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#FixMaddenFranchise and Reaction to Face of Franchise Improvements in Madden 21

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Madden NFL 21

#FixMaddenFranchise and Reaction to Face of Franchise Improvements in Madden 21

With the Gridiron Notes yesterday detailing Face of the Franchise and “classic” Franchise, the rubber finally hit the road so to speak. What are your thoughts on the additions and the backlash?

Chase Becotte: While I’m not surprised to see something like #FixFranchiseMode pick up steam, the level of outrage still should be unpacked since it comes from multiple directions. First off, you have EA on record just last year saying franchise mode is going to be a continued focus now. Now, if the argument is Face of the Franchise counts under that umbrella, the lie is not as blatant. But the thing about these focused single-player journeys is they have not been good enough either.

Longshot was the best attempt at a Madden story mode, and it hits some highs but still was criticized for a lack of interesting gameplay. Longshot 2 was a worse story and still not enough improvement in gameplay. Then last year’s QB1 has a strong start but it quickly fizzled out. In other words, EA hasn’t nailed the new thing they’re trying to sell to people while at the same time ignoring normal franchise mode in the process. So they’re not delivering an engaging one-year story, and they’re certainly not providing an interesting year-over-year choose your own adventure. So they’re failing at being a linear game and an RPG at the same time.

Legacy is another piece to this. It would be easier for folks to get over this slight if Madden wasn’t at one point the premiere franchise mode experience. It’s been years since that was the case, but between NCAA Football and Madden, Tiburon had franchise mode all but down to a science at one point. Now? Woof. And the issue just stacks on itself because Madden has been behind when it comes to franchise mode now for years. When people talk about the “death” of franchise mode, it’s more stark with Madden because the mode already lags behind the competition. When 2K does not put as much into its franchise mode equivalents one year, it’s upsetting, but the foundation of that mode is in a better place so it’s easier to still have a good time with the help of community. With Madden, there’s certainly some great modding happening on PC to try and cover up the issues, but the community can’t help as much to deepen the experience.

Lastly, you have NFL exclusivity recently ending back up with EA after the tease from both the NFL and 2K that things might finally be opening back up to competition. You put all that together, and that’s how you get Madden becoming the poster child for franchise mode fans finally standing up with other folks from the community and saying enough is enough.

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Phil Varckette: I will say that Face of the Franchise looks pretty fun. I will probably play through it as long as I can stand it. But “classic” franchise? Oh my. I really hope they have big plans for franchise mode on the next-gen systems. Maybe they just figured there wasn’t much more to do with current-gen and to use those resources on an overhauled franchise mode in next-gen? If that doesn’t happen, they will just create even more ill will going into the future of the franchise.

I know MUT is their money maker, but you have to have a deeper franchise mode. It’s football. As a GM/coach, you should absolutely be able to control way more than you can now. There is really no excuse at this point for incremental improvements. I still have a slight hope for an overhaul for next-gen, but I wouldn’t even bet a dollar on it.

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Bob Kollars: As a big franchise guy in almost every sports title, I can say that I wasn’t expecting much in terms of innovation or additions to franchise mode this year. Yet, EA still found way to make sure we got even less. Franchise fans have fought the good fight, but it’s absolutely apparent that franchise is being left for dead. This may sound like hyperbole, but at what stage do we just accept defeat and walk away knowing that franchise fans are, at best, antiquated in their desires when it comes to modern sports gaming?

We can talk about suits and direction and future plans all we want, but the past five years (more actually) has given us very little hope for the future. The writing is no longer even on the wall because even that is too much effort for EA to throw our way. I specifically remember being told how franchise fans were told to acclimate and accept the idea of Ultimate Team modes because they provided resources to help other modes keep growing with new additions and innovations. Well, I think we all see what that lie has delivered us.

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Joel Smith: I think at this point it’s safe to say that “classic” franchise mode is dead. We’ve been overlooked and have received what I feel are minor updates that haven’t enhanced what’s been a stagnant experience. As one of my favorite hip-hop groups of all time Wu-Tang Clan told us many years ago: “Cash Rules Everything Around Me/C.R.E.A.M. get the money/dolla dolla bills y’all!”

EA has been getting the dollars, billions of them, mainly from their Ultimate Team modes. While the developers, community managers and producers are the ones who deal with all the attacks from the community, they ultimately answer to folks higher up the food chain. In pointing this out, there has to be a point where the same community that plunges their hard earned dollars into increasing the profits for EA should be acknowledged and listened to. If franchise mode is still included in EA Sports titles, in this instance Madden, there simply is no excuse to expand on Face of the Franchise for Madden 21 (which, if you’ve all forgotten became the same stagnant franchise mode once you got to the NFL in Madden 20) if they’re not also putting resources into normal franchise mode.

I vent as a frustrated and disgruntled franchise/sim gamer. The only real way that we can be heard at this point is by spending our money on other football products that are trying to deliver what we’ve been vying for. We’ll never really know with 100 percent certainty why franchise mode is and has been ignored (most likely revenue or lack thereof), but if the community could possibly have a voice or voices that could actually be heard, maybe one iteration soon we’ll get a franchise mode with a hint of the depth and value that we see in, say, NBA 2K MyLeague/MyGM.

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Chris Huber: Face of the Franchise looks decent. That is about as much time as I’ll give the mode. I’ll pretty much echo what everyone else said in stating I had almost no expectations for the reveal yesterday and EA still managed to underwhelm. I was expecting maybe something small, like coordinators, or perhaps different broadcast packages for games on different days of the week. At minimum, the removal of the lame character creation journey the game puts you through if you want to control every team. But we got a minimal list of things that could have been patched into the game last October.

In Madden 18 we had custom draft classes. In Madden 19 (the last version I have), I’m not sure the mode was really touched — if it was, that’s an even bigger indictment of it. Last year, they introduced the scenario engine. Maybe we’ll get a new feature every two years, at best, from now on. If that’s what us franchise people are up against moving forward, PlayStation 4 might be my last stop for the Madden series.

