBA 2K’s MyCareer mode, it seems you play your journey to the league, and then it morphs into a standard career mode. The pre-NFL stuff is fun, but it’s an interesting choice for an NFL game. Superstar mode seemed to keep it going well into your career, with things like sponsorships and movie roles.

Much like the importing of NCAA Football draft classes, my issue with this mode involves another game. You were able to import your “Legend” from NCAA Football 06, but you had to buy into time travel. If you played through your career in NCAA Football 06, players like Matt Leinart, Vince Young and Reggie Bush existed in your freshman year. Once you graduated, you were drafted into the NFL while the people who graduated when you were a freshman were still in college? And then later ceased to exist?

training camp

Face of the Franchise will have to deal with this same thing this year. In your first available college season, you’ll play in the College Football Playoff. You’ll then have to option to return to school to play another season before declaring for the draft. Look, I’m not qualified to teach you all about string theory and space-time curvatures, but you’re either jumping a year ahead of time in this mode or jumping a year back based on this concept.

I’m glad that Face of the Franchise is giving us two years to play college football, but I’m interested to see how they approach the years shown in the CFP. It’d also be nice to see Jalen Hurts playing quarterback if you were to play Oklahoma, for example.

Bottom Line

I may have been a bit harsh about how average some of these features were. I’ll admit to that. This game was from 2005. If these features stayed in the game, they’d have been expanded and improved upon over time. This article was an exercise in seeing if, 15 years later, I could comfortably go back to the old Madden and pick up right where I left off. And I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kids.

It made me realize that 15 years ago Madden cared about franchise mode, and they tried. They had parts of the mode that some might view as minor things, but those things enhanced the experience. There were also little things about the mode that made you question if they were implemented correctly. But it wasn’t just the mode itself that made us want to play it. It was the feeling the game’s developers cared about it enough to make it great. And that’s the feature we want back the most.

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  1. As a SoCal kid growing up at the turn of the millennium, Tony Bruno was a sports radio staple down there so it was cool to hear him in the game doing a "show", although I would've loved to see a year with Jim Rome, another guy I listened to all the time in high school, even with his bad anti-soccer takes
    I like to think if the old features weren't gutted from the game 10 years ago, they could have built on them little by little and would be a cornerstone of Maddens advertising strategy in today's game.
    I wish
    Franchise mode was their money maker back then. It sold copies of the game because people wanted to be the GM of a franchise while also playing the game (in effect being the coach and players). 
    Now the microtransactions of MUT are the money maker so they put their efforts into it and sadly leave their legacy franchise player fans behind.
    Things that I wish were better in franchise mode today (and were not necessarily better back then):
    1) Injury system - Why do we not have a dynamic injury system in both our football (Madden) and Baseball (The Show) games like NBA 2K at least has. Lingering injuries, ratings for all the different body parts for injuries, probable or doubtful scenarios, off ball injuries were outstanding on 19 and then totally nerfed down for 20. In any case why is injuries not really enhanced and focused on when it is a massive part of football, and having depth and good roster constriction.
    2) Newspapers, radio show - Yep.....I loved that. What we have today is a convoluted mess. Even Madden 25 had a far better news story section and branching storylines for fictional draft classes. I feel completely disconnected from the league with today’s offerings. I have to do everything in my head to have storylines, scenarios (the scenario engine was an absolute joke on Madden 20).
    3) Coaches, staff and yes a robust relocation suite as mentioned in the article.
    Those three pop off the page for me in terms of franchise mode. They have made some other strides....practice squads, excellent lineup menus, formation subs, schemes, ratings spreads etc.
    But Franchise mode needs some more life. And the presentation? Blech. It has gone completely backwards. After playing NCAA 14 and Madden 25......my god. What has happened.
    The only thing on this I want to say, is the vision cone was amazing. If you don't like sim, then turn it off, there is no issue there. We all like different things. But it honestly did more to separate the great from the good and the bad QBs more than any "accuracy tunings" madden has ever done. We hear that every year, but in all honesty, play a game with Tavares Jackson with it on, and play a game with Tom Brady with it on. Now compare the difference to a game with Tom Brady now, and a game with Trubisky now. In my own opinion, it added more to differentiate players more than anything else. And if madden and it competitive scene now claiming best stick skills, lets bring it back to prove it.
    Vision cone was awesome. You could literally snap the cone to a receiver once they were open so idk why so many people hated it. Took some practice but was a really good way to differentiate QB's imo.
    As others have stated vision cons was the last time madden really innovated the qb position. Starting a rookie felt like it should, playing with Vick vs Manning was a real difference. It also made playing defense fun, sure you could play safety and read the cone but what it the qbs just baiting you?
    Vision cone was by far the best gameplay related feature they had.
    As someone who's favorite thing is playing free safety and grabbing picks, the vision cone was awesome. Also loved pump faking to a receiver on his out cut, then when he cuts up, money.
    Things I never cared for and felt didn't add to the game for me, from older games:

