While a lot of the news that comes out during the week of E3 and EA Play can be a bit underwhelming at times, occasionally there is a nugget that drops that creates a stir in the industry for both media and fans alike. This year one could describe the news that Madden 19 will make its triumphant return to the PC as one of those nuggets. If you’re not sure why this is exciting news, well, Madden has not been available on the PC platform since 2008 when Vince Young graced the cover — that’s right, Vince Young. While Madden developers have said they will not officially promote the modding of Madden ’19, they’re not going to police the community either, and are actually excited to see what can be done. For those that plan to participate in the PC version of Madden, this is very exciting news for a number of reasons, and with that, I wanted to take a look at the five mods I hope to see the community develop and release.
For most, I think an NCAA Football mod is high on the list. Fans of this series have been reduced to playing earlier versions of NCAA Football on previous consoles, due to the well-publicized legal battle that has taken place the last few years. While we hold out hope that a fully licensed NCAA Football title will one day also make its return, that time is not close. So that leaves us wanting an updated version of college football, and an NCAA/Madden mod might just be a greatest chance for the foreseeable future. It’s true that the mod would of course be limited with the number of teams that could be included, stadium replications and playoff system. Still, at its core, it could provide a number of the teams from power conferences (and Notre Dame) and allow for some sort of modified version of a college football playoff scenario. At this juncture, just to see a collegiate return with improved graphics, updated physics and gameplay should and would suffice for most fans of the now defunct college football series.
If we are being truthful, the developers at Madden do a solid job of re-creating the massive cathedrals and fields that NFL football fans watch their beloved play in and on week to week. The issues sometimes arise when teams make a weekly specific change to help commemorate certain events that may be taking place. Of course this doesn’t kill the immersion factor for many, but for those that are sticklers for realism this type of mod is welcomed with huge, open arms. Of course this style of mod doesn’t just play out in the realm of the current NFL, but is extremely important when it comes to a possible retro NFL seasonal re-creations, NCAA mods, CFL mods, or any other league that this amazing community can think of and develop. Once again, the immersion factor is raised quite significantly when proper field art is associated with a specific mod that is released, and should be very high on the list of those that await the spectacles that are going to be provided by the modding community.
For many, the ability to modify uniforms and accessories (mouth guards anyone?) will be the absolute most sought-after mod to be created. I understand that for a large majority having the correct arm wrap, helmet decal, or facemask isn’t a big deal, but for a growing minority it absolutely is a game breaker. Whether it’s licensing issues, NFL allowance, or just being lost in the minutia of it all, not all uniforms and accessories are created equal in the world of Madden football. This is where the modding community becomes so important (and appreciated) as hopefully they will now be able to help provide the accuracy and realistic appearance of your favorite football teams. The importance of this ability will have a halo-effect in almost every single mod that is created, and that is why it is one of my top five most anticipated mods I hope to see.
Although many may not get too excited about seeing different scoreboard and presentation overlays, I for one absolutely do. If you are at all familiar with what the modding community has been able to accomplish within the NBA 2K community, then you have a full understanding of how an official scoreboard or intro music lead-in can help with the immersion factor of said game. Imagine the excitement of a Fox Sports music intro, and an authentic Fox Sports NFL scoreboard being represented up in the top right hand corner? Take that a step further and imagine a throwback “Are you ready for some football” Hank Williams Jr. music lead-in, with an official Monday Night Football scoreboard and presentation? The opportunities here are many, and while presentation and overlays may not be the number one most requested mod, they will be high on the list.
Simplified Roster Editing
Madden on console obviously provides player editing as well as full roster creations, but as anyone who has attempted to do any roster modifications will tell you, it can be downright tedious. With the correct PC programs, this ability becomes much easier, not only in the process itself, but also in terms of the overall accuracy many mod creators attempt to provide. This type of modding ability will have positive ramifications that will be felt by the whole community. Whether it’s an accurate current or retro-style NFL roster, NCAA roster or CFL roster, the ability to simplify the process and promote greater accuracy will be welcomed by creators and users alike, and should be high on anyone’s list of possible in-game modifications.
While the subject of modding is easily a subjective one when it comes to what is most anticipated, the excitement of the possibilities that await is almost palpable. The hope of most of the Madden PC community is that the ability to mod will take the overall Madden experience to a level not felt (by many) in a long time, if ever. At this point, a tempered approach is probably best, but the fact that the developers are set to (unofficially) embrace the modding community should have everyone excited. As for myself, these are just a few of my personal “wants” in regards to mods that will hopefully become available post-release of Madden 19 on PC.
What are some of yours?