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Josh Houtz: I was someone who actually liked Face of the Franchise in Madden 20 — or at least the general idea of it until it broke down a bit. My only gripe was that you were unable to change positions and the story ended once you were drafted to your NFL team. This year, the story seems much more detailed, and it should be fun following your character from high school to the NFL. I’m cautiously optimistic about Face of the Franchise 2.0.

Beyond that, franchise mode has been a staple of sports games dating back to the very beginning. Hell, it’s why most of us got into sports gaming in the first place. Having the opportunity to build your franchise in your vision and play through a realistic season mode was the hook back in the day. Unfortunately, over the years, EA has stopped putting time and resources into franchise mode. It’s hard to sit here and figure out the exact moment where EA went wrong with Madden’s franchise mode. But for a company that stated they would make changes last year at this time, I’m left feeling angry and betrayed. As others have stated, anything would’ve been better than what they gave us. They could have added coordinators, brought back mini games — there’s so many things they could’ve brought back to satiate consumers.

We have to continue holding those in charge accountable. I, like many, have bought Madden since the beginning. It’s time for them to do right by their loyal costumers. It’s time for EA to start listening to the community, and in doing so, creating a better product.

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  1. Nice job, fellas.
    I don't understand why EA just doesn't come out and say that a franchise mode isn't a priority for them.
    EDIT: I also fully agree with Bob....it's time for people to start supporting other avenues of "sim" football. I've been supporting Maximum Football's patreon for a couple years, now. I'm about to start supporting Axis football as well. I still don't think franchise players "boycotting" Madden will matter to EA, but supporting developers that share a similar vision to us means we'll get something closer to what we want as opposed to what we've been given with Madden. I encourage everyone that's upset that aren't buying Madden to put that money towards other developers.
    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    TheShizNo1
    Nice job, fellas.
    I don't understand why EA just doesn't come out and say that a franchise mode isn't a priority for them.
    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

    Because they count Face of Franchise as "franchise mode." But yeah, they made it pretty clear they don't care about "classic" franchise.
    TheShizNo1
    Nice job, fellas.
    I don't understand why EA just doesn't come out and say that a franchise mode isn't a priority for them.

    Two words: arrogance and contempt.
    Very well put. Glad you guys are using the platform to speak out. What EA is doing is garbage and it's about time they got some heat for it. I'm not expecting anything like this, but Battlefront II got the most dev backlash of all time. A few years later it was a (relatively) mtx-free game that delivered on nearly everything fans wanted at the start.
    EA has the model for how to care about customers right in their own company. They just have to decide to care more about their players and their dignity as the sole holders of the exclusive license when it comes to Madden.
    Very disappointed with Madden 21 not investing time with franchise. I'm still gonna buy the game this year. I have been buying this franchise since 1990, and never missed a game. Maybe the game can be delayed a few months to improve franchise. But I doubt they will happen.
    nolesfan69
    Very disappointed with Madden 21 not investing time with franchise. I'm still gonna buy the game this year. I have been buying this franchise since 1990, and never missed a game. Maybe the game can be delayed a few months to improve franchise. But I doubt they will happen.