    • Tony Bruno Show (Yay, general statements about my team!)
    • Relocating / Rebranding
    • Vision Cone (I hated this)
    • Superstar Mode (This is for when I got utterly bored of the game)
    • Pre-game shows (Yay, canned phrases I heard over and over!)
    • Setting concession stand prices (Zero tangible outcome)
    • Dealing with owner mode upgrades (stadium, etc) (Zero tangible outcome)
    I fully expected the article to be written as if the person was surrounded by EA suits and was being tortured into writing it but it came around in the end, somewhat.
    The entire thesis is a wonky one. Franchise fans pine for old features because they were removed rather than improved. In a perfect world the old training camp scenario would have transformed into an in-depth offseason progression, the vision cone would have been refined, fine tuned and been an optional playing enhancement, coaching staffs would have evolved into deeper staffs with each one having an impact on your players and so on and so forth.
    It's also outright silly to 'judge' features that were in a football game so long ago. That's just backwards, IMO. Of course 15 years later the create-a-team doesn't seem super detailed but that's forgetting where that feature was the year, two, five years before it while disregarding that it's a feature that has since been removed (for a lesser version, one I don't buy into just for the 'audio cues').
    there is no excuse for the mode as it is now......it should be miles ahead at this point. at least on par with nba 2k. it's been neglected for far too long. 
    Just to jump in on the vision cone thing. I personally didn't like it as a kid and for me it was a issue of overwhelming me. So I only have sight in my left eye which really hurts me when it comes to reading defenses. When you combine that with the vision cone I have way too many things to keep my eyes on. The defense as a whole, the different receiver buttons, watching them move across the field AND A CONE?! Nah for me that's just too much. But I know there are people who really liked it and I get what it was trying to do. It just wasn't for me then and I definitely wouldn't like it now.
    I do wish/want Madden to care about Franchise mode again though that's really all I want from this game especially as a content creator.
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    And if they had sliders, they actually worked. I know sliders work when it’s human vs cpu but if you put kickoff power low and it’s a cpu vs cpu game in CFM they still have touchbacks. So I don’t believe any sliders actually work then if ea didn’t even bother to fool you with the simplistic of the slider set
    Coaching carousel from NCAA is the only feature from any football game that I am nostalgic for and prompted the most interest in any title to date.
    One day we'll get a feature just as compelling and in the same vein in an NFL title, a mechanism to have a successful career that ebb and flows from player to coordinator ranks and eventually opportunities to coach.
    Would love to see free agency revamped and some of the old stuff added back. Restricted free agents, compensatory picks, front/back loaded contracts, restructuring deals, etc. would be huge for me.
    The vision cone made QB awareness matter and added more depth to the the chess match that sim football gaming should have. The vision cone should be brought back. And it should be able to be toggled on/off like it was before.
    Vision cone made awareness matter for a qb and seperated the good from the bad.
    Hated it because the ravens had ****ty qbs but loved it because it took skill to play with those ****ty qbs lol.
    I miss the weapons the most though.
    In particular the PRC ones.
    Ray lewis would highlight any the same type of run play and Ed reed would do the same for pass plays.
    People had to mix things up or it would have been known pre play.
    Same for a guy like Manning.
    Same cover 3 and it would show pre play.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Toastandtoaster
    The only thing on this I want to say, is the vision cone was amazing. If you don't like sim, then turn it off, there is no issue there. We all like different things. But it honestly did more to separate the great from the good and the bad QBs more than any "accuracy tunings" madden has ever done. We hear that every year, but in all honesty, play a game with Tavares Jackson with it on, and play a game with Tom Brady with it on. Now compare the difference to a game with Tom Brady now, and a game with Trubisky now. In my own opinion, it added more to differentiate players more than anything else. And if madden and it competitive scene now claiming best stick skills, lets bring it back to prove it.