    May I ask what warrants a purchase for you then?
    (Not asking to be an a**hole, just trying understand why people in the Franchise threads, who are disappointed, say they still wanna buy)
    I've bought Madden every year since it's existence, and as aggravated as I get every year with their nonsense, I still buy it because it's the only game out there. This is shaping up to be the first year I won't...
    I always like Franchise mode, never touched MUT or any of that other stuff, never interested me. The question I've been yelling for years is if you don't want to put resources into Franchise and dance around it with minuscule updates every year, can we AT THE VERY LEAST have a regular season mode???
    One thing I used to do was start a Franchise with 32 teams and play games on a weekly basis. Would it be so much to ask to simply have a season mode back? 2K does this and I love it for that reason. I don't need to play 26 seasons into a Franchise, I just want to play a season that keeps stats with current rosters...and truthfully, all I've played the past how many years since they started picking apart Franchise is Play Now.
    Frankly speaking, it's clear that EA's marketing folks have the same issue that also plagues many gamers; a distinct and palpable lack of patience.
    Longshot flops, oh wait, let's focus more on franchise, oh wait, let's focus on player career modes again. It's a pure lack of confidence in their brand and this constant wavering back and forth in lieu of really embracing Madden for what it is and building upon it. To use a sports analogy, they're trying too hard to smack a HR every at-bat and they are striking out a LOT. I can only imagine how obnoxious that has to be for the development team to be given new marching orders every time out. (We've seen similar paradigm shifts in gameplay and graphical engines)
    You buy 2k, you know exactly what you're getting, MyPlayer, MyTeam, and MyLeague (with MyGM for good measure). Those modes are constant and (for better and worse) don't change all that much aside from the real details. To continue that analogy, 2k is hitting a lot of singles, which is helping "the team" score more runs - just at a slow pace. I'm not a particular fan of that series (particularly of their franchise offerings), but can fully acknowledge that they have been much more consistent.
    If Madden marketing folks were more patient and built year after year on what they have - we'd be in a much better spot.
    As a Franchise gamer among all the sports sims, I understand the anguish.  But Madden 20 was the third-best selling game of 2019 and MUT brings in untold riches. Internally, EA feels no incentive to change course with that kind of financial success, and it's gonna take more than disenfranchised Franchise (heh) players to pull support to make any change of focus happen as long as MUT whales pour insane money into its "games as a service" modes. It is what is at this point.
    As most of you have said, I to have bought Madden for at least close to 30 years straight. This is the last straw for this sim/franchise community. Enough must really be enough this time. We have had to put up with too much crap the last 10 or so years. I agree and stand with everyone who says they will not be buying this steaming pile of garbage! As paying customer and as repeat paying customers we deserve to be listened to, we deserve to see actual changes that we want, WE DESERVE A REAL FRANCHISE MODE!
    Pfft. "Classic Franchise". What a slap in the face to the actual classic franchise you scumbag EA Marketing execs.
    Your stupid broken Longshot/Face of The Franchise "Franchise Mode" is lame. Your waste of TWO console generations (and soon to be three, don't kid yourself frustrated Franchise die hards) with continued lack of features, depth, immersion, stats, freedom of creation AND good sim gameplay has been well documented via 15 years of data, articles, pro-Franchise/anti-MUT video reviews/essays from Youtube Channels like Angry Joe Show, That Franchise Guy, SoftdrinkTV, RyanMoody21, SimFBCritic and the vocal list goes on and on...
    If us longtime Franchise players want real change we have to STOP falling for this BS from scumbag EA CEO Andrew Wilson's lootbox/microtransaction business model, Tiburon, and the WWNFL that is at fault too. DON'T BUY THIS GAME SERIES EVER AGAIN until EA puts some damn effort into a Franchise/Sim mode on the level that NBA2K STILL gives to it's fanbase EVERY year along with the
    options for pay to play, lootbox, microtransaction, gambling addiction mode of yearly digital card & skin/item collecting.
    Be vigilant, speak with your wallet like any disappointed consumer does for any crappy product...
    DON'T preorder the silly $60 to $100 MUT versions
    DON'T cave for the November 50% price drop
    DON'T cave again for the 75% Summer price drop
    DON'T fall for the yearly Madden hype from questionable review sites (ahem IGN ahem) media and Youtube ballwashing communities of the Madden Challenge/Bowl players and commentators.
    DON'T support the MUT Card pack opening Youtube shills (sorry MUTHead.com crew, some nice peeps over there but I cannot support you anymore for anything related to that game mode while my fave Madden mode is being eradicated).
    -------------------------------------------------
    DO use past Madden roster updates from the OS Communities to play retro Madden games with roster updates (same with retro 2K5.
    DO support indy video game football via purchasing Axis and Maximum Football games, that continue to try and create/offer depth of sim for video game football just for the sake of CREATION, all this with FAR LESS monetary/manpower resources as EA Sports.
    DO keep up social media awareness for the #FixMaddenFrachise campaign up this summer, fall, winter, spring etc until some kind innovative support (or open development/publishing) happens for this cause.
    DO visit the several recent Madden Boycott Change dot-org petitions: most recently for Madden21, which could use way more signature support (it is is titled "Force Madden To Rehaul Franchise" by petition starter Desmond Smith which I signed and contributed too)
    DO keep this up for M21 release day and continued through every Madden 21, 22, 23, 24, 2? related
    media UNTIL they surrender the IP to other innovative, excited developers/publishers, or give us what we have been asking for 15 years plus already from EA in regards to the only NFL football video game available.
    Change can happen, don't feel defeated by this, meet the moment. I'm 100% positive on this.
    Thanks for your time Franchise Fans :)
    TheShizNo1
    Nice job, fellas.
    I don't understand why EA just doesn't come out and say that a franchise mode isn't a priority for them.
    EDIT: I also fully agree with Bob....it's time for people to start supporting other avenues of "sim" football. I've been supporting Maximum Football's patreon for a couple years, now. I'm about to start supporting Axis football as well. I still don't think franchise players "boycotting" Madden will matter to EA, but supporting developers that share a similar vision to us means we'll get something closer to what we want as opposed to what we've been given with Madden. I encourage everyone that's upset that aren't buying Madden to put that money towards other developers.
    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

    This. If you are truly sick of what Madden has been over the years, support the other guys. I know plenty are going to be turned off by the graphics or the gameplay being as polished, but if you really want an offline experience and can overlook that stuff and accept the small dev team type of quality, then these games are worth it. Maximum Football may not have the animation polish, the presentation quality, the graphics, etc. of NCAA 14, but it does offer a dynasty experiencenthat in year 1 rivaled the late NCAA games. It does strive to produce a balanced game on and off of the field.
    Maximum and Axis both strive to satisfy the franchise gamer and I think they both do a good job of it. Again, I know plenty will immediately turn away when they see the graphics, but I personally think that these small dev teams have achieved an amazing amount of work with their incredibly small amount of resources. Maximum Football in one year gave us a Dynasty mode that rivals anything EA put out and we're getting more added to it this year like transfers and suspensions.
    Disappointing not to see focus. But I’m a DIEHARD season/franchise mode player for ANY sports title. 
    If Franchise were ever officially eliminated I’d hate it. But that would be it for me. I have ZERO interest in player journey modes. ????
    No season, no immersion, no reason to buy. 
    Not interested in grinding a million hours to field a high-calibre MUT team, not paying for one either, not interested in FOF.... probably my last year playing Madden. I only play Franchise and if will be nothing new or revamped... then why should I shell out $ just for an "update". Maybe a new hashtag is needed: #RetiringFromMadden
    canes21
    This. If you are truly sick of what Madden has been over the years, support the other guys. I know plenty are going to be turned off by the graphics or the gameplay being as polished, but if you really want an offline experience and can overlook that stuff and accept the small dev team type of quality, then these games are worth it. Maximum Football may not have the animation polish, the presentation quality, the graphics, etc. of NCAA 14, but it does offer a dynasty experiencenthat in year 1 rivaled the late NCAA games. It does strive to produce a balanced game on and off of the field.
    Maximum and Axis both strive to satisfy the franchise gamer and I think they both do a good job of it. Again, I know plenty will immediately turn away when they see the graphics, but I personally think that these small dev teams have achieved an amazing amount of work with their incredibly small amount of resources. Maximum Football in one year gave us a Dynasty mode that rivals anything EA put out and we're getting more added to it this year like transfers and suspensions.