    There are better ways to simulate a QB's vision than a massive, gross looking light cone. For example, you could simply add the ability to control the direction the QB is facing (120 degrees, 90 degrees and 60 degrees), and give an accuracy penalty when passes are thrown without turning the QB's body in the right direction, unless the QB had a certain awareness rating.
    Yeah, it doesn't have the same amount of variety, but it accomplishes the same thing without a hideous cone on the field.
    Milticket
    Nay, I don't really think so. I think it's more of nostalgia of time & place more than anything.

    Disagree. There are lots of things that wouldn't be that great now, but they're still more than what we have now.
    For example, training camp had unrealistic floating machines, but at least training camp existed.
    There are so many more that there's no point in discussing it, since everyone knows the depth was an order of magnitude more than the current Franchise mode.
    Rondo is GOD
    I like to think if the old features weren't gutted from the game 10 years ago, they could have built on them little by little and would be a cornerstone of Maddens advertising strategy in today's game.
    I wish

    This is the right point to make.
    Those features were good for the time but won't hold up as well now. But, they could have been adapted and improved over the years.
    I'd happily wipe out all aspects of online play in the game to allow for improvements in the franchise. But I know I'm in the minority on that.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    Disagree. There are lots of things that wouldn't be that great now, but they're still more than what we have now.
    For example, training camp had unrealistic floating machines, but at least training camp existed.
    There are so many more that there's no point in discussing it, since everyone knows the depth was an order of magnitude more than the current Franchise mode.

    Disagree, shouldn't settle for more just for the sake of more if it isn't any good.
    Milticket
    Disagree, shouldn't settle for more just for the sake of more if it isn't any good.

    So what you’re saying is, if situation A is better than situation B, we should keep situation B?
    Translation: training camp with self-moving pads is better than non-existent training camp. Scouting that will sometimes repeat player comparison lines is better than clicking three times to get rating guess with zero presentation. Tony Bruno talking about blow outs is better than no audio presentation beyond commentary that talks about how how a player who was drafted in 2019 did so well his second year last season when the Franchise is in year 8.
    Training camp in 2006 isn’t as good as it COULD be in 2020. But training camp in 2006 is better than training camp in Madden 20 (because it is non-existent).
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    So what you’re saying is, if situation A is better than situation B, we should keep situation B?
    Translation: training camp with self-moving pads is better than non-existent training camp. Scouting that will sometimes repeat player comparison lines is better than clicking three times to get rating guess with zero presentation. Tony Bruno talking about blow outs is better than no audio presentation beyond commentary that talks about how how a player who was drafted in 2019 did so well his second year last season when the Franchise is in year 8.
    Training camp in 2006 isn’t as good as it COULD be in 2020. But training camp in 2006 is better than training camp in Madden 20 (because it is non-existent).