    If Maximum's gameplay improves just 50% over last year, I'm all on Maximum this year. I am praying they smooth out gameplay, fix rushing, UI, tweak passing... weird, as we've come so far technically, Madden just continues to frustrate, and new game developers in the market fall a bit short. Maybe I'll transition to Draft Day Sports sims if it's another stagnant year for console sports games.
    dynastymgrguy
    If Maximum's gameplay improves just 50% over last year, I'm all on Maximum this year. I am praying they smooth out gameplay, fix rushing, UI, tweak passing... weird, as we've come so far technically, Madden just continues to frustrate, and new game developers in the market fall a bit short. Maybe I'll transition to Draft Day Sports sims if it's another stagnant year for console sports games.

    I don't know if you've followed any of Maximum's updates for the upcoming release, but they are tweaking the handoffs to hopefully be more organic and aid in the run game. Unity themselves is helping with development and a part of that help means an animation system specifically for the game. The devs have said this will result in much better WR tracking and animating. The load times are also receiving a lot of attention.
    I know it animates ugly at times, and the looks turn many off, but i personally think the game plays very well and it honestly gives me a bit of some 2k feeling in its gameplay with the way the players feel and the way the passing game behaves. I think that's why I like it and support the series. I won't lie about 2k5 and 2k8 being my two favorite video games on the field, so it is a bonus to me that Maximum has a similar feel to 2k, it just doesn't animate as pretty which is to be expected when you have literally 2 guys working on gameplay only. It's amazing what the entire 6-man team has done all around, though.
    JoshC1977
    Frankly speaking, it's clear that EA's marketing folks have the same issue that also plagues many gamers; a distinct and palpable lack of patience.
    Longshot flops, oh wait, let's focus more on franchise, oh wait, let's focus on player career modes again. It's a pure lack of confidence in their brand and this constant wavering back and forth in lieu of really embracing Madden for what it is and building upon it. To use a sports analogy, they're trying too hard to smack a HR every at-bat and they are striking out a LOT. I can only imagine how obnoxious that has to be for the development team to be given new marching orders every time out. (We've seen similar paradigm shifts in gameplay and graphical engines)
    You buy 2k, you know exactly what you're getting, MyPlayer, MyTeam, and MyLeague (with MyGM for good measure). Those modes are constant and (for better and worse) don't change all that much aside from the real details. To continue that analogy, 2k is hitting a lot of singles, which is helping "the team" score more runs - just at a slow pace. I'm not a particular fan of that series (particularly of their franchise offerings), but can fully acknowledge that they have been much more consistent.
    If Madden marketing folks were more patient and built year after year on what they have - we'd be in a much better spot.

    I agree.
    If their marketing folks were more patient and willing to let features get built out, we would be in better place. I get wanting to have enticing back of box features every year. But you still should work on those features in the following years. It's like they want something new every year instead of expanding on features they just implemented a year or two prior. Like I at least expected Scenario Engine to get some attention year 2, but they didn't even mention it at all outside of the suspected use for Storylines in FoF.
    Speaking of NBA2k, in the several years, they haven't really added much to MyLeague. The biggest MyLeague feature of last several years has been Mentors. MLO and MyGM has been the focus last 3-4 years and MyCareer and MyTeam gets it large focus. But people haven't been complaining like that about MyLeague because it is already at a good place. Sure a lot more else they can add to it and issues to sure up. But still is the standard.
    Madden has been trying to strike gold with these career modes and just doesn't get what people actually want with those career modes. No one wants the interactive movies/docs. I don't even like where MyCareer has gotten too. I actually prefer Live's The One over MyCareer. I preferred that format over what MyCareer is. People just want to play as themselves or fictional characters and get the NFL experience with off the field depth. Just go back to the old 6th Gen Superstar mode format. It had depth outside of just playing games and practice.
    illwill10
    I agree.
    If their marketing folks were more patient and willing to let features get built out, we would be in better place. I get wanting to have enticing back of box features every year. But you still should work on those features in the following years. It's like they want something new every year instead of expanding on features they just implemented a year or two prior. Like I at least expected Scenario Engine to get some attention year 2, but they didn't even mention it at all outside of the suspected use for Storylines in FoF.
    Speaking of NBA2k, in the several years, they haven't really added much to MyLeague. The biggest MyLeague feature of last several years has been Mentors. MLO and MyGM has been the focus last 3-4 years and MyCareer and MyTeam gets it large focus. But people haven't been complaining like that about MyLeague because it is already at a good place. Sure a lot more else they can add to it and issues to sure up. But still is the standard.
    Madden has been trying to strike gold with these career modes and just doesn't get what people actually want with those career modes. No one wants the interactive movies/docs. I don't even like where MyCareer has gotten too. I actually prefer Live's The One over MyCareer. I preferred that format over what MyCareer is. People just want to play as themselves or fictional characters and get the NFL experience with off the field depth. Just go back to the old 6th Gen Superstar mode format. It had depth outside of just playing games and practice.