    Not what I'm saying.
    I recently purchased the EA Origin Access within the last month. I was delighted to see they had the Ultima VII The Black Gate game. This is one of my all-time favorite games. Playing it now, I haven’t gotten past the initial investigations of the murder within the starting zone.
    I feel it’s still a great game, but for its time. My
    Memories are greater than the current quality of time spent trying to play the game now.
    If EA does decide to implement a new radio show (which I sincerely hope they do), I'd prefer it if they didn't go back to the Tony Bruno well. He's pretty much a sports media relic at this point. I'm also not a fan of the GMFB crew that was mentioned in the article. I know a lot of my fellow Niner fans love Pete Schrager since he's a bit of a homer, but something about him and Brandt have always rubbed me the wrong way.
    Personally, I'd love to hear Rich Eisen do the honors (especially since he's already going to be in FoTF). Or, if EA wanted to go the route of someone more obscure (but with, presumably, more recording time on their hands), someone like Adam Lefkoe from Bleacher Report. They could even give it more of a podcast vibe if they went that route.
    As for weather or not to bring back the other aspect of Storyline Central, the newspapers, I don't think I have a strong preference. I'd just like to see the bottom ticker in the Franchise hub be utilized better for text news. I'd rather see it display scores from the previous week, upcoming matches, injury and transaction updates, standings, weekly award winners, and league leaders rather than just regurgitate the fake Tweets on a loop.
    It's not listed in that article, but I'm a big fan of the old Player Roles & Weapons features that they had in 2008, 2012. I think NBA 2k has the same system, as badges, but I'm not overly familiar with them.
    Weapons and Player Roles are similar to X-Factors in that they provide in-game bonuses, but IMO the biggest thing was that they were huge in helping with roster construction. A great example is that a 75 OVR rookie QB could have the Player Role of "QB of the Future" while a 75 OVR veteran QB could be designated as a "Team Mentor".
    On paper, I feel that those Player Roles helped with AI roster logic. QBs of the Future had a higher Importance Value and were less likely to be traded or cut. It wouldn't make sense for a team to draft a QB in the first round in back-to-back years if they already had a QB of the Future. Meanwhile, that 75 OVR Free Agent QB that had a Team Mentor role is going to have value to teams. For Human Players, it's very easy for us to identify players we want.
    Just going through other Player Roles-- Fan Favorites helped with Team Attendance. The CPU would only sign Injury-Prone players to 1 year deals. Team Distractions negatively impacted non-veteran players and were less valuable in trades.
    The other thing I liked was that Player Roles were earned and an indicator of past performance or how they came into the league. Having a 5000 yard passing season should not lead to ratings increases, but he should be rewarded with a flag like Franchise QB so that he would be considered as more valuable by the CPU and in contract negotiations.
    I hope they bring Player Roles, in some shape or form, back in the future. With the current schemes and X-Factor systems, I feel it would enhance the game and really differentiate players.
    People still claim 2005-2008 were the best games of the series.
    All that needs to be said, IMO.
    How we are in 2020, and EA didn't build on what they had is inconceivable.
    There were definitely some aspects that were better that could have been improved upon to become true features.
    But nostalgia also can make many features appear better than they were. I have fond memories of many games I played in my teens and 20's, but would I want to go back and play them extensively again? No, because it was mostly about the new experience and friends I played with during those times. I wouldn't be able to recapture that.
    I am glad that since Madden 18 a bunch of the features I sorely missed in earlier versions were brought back like being able to fully edit players/rosters and just having the ability to see all of the players in the NFL at once or by position in the roster menu. Those features were removed for a while and really hindered the experience in Madden 15.
    Devaster
    But nostalgia also can make many features appear better than they were. I have fond memories of many games I played in my teens and 20's, but would I want to go back and play them extensively again? No, because it was mostly about the new experience and friends I played with during those times. I wouldn't be able to recapture that.

    I understand completely that online and competitive is the crowd they are catering to. I'm a little bitter about it, but there's nothing I can do really.
    Talk nostalgia all you want, fact is, it was a sustainable setup that their fans spent tens of thousands of hours on. Why they would just leave this portion of their fans out in the cold still boggles my (small) mind.
    SOU7GLO
    The vision cone made QB awareness matter and added more depth to the the chess match that sim football gaming should have.

    It was also not fun. And it completely split the online community because it is a standard that has to be used on both teams.
    There was no way to save a feature that 90% of the gamers hated. Once you take it out of online, it's gone. And if it's available, it's splitting your community. That feature never had a real chance.
    It was also not near as sim as folks make it out to be. Sim is the rating making the play, not the human. And you learn the timing and twitch reflexes, and it just leads to guys being able to turn Jameis Winston into Tom Brady.
    Just because the cones were bigger for better players, it didn't make the feature sim. It was arcadey as hell, but that's not why it failed. It just forced gamers to do something they didn't want to do.
    Hell, this was basically the reason I stopped playing Alan Wake. Loved the game, even loved the mechanics. But I got tired of having to aim that flashlight at every enemy to shoot it. At some point, when the game was going to make me cross the forest again, I just noped out. Aiming the flashlight made it work for me, and it killed my desire to play it.
    Holdouts aren't in the game today. A player can refuse to sign with you. But he won't refuse to play.
    We have all these abilities in the game. How about some off the field abilities too both positive and negative. As what was said earlier those player roles were awesome.
    A feature that was in Madden 12 I believe was the consistency system. Where the higher the consistency rating the more likely they would play at the same level each week. For example a player like Trubisky would have a really low consistency rating. So week to week he could play like a 60 ovr or an 80 Ovr. Tom Brady by comparison would play pretty much the same every week. The only change I would add is the ability to upgrade the rating.
    I think the biggest issue is that multiuser franchises want to have control over everything. That's why dev trait regression doesn't occur. Or the way the game handles regression in general. Users can predict how and when a player regresses. All users have a similar experience by eliminating random elements from the game. Remember when injuries could impact a player? Gone.
    On another note I wonder how online and offline franchise users goals align when looking at feature being added and implemented?
    #fixmaddenfranchise
    Those who didn't like those old modes, i feel, don't really want immersion or appreciate "the finer things". Of course a lot of those implementations didn't add anything of value - but it was more than we had.
    I agree with the others that I loved the vision cone. The only people I know who didn't were people not interested in sim football.
    I don't expect anything to be done perfectly. What I do expect is at least a small level of effort. That's all I want. To shuffle a few thousand dollars from the multi-billion dollar budget to pay a dev to add something. Just try and see what we get.
     Here's what you can expect from Madden 20's franchise mode. ... While there are some obvious things to be excited about, based on ... First, older Madden games had this feature, but it was removed years ago and still hasn't returned. Second, the sports video game series with the best franchise mode, ... by  epicfollowersuk
    ChaseB