    What's sad is that you're right in that NBA 2k hasn't been adding as much to MyLeague relative to previous years for the franchise, and you're right that it's because the franchise mode already has so much content as is, and that is why people don't complain as much... but it's sad because check this blog out and realize how much was added last year and that this is considered a weak year for the mode in that series.
    https://www.operationsports.com/nba-2k20-franchise-mode-developer-blog-mygm-2-0-myleague-more/
    If Madden's franchise mode received that many updates this year, that'd be the most the mode has been updated in over a decade.
    And if you really want to get even more sad, here is 2k18's blog.
    https://www.operationsports.com/nba-2k19-myleague-and-mygm-developer-blog/
    I forget who said it but he was dead on... I had absolutely 0 expectations for this game. Between COVID-19 and the shift to a new console, either one of those things would prevent an greatly improved game, but both of them together...there was no chance.
    But the fact that even with divided resources and potentially a disruption in production, they managed to 'improve' face of the franchise... a mode that... once again: NO. ONE. ASKED. FOR.
    And did EA really think calling it "classic franchise' would make things better? That right there is the biggest face palm of this entire fiasco. Did some PR person go "ok...I see that we did pretty much nothing for franchise. Our fans will not be happy. I know!! Let's call it 'classic franchise' They will love it!"
    Ugh.
    Excellent article.  It's obvious more than ever that the dual curse of "e sports" competitive Madden and the cancer upon sports gaming that is Ultimate Team have killed off any chance of a future sim experience in the series.  Franchise is dead and buried and EA has absolutely no interest in making it worthwhile in the future when they can milk the pure gacha experience of UT modes and tune the game in favor of generic stick skills without the variables of real life.  Add in EA's comfortable monopoly over the license and they have no reason to care about any sort of improvement going forward.  The MUT junkies will spend their outrageous amounts of cash into that mode, and that's all that'll matter.
    I can live with older Maddens for my NFL fix, and hopefully, the alternatives in the market will continue to improve in their ability to provide a proper football experience. 
    The Senator
    Excellent article.* It's obvious more than ever that the dual curse of "e sports" competitive Madden and the cancer upon sports gaming that is Ultimate Team have killed off any chance of a future sim experience in the series.* Franchise is dead and buried and EA has absolutely no interest in making it worthwhile in the future when they can milk the pure gacha experience of UT modes and tune the game in favor of generic stick skills without the variables of real life.* Add in EA's comfortable monopoly over the license and they have no reason to care about any sort of improvement going forward.* The MUT junkies will spend their outrageous amounts of cash into that mode, and that's all that'll matter.
    I can live with older Maddens for my NFL fix, and hopefully, the alternatives in the market will continue to improve in their ability to provide a proper football experience.*

    I do want to call something out here. I don't want people to get lost in the weeds here by making this some sort of "modes war" thing. It's infighting that does no one any good. Franchise mode peeps have bad blood towards MUT fans etc. and it's always been sort of misplaced.
    Instead, the idea should be more that EA does clearly understand the importance of "live updates" and "live content" but just these companies seem to forget the idea of "live" thus matters for everything now.
    If you have a mode in your game that's stagnant and not improving, then it's dying. The conceit of creating new content during the year was to keep people engaged all year.
    If you're not going to support a mode then remove it because you're doing it no favors. This is why I sort of don't mind when companies remove an online franchise mode if almost no one plays it and they're not supporting it. Don't introduce something if you don't have plans to support it etc.
    Every game company now gets the importance of adding to things, it's been a nice part about content updates. But the point is make sure companies also understand consumers expect that sort of support across the spectrum. This means for something like franchise mode, giving it meaningful updates every cycle, especially if you're not going to focus on it as much during the year itself.
    I've seen many members get banned over the years for these types of comments. Good to see OS finally criticizing Madden and discussing, at least in the shallow end, EA's broken promises and failures. 
    ChaseB
    I do want to call something out here. I don't want people to get lost in the weeds here by making this some sort of "modes war" thing. It's infighting that does no one any good. Franchise mode peeps have bad blood towards MUT fans etc. and it's always been sort of misplaced.
    Instead, the idea should be more that EA does clearly understand the importance of "live updates" and "live content" but just these companies seem to forget the idea of "live" thus matters for everything now.
    If you have a mode in your game that's stagnant and not improving, then it's dying. The conceit of creating new content during the year was to keep people engaged all year.
    If you're not going to support a mode then remove it because you're doing it no favors. This is why I sort of don't mind when companies remove an online franchise mode if almost no one plays it and they're not supporting it. Don't introduce something if you don't have plans to support it etc.
    Every game company now gets the importance of adding to things, it's been a nice part about content updates. But the point is make sure companies also understand consumers expect that sort of support across the spectrum. This means for something like franchise mode, giving it meaningful updates every cycle, especially if you're not going to focus on it as much during the year itself.

    Great insight and completely agree.
    JoshC1977
    Frankly speaking, it's clear that EA's marketing folks have the same issue that also plagues many gamers; a distinct and palpable lack of patience.
    Longshot flops, oh wait, let's focus more on franchise, oh wait, let's focus on player career modes again. It's a pure lack of confidence in their brand and this constant wavering back and forth in lieu of really embracing Madden for what it is and building upon it. To use a sports analogy, they're trying too hard to smack a HR every at-bat and they are striking out a LOT. I can only imagine how obnoxious that has to be for the development team to be given new marching orders every time out. (We've seen similar paradigm shifts in gameplay and graphical engines)
    You buy 2k, you know exactly what you're getting, MyPlayer, MyTeam, and MyLeague (with MyGM for good measure). Those modes are constant and (for better and worse) don't change all that much aside from the real details. To continue that analogy, 2k is hitting a lot of singles, which is helping "the team" score more runs - just at a slow pace. I'm not a particular fan of that series (particularly of their franchise offerings), but can fully acknowledge that they have been much more consistent.
    If Madden marketing folks were more patient and built year after year on what they have - we'd be in a much better spot.

    Hitting a home run out of the park and missing? I disagree. They are actually the Madden CPU on their game winning drive throwing a checkdown with 12 seconds left and no timeouts running to the LoS as time runs out.
    I've never worked for a gaming dev but I've been a computer engineer for years in massive organizations. Everywhere I've been, certain implementations get all the resources and money - the ones that actually generate revenue. The other stuff? Those staff members are underpaid, lacking resources, and no one cares about their work - they simply keep their environments afloat. That's how I feel about Madden.
    We live in a world driven by instant gratification and a mixture of mom and dad's credit card and poor financial decisions spending absorbent amounts of money on in-game purchases. EA really has no use for us plebs.
    It's time to accept that there is not and likely won't ever be competition in this market and we will never get a truly quality product. Either quit buying the game or embrace the suck.
    IIIPercent
    I've seen many members get banned over the years for these types of comments. Good to see OS finally criticizing Madden and discussing, at least in the shallow end, EA's broken promises and failures.*