    Madden’s franchise mode notes earlier this summer were a bit...light. This caused franchise mode players to,...
    Written By: Chris Huber
    Click here to view the article.

    Yes... absolutely...
    Every sixth generation version from 2003-2012 (esp 05-07) were FAR ahead of current generation in EVERY facet sans visuals and MUT, the latter of which should die in a bus fire.
    Personally I find that in many games 'Franchise' modes you get out of it what you put in.
    Obviously you are limited by the constraints of what the game physically offers, but that dosent stop you creating things in your own mind and going from there.
    The basics that need to be there are:
    Fun Gameplay, without that there is no point having a Franchise mode anyway as you wont want to play the game.
    Realism, from gameplay to sim engine you want to feel that what you see your team and the AI teams achieve, is in line with real life.
    AI, you need the AI to act reasonably and in their long term interests. ie not stacking positions, keeping stars, rebuilding at the right time and going balls deep now and then.
    Finally, being able to manage, craft, create, develop your roster the right way. Contracts, draft, trades all that working in as realistic way as possible.
    After that alot of the rest is nice to haves... stories, news articles, yeah they bring things to life but alot of that is manufactured and can never be as good as your own imagination. The Franchise mode should be a hand to guide your mind along a path, which you can fill with as much creation as you can.
    Clearly the mode needs love, but I think if the gameplay is right, then you can forgive bits and pieces missing from franchise as you can make the most of it if you are creative enough.
    That said, ive not bought the game yet and im not feeling 50 quid lighter for it.
    bestbrother
    Personally I find that in many games 'Franchise' modes you get out of it what you put in.
    Obviously you are limited by the constraints of what the game physically offers, but that dosent stop you creating things in your own mind and going from there.
    The basics that need to be there are:
    Fun Gameplay, without that there is no point having a Franchise mode anyway as you wont want to play the game.
    Realism, from gameplay to sim engine you want to feel that what you see your team and the AI teams achieve, is in line with real life.
    AI, you need the AI to act reasonably and in their long term interests. ie not stacking positions, keeping stars, rebuilding at the right time and going balls deep now and then.
    Finally, being able to manage, craft, create, develop your roster the right way. Contracts, draft, trades all that working in as realistic way as possible.
    After that alot of the rest is nice to haves... stories, news articles, yeah they bring things to life but alot of that is manufactured and can never be as good as your own imagination. The Franchise mode should be a hand to guide your mind along a path, which you can fill with as much creation as you can.
    Clearly the mode needs love, but I think if the gameplay is right, then you can forgive bits and pieces missing from franchise as you can make the most of it if you are creative enough.
    That said, ive not bought the game yet and im not feeling 50 quid lighter for it.

    Agreed to an extent. Great gameplay goes a long way toward the longevity of franchise but without the other things it’s becomes like playing a bunch of play now games. There’s no real attachment to anything, a big thing that kills it for me is CPU drafting logic, for example the Bengals just drafted Burrow, if they draft another qb in the first in my franchise it’s just sucks all the life out the mode for me.
    bestbrother
    Personally I find that in many games 'Franchise' modes you get out of it what you put in.
    Obviously you are limited by the constraints of what the game physically offers, but that dosent stop you creating things in your own mind and going from there.
    The basics that need to be there are:
    Fun Gameplay, without that there is no point having a Franchise mode anyway as you wont want to play the game.
    Realism, from gameplay to sim engine you want to feel that what you see your team and the AI teams achieve, is in line with real life.
    AI, you need the AI to act reasonably and in their long term interests. ie not stacking positions, keeping stars, rebuilding at the right time and going balls deep now and then.
    Finally, being able to manage, craft, create, develop your roster the right way. Contracts, draft, trades all that working in as realistic way as possible.
    After that alot of the rest is nice to haves... stories, news articles, yeah they bring things to life but alot of that is manufactured and can never be as good as your own imagination. The Franchise mode should be a hand to guide your mind along a path, which you can fill with as much creation as you can.
    Clearly the mode needs love, but I think if the gameplay is right, then you can forgive bits and pieces missing from franchise as you can make the most of it if you are creative enough.
    That said, ive not bought the game yet and im not feeling 50 quid lighter for it.

    I'll have to disagree.
    I remember 2004 and 2005, I simmed DOZENS of seasons with draft classes, never playing games. I loved going through drafting obscure guys, and seeing what I could turn them into. Had a pretty good NCAA dynasty, and it was probably the farthest I ever carried a franchise (15+ years)
    As a retro guy, I could continue to do just that. Recreating the 80s, 90s, to present day. IF the mode was strong enough.
    Had alot of fun with Head Coach 09 as well. Hands down the best reflection of an NFL franchise, IMO. If that game were customizable in terms of rosters and draft classes, I'd still be playing it. No paddle play whatsoever.
    I miss so many of these features. I didn't realize how spoiled I was as a kid with games like Madden 2005 and Madden 07 on the PS2. I think that's the origins of what made me a sim gamer.
    I miss the Tony Bruno show. I miss the newspapers. I miss training camp. I miss the scouting reports. I miss the full coaching staffs.
    The one feature that we can still sort of use on our own is preseason position battles. Of course, you have to monitor the stats yourself. But, it's something you can still create of your own accord. I still try to have QB competitions in my franchises when possible.
    There's a lot of stuff I wish was in the game. But, now I just try to supplement it with my imagination.
    Sent from my XT1650 using Operation Sports mobile app
    I think that people's recollections and feelings on these things largely depend on where they were in life and how they played the game. If someone was a kid back then, they probably didn't use the features the same way as those of us who were older.
    Personally, I was in my late 20s at the end of the PS2 era, when franchise mode peaked. I'd been playing Madden for about 15 years at that point, and video game football for about twenty years. For me, football games had gotten consistently better that entire time, and starting in the late 90s, franchise modes had become more and more robust every season as well. This was huge, because it was exactly what I wanted. Younger gamers might not have had the desire or patience, but I spent untold hours digging into the smallest details of the GM and owner aspects that were offered.
    I remember being so giddy thinking about what was to come when the PS3 got released, and how much more awesome EA would be able to make all of this. Everything would be cleaner, better laid out, more organized, deeper......boy, was I in for a kick to the groin.
    And then as far as gameplay, Vision Cone was an epic masterpiece. As someone who played and plays exclusively offline sim franchise mode with highly accurate QBs that don't run the ball, it was so wonderful. Finally, CPU QBs would be punished for playing recklessly, running one way and then throwing the ball across their body in the opposite direction. It worked perfectly on both sides of the ball. It did exactly what I always wanted. And then it was gone, never to return.
    Nostalgia is a powerful thing... especially when you get older and see everything around you changing. I look back at the older versions of Madden on PS2/XBOX with fondness now because of the things I wish were in current Madden. Also there is a part of me that desires to go back to that time period...period. So looking back on those times and those games is easy. But the problem with nostalgia is that it doesn't tell the whole story. Primary focus is on all that was good with no focus on the bad. Those older games hold a special place in my heart; but they were far from perfect.
    Yeah I remember putting a ton of time into Madden 05-08's franchise modes with the one in 07 being my favorite if memory serves because I used the Titans in Franchise mode. I know Kyle Fuller and his brothers so I knew Vincent was on the Titans and wanted to play with him and Vince Young I believe that was Young's rookie year.
    I was 15 when 07 came out and in high school so I had a lot more free time then than now at 28. Going deep into Franchise mode and reading all the news paper articles while listening to Tony Bruno in the background was a weekly ritual for me. The glory days if you will.
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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