    Well, there's a way to properly criticize and critique something. Even if you feel like the modding team is overbearing at times, generally speaking bans occur due to incessant drilling on points or just not being able to moderate one's own negativity to fit into something worth reading that's not just venting.
    There's still a difference between "EA sucks, fire everyone" and what these discussions have been. There's a way to be negative and actually meaningfully do it, and that's the part people struggle with at times.
    JoshC1977
    Frankly speaking, it's clear that EA's marketing folks have the same issue that also plagues many gamers; a distinct and palpable lack of patience.
    Longshot flops, oh wait, let's focus more on franchise, oh wait, let's focus on player career modes again. It's a pure lack of confidence in their brand and this constant wavering back and forth in lieu of really embracing Madden for what it is and building upon it. To use a sports analogy, they're trying too hard to smack a HR every at-bat and they are striking out a LOT. I can only imagine how obnoxious that has to be for the development team to be given new marching orders every time out. (We've seen similar paradigm shifts in gameplay and graphical engines)
    You buy 2k, you know exactly what you're getting, MyPlayer, MyTeam, and MyLeague (with MyGM for good measure). Those modes are constant and (for better and worse) don't change all that much aside from the real details. To continue that analogy, 2k is hitting a lot of singles, which is helping "the team" score more runs - just at a slow pace. I'm not a particular fan of that series (particularly of their franchise offerings), but can fully acknowledge that they have been much more consistent.
    If Madden marketing folks were more patient and built year after year on what they have - we'd be in a much better spot.

    Agree on the whole, but 2K goofed up MyGM pretty bad this year so I think that one did not remain a constant.
    IIIPercent
    Hitting a home run out of the park and missing? I disagree. They are actually the Madden CPU on their game winning drive throwing a checkdown with 12 seconds left and no timeouts running to the LoS as time runs out.
    I've never worked for a gaming dev but I've been a computer engineer for years in massive organizations. Everywhere I've been, certain implementations get all the resources and money - the ones that actually generate revenue. The other stuff? Those staff members are underpaid, lacking resources, and no one cares about their work - they simply keep their environments afloat. That's how I feel about Madden.
    We live in a world driven by instant gratification and a mixture of mom and dad's credit card and poor financial decisions spending absorbent amounts of money on in-game purchases. EA really has no use for us plebs.
    It's time to accept that there is not and likely won't ever be competition in this market and we will never get a truly quality product. Either quit buying the game or embrace the suck.

    Rex Dickson quit because EA refused to allow him to improve Franchise mode and other sim football stuff. I think he might have deleted the tweet by now, but basically someone attacked him for Franchise mode sucking a while ago, and he responded that it wasn't his fault that not being able to improve it because of pressure from management in part drove his resignation.
    As for numbers of people who played it, there is this:
    https://twitter.com/Rex_Dickson_/status/1278368910882947072
    "I may have dropped a hint or two," he says after being shown a "franchise blueprint" created by users with respect to why he no longer works at EA. He quotes the following with that comment:
    I like many others have played Madden since the very first one. My support for the game has decreased over the years only buying it when it's on sale only to find out that the improvements aren't even worth the sale price.(Play your previous year Madden to compare imrovements. Is it patches or a true upgrade?) Maybe classic franchise mode players they want to weed out by not improving it at all or very little. I don't have anything against the other modes and I have played them but I still prefer franchise mode. As long as Madden makes EA money they could care less about classic franchise mode. I hope to read reviews from other players when they review the game to give me a reason to buy it other than MUT. For me the cycle with Madden ends. I'm tired of the hype machine every year, or hoping for a "much improved gameplay, modes, etc." Sounds like a wash, rinse, repeat cycle every year with Madden. Madden won't miss my yearly donation, time to look elsewhere.
    Wow, I at least thought they would've added something..Smh..Its a bad look so I hope they have something they add in to kover for this we've put up with for years..Come on man..
    Good read. First time on this board where I see close too if not 100% of people on the same page for once.
    Anyways I doubt 2K is even close to making a football game this year, but man if they did especially in August, this would be the perfect time. Even if it's a NFL blitz game but crazy deep franchise mode, it would make EA sweat. Of course 2k isn't coming out with one though this year :(. Is there a donation site for the other 2 games people are buying? Might just buy extra copies of both and give them to people. One thing I like about steam, I can buy games and gift them to my friends and vice versa.
    Edit: Cowboy_Kmoney, how the hell you a cards fan with Cowboy in your name!!!! hahaa You are soooo fired! :D
    This will be a good time to reiterate: once again, 2k dropped the ball.
    As I've said numerous times, when EA got the license years ago, 2k missed an opportunity. They could have created a generic, yet fully customizable game-- so if gamers wanted to create NFL teams, that's on the gamers. EA cannot stop what gamers do to a game... wink, wink. APF would still be around, but they did not have a franchise. APF is basically a playnow game with all star players and they thought that was good enough. Anyway, instead of seeing an opportunity, they just closed up shop.
    Fast forward now. 2 months ago, it was released that 2k signed a deal for a 'non sim' game... god knows what that is. 2k should have saved their money and instead invested it into the generic football game they didn't do 15 years ago.
    Now would have been perfect: everyone is ticked off at EA. 2k has the name brand to make this work.
    But oh well.
    burter
    Good read. First time on this board where I see close too if not 100% of people on the same page for once.
    Anyways I doubt 2K is even close to making a football game this year, but man if they did especially in August, this would be the perfect time. Even if it's a NFL blitz game but crazy deep franchise mode, it would make EA sweat. Of course 2k isn't coming out with one though this year :(. Is there a donation site for the other 2 games people are buying? Might just buy extra copies of both and give them to people. One thing I like about steam, I can buy games and gift them to my friends and vice versa.
    Edit: Cowboy_Kmoney, how the hell you a cards fan with Cowboy in your name!!!! hahaa You are soooo fired! :D

    Lol..Yeah bro I'm from Texas But it was the only name the system had to go with my name..Lol.But all Redbirds all the time..
    This Face of the Franchise crap is what their plan is.  In the age of social media, kids don't have local favorite teams.  You can see anything you want to see about any team.  Gone are the days where you only got deep news about your local NFL team.  Kids today have favorite players, not favorite teams.  Kids today like Pat Mahomes, not so much the Chiefs.  Unfortunately, those of us that grew up playing franchise in the 90's pre-internet are antiquated nowadays.  We had favorite teams.  We only saw our own local team on CBS or NBC on sundays and a national monday night game.  We may have gotten #FixMaddenFranchise to trend, but I don't see EA catering to us.  It's sad, but we are being left behind by EA.
    At this point EA’s tag line should be changed from “its in the game” to “no lube”
    Literally every EA sports title has a better franchise mode then madden with the exception of UFC as that game really isn’t the type of game where a “franchise” mode works. NHL’s Franchise mode has made huge strides every year, even going as far as adding coaching staffs (although generic coaches). Fifa career mode while although stale, steels feels engaging and alive. Like I am really apart of world football. I bought madden 20 and had a blast with it. Sure the franchise improvements were small, but I saw the effort and appreciated it. This year I just cannot justify a purchase. First time since 1996 I will not be buying a madden title, unless I find it for like $20 around Black Friday. This year it’s a no for me
    I hold out hope that maybe the gameplay improvements are enough to make it a worthwhile $65 purchase. It is what I spend on a round of golf every weekend and continue to just be a bogey player most of the time.
    Last year the game was average at best, and franchise lacked an immersive component as it has for several years. Would love to wave a magic wand and get the graphics of today and the Madden model from 2008, assistant coaches and 32 team control anyone?
    Perhaps a developer will have a great idea and one bigwig in the board/strategy room will finally listen and think - hey its a bad idea to alienate the guys buying this game for multiple decades.
    Just not holding out hope though, envisioning a day in the not too distant future where EA just closes the door on "classic" franchise all together, since the board room only has eyes for micro tran$action$.
    Sad day to be a hardcore Franchise Guy. Hoping Iteachpercussion still buys it and makes some more of his classic rosters, cause those in Play Now or playing just one season have been saving Madden for me.
    This era of microtransactions, e-sports and online live services officially killed my enthusiasm for the sports gaming genre. I still have fun with franchise modes in NBA 2K, The Show and NHL, but apart from NBA's offline modes, this is no longer the genre I grew up playing.
    The amount of innovation that was around in the mid 2000's was the high point of this genre and it's a shame that factors outside of the customer's control wasted sports gaming on the advanced technology of Gen 8 and 9 consoles (as well as PC).
    I still have faith that independent studios will step up in areas EA and 2K ignore. OOTP Developments, Canuck Play, Axis, Big Ant Studios and Metalhead Software are out there and are much more deserving of our support than EA.
    I'm not going to let PS5/XSX sway my opinion. I will not be buying EA games of any kind for the forseeable future until their business model changes. NBA 2K, The Show and even OOTP Baseball prove that strong offline presences can exist despite microtransactions. It's a shame Madden, FIFA and NHL can not, and will not, follow suit.
    #FixMaddenFranchise.
    thudias
    Has Michael Young even responded to any of this feedback?

    After last years fiasco(from a solo Franchise players perspective) with the Game Informer interview, and the decision to only do a Title Update to regular Franchise this year, and maybe even a gag order from whomever his boss is, odds of him saying anything about this would seem to be close to zero percent.
    One thing I have never understood is why sports games don’t sell franchise mode as DLC. I see tons of arguments that EA doesn’t care about franchise because MUT is their money-maker. I would gladly buy the base game and spend another $20 for a detailed, immersive franchise mode DLC if there was some actual developer effort put into it. I’m betting most people on this thread would gladly hand over $20 for that too.
    haleyjr
    One thing I have never understood is why sports games don’t sell franchise mode as DLC. I see tons of arguments that EA doesn’t care about franchise because MUT is their money-maker. I would gladly buy the base game and spend another $20 for a detailed, immersive franchise mode DLC if there was some actual developer effort put into it. I’m betting most people on this thread would gladly hand over $20 for that too.

    Why would I start paying for something that is to be expected in the base game and be happy to do so. Nothing has changed in game development that would give them a legitimate excuse to put franchise additions behind a paywall. The only reason franchise mode gets neglected is because they choose to ignore it. It's not like something happened in the industry that made them not have the power to work on franchise mode without receiving more money from us. So, no, I don't imagine a ton of people would be happy to pay extra for something that has no excuse to not already be provided at the default price.
    canes21
    Why would I start paying for something that is to be expected in the base game and be happy to do so. Nothing has changed in game development that would give them a legitimate excuse to put franchise additions behind a paywall. The only reason franchise mode gets neglected is because they choose to ignore it. It's not like something happened in the industry that made them not have the power to work on franchise mode without receiving more money from us. So, no, I don't imagine a ton of people would be happy to pay extra for something that has no excuse to not already be provided at the default price.

    I hear ya. I do. But the world has changed, man. And if the options are to let the mode die or spend a little extra to keep it financially viable, I’m willing to fork over the extra cash. Let the mode stand on its own, separate from MUT and the RPG crap, and the market will speak. My guess is if they delivered on what the sim/franchise community wants, Franchise Mode DLC would be a money-maker for EA.
    haleyjr
    I hear ya. I do. But the world has changed, man. And if the options are to let the mode die or spend a little extra to keep it financially viable, I’m willing to fork over the extra cash. Let the mode stand on its own, separate from MUT and the RPG crap, and the market will speak. My guess is if they delivered on what the sim/franchise community wants, Franchise Mode DLC would be a money-maker for EA.

    The world has not changed, EA has. Businesses in and out of this industry still use their money makers to prop up their other products and services. EA makes more money than ever before thanks to MUT and Madden Mobile. Franchise isn't being ignored because it isn't financially viable for them to put resources into the mode. It's simply being ignored and there is nothing more to it.
    I get where you are coming from, but I think you're speaking out of desperation for any updates right now. EA has the resources to continually update the mode. They do not need to put the updates behind a paywall. The world has not changed in that regard like you alluded to. 2k can is able to use their MyTeam money and continually update Franchise. The Show with its fraction of the resources Madden has sees franchise still receive more updates. All good companies will support their products, they will use their cash cows to finance keeping their other products afloat. If the world had changed then these other companies wouldn't be able to update their modes. If the world had changed then Unreal doesn't use their Fortnite money to make MegaScans free for all users. The world hasn't changed to the point where Franchise updates need to be DLC.
    haleyjr
    One thing I have never understood is why sports games don’t sell franchise mode as DLC. I see tons of arguments that EA doesn’t care about franchise because MUT is their money-maker. I would gladly buy the base game and spend another $20 for a detailed, immersive franchise mode DLC if there was some actual developer effort put into it. I’m betting most people on this thread would gladly hand over $20 for that too.

    One thing I had always hoped to see was "Head Coach 21" sold as an expansion game that interfaces with the Madden engine (but if you weren't interested in playing on field then the Head Coach standalone game works as a stat simulator).
    canes21
    The world has not changed, EA has. Businesses in and out of this industry still use their money makers to prop up their other products and services. EA makes more money than ever before thanks to MUT and Madden Mobile. Franchise isn't being ignored because it isn't financially viable for them to put resources into the mode. It's simply being ignored and there is nothing more to it.
    I get where you are coming from, but I think you're speaking out of desperation for any updates right now. EA has the resources to continually update the mode. They do not need to put the updates behind a paywall. The world has not changed in that regard like you alluded to. 2k can is able to use their MyTeam money and continually update Franchise. The Show with its fraction of the resources Madden has sees franchise still receive more updates. All good companies will support their products, they will use their cash cows to finance keeping their other products afloat. If the world had changed then these other companies wouldn't be able to update their modes. If the world had changed then Unreal doesn't use their Fortnite money to make MegaScans free for all users. The world hasn't changed to the point where Franchise updates need to be DLC.

    Not going to respond to all of this, but the world has changed. And changed significantly. Game genres come and go. Game modes come and go. E-Sports are incredibly popular and a real career now. Content creators are real careers as well.
    Franchise is a core mode for many of us that have been playing for 15+ years, but that doesn't mean it would continue to be a core mode for the game developers to continue focusing on.
    I'd gladly fork over extra money if it meant the only mode I play, franchise, received real attention and development during the yearly cycle.
    I don't know how popular franchise mode really is though. I watch a few Youtubers that run franchises regularly every year and enjoy the content. But when it comes to popularity it would be the MUT and H2H e-athletes and content creators that generate the most traffic.
    The popularity of modes other than franchise has changed. The world has not. Yes, genres and games come and go as they always have. All other sports games continue develop their UT style modes, but find in themselves to still reinvest into their franchise modes.
    2k created a cash cow in MyPlayer and MyTeam. MyPlayer is insanely popular. 2k still uses the money they get from that and other MTX(micro transactions) to constantly improve the offline and singleplayer experiences.
    MLB The Show implemented Diamond Dynasty and makes so much more money from the mode. They're small team still has the ability to update DD, yet still put resources into the offline experience so that it doesn't feel ignored.
    Out of the Park put in Perfect Team. It's increased their revenues and profits a healthy amount. They've still found it in themselves to not only continously support PT, but to continuously improve what is arguably the best franchise mode in any sports game ever. They've been able to take their newfound money stream and use it to make more changes to Franchise mode in the last 3 years than Madden has in the last 9 since we saw Connected Careers replace Franchise.
    When looking away from sports games only, games all over are bringing in cash from MTX-heavy modes and are reinvesting into their core gameplay. GTA Online prints Rockstar money. That money allowed them to not only provide free updates to Online mutliple times a year every year since release, but it allowed them to put as many resources and time into the creation of Red Dead II.
    Fortnite prints even more money. Unreal has used that money to reinvest into their engine and games. They've made so many tools and resources free for developers now that used to cost a pretty penny. They've completely changed their royalty policy for the better because of Fortnite's money printing ability.
    I could continue on and on. The point I'm making is that the world hasn't changed. It is still the norm and smart business to take your moneymakers and reinvest into your products. EA has no excuse to not improve franchise mode. They make more money now than ever. Updating the mode has not become impossible. They simply have chosen to ignore the mode and that's really the end of it. They have more than enough resources to support MUT, to build up Face of the Franchise, and to build a robust franchise mode. In fact, MUT and Madden Mobile has given them more resources to make this more viable than ever before.
    In a way, you are right in the end. The world has changed. Modes like MUT have become very popular. Madden Mobile and mobile gaming as a whole makes a ridiculous amount of money. Things have changed and EA has more resources than ever before to improve their offline experiences, but they simply choose not to while the rest of the industry does the opposite.
    The idea that franchise doesn't get updated because EA can't afford to allocate the resources to do so is silly. The idea that in order to update the mode we would not only need to pay the base $60, but then another $20 or $30 to make it viable for EA is just a farse. EA has more resources now than ever before to create the best franchise mode ever, they simply choose not to. That's it.
    }#FixMaddenH2H They need to fix their game! We’ve been asking themto fix the online H2H ranking and stats problems for YEARS! And also put
    injuries, weather, the ability to challenge plays, and realistic penalties back into online H2H like they used to be.
     
    }https://answers.ea.com/t5/Bug-Reports/H2H-Stats-amp-Ranking-Not-Showing/td-p/9432313/highlight/false/page/11
     
    https://answers.ea.com/t5/Madden-NFL-20/Madden-20-online-H2H-rankings-not-showing/td-p/8071427/page/52

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