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Why Next-Gen Madden Can't Make the Same Mistakes All Over Again

Madden NFL 21

Why Next-Gen Madden Can't Make the Same Mistakes All Over Again

Let’s travel way back to November 22, 2005. This was the day the Xbox 360 launched in the United States. It launched with 14 games in North America. One of those games was the now infamous Madden NFL 06. Before that fateful day, we had geared up for HD Madden by seeing a next-gen trailer showing a snow game with the Eagles vs. the Giants. This created so much hype in the Madden community just a year after finding out we would no longer be getting any NFL 2K games.

At the same time, it’s now easy to forget but for as good as 2K was at making football games, the PS2/Xbox era of Madden had its own loyal fans. So it would only be fair to say that most people thought that Madden NFL 06 would continue that trend on the Xbox 360.

Surely, EA would take their well received base engine and port it to next-gen consoles to make the game even better, not just graphically but gameplay wise as well. The Madden games before the 360/PS3 era featured a deep and immersive franchise mode with owner mode components, a fresh superstar mode, drills, the Tony Bruno Radio Show and you could even decide how much you wanted to charge for a hot dog. Yes, that generation of Madden was also a hot dog simulator.

Madden NFL 06 On Xbox 360 Was A Mess

I’ll give you my personal experience with Madden NFL 06 on the Xbox 360 because it’s pretty much like everyone else’s. I was lucky enough to get a console pre-ordered from Blockbuster of all places. I worked there at the time, so my boss — who was super cool — made sure I got one. I couldn’t contain my excitement.

Back at my apartment, I had some friends waiting to start a Madden 06 tournament. We had done similar sorts of tournaments in all the other football games around that time so I was excited. I hooked up the system to my archaic, but really good at the time, 27-inch CRT HD widescreen TV for some amazing 720p action.

Well, the game looked pretty good, but it was apparent from the opening kickoff that something was wrong, No John Madden or Al Michaels? Who is this voice and why does it sound like a radio broadcast? We were all pretty confused as to what was going on. The game felt so different, and not in a good way. We all expected it to feel like a better version of the PS2 and Xbox version of the games. The game was so bad, we didn’t even play a half. We put in NFL 2K5 in my original Xbox and had another tournament with that game instead.

How could they have screwed this up so bad? What happened to Madden? Well, if you look hard enough you can find an interview in Rolling Stone titled “‘We’re Totally F–ked’: Inside The Making of Madden NFL 06.” You can’t even see the full article now on Rolling Stone as it has been scrubbed from the site.

The summary of the article is that the developers were unprepared, tried to rewrite too many portions of the game, hired too many people too fast, did not get proper console specs in time, and were basically asked to do something that couldn’t be done. Remember that trailer I mentioned? That wasn’t even supposed to have been made public. It was meant to be an internal video for the art team to encapsulate the vision they were trying to achieve. However, some executives got a look at it and ran with it.

To sum it up, Madden developer Ian Cummings said, “You see this final product as a gamer and it’s a turd. But we slaved. That was the hardest I had ever worked in my whole life. To have to come up with that result was what was so crushing about it.”

From that point on, Tiburon struggled getting Madden up to the quality folks were used to. I like to call this generation of Madden its lost generation. It was a series of Madden video games that could never seem to get out of their own way. When you build something on such a poor foundation, it’s hard to keep it standing.

While there was always some year-over-year improvement, it wasn’t ever enough for most fans. Some of the games were enjoyable, but without any competitio, we were stuck with one NFL game. As the generation started nearing its end, it seemed like Tiburon was finally starting to make a turnaround. NCAA Football 14 was released in 2013 and was the biggest leap in gameplay quality for the entire generation. It took seven years to get a vast majority of critical acclaim from fans and media alike.

A Tidier Mess But Still Not A Great Generation

Madden would then find itself in a familiar situation. The dawn of the Xbox One and PS4 platforms were coming that holiday season. This marked Madden’s 25th anniversary, so they decided to start the new generation of consoles off with a new name and call it Madden 25. Many people expected the game to continue to get better, and be better than NCAA Football14. However, on the Xbox One and PS4, it was a solid upgrade from last-gen, but not a giant leap in quality many had hoped for. It scored a solid 73 critic score and an abysmal 5.8 user score.

However, I thought the game was better than a 5.8 — yes, that’s faint praise I know. I think EA did some things right by attempting to improve on the previous generation of games by not trying to re-invent everything by using a brand-new engine. The marketing department tried to say it was an all-new engine powered by Ignite, but most of us realized this was still mostly the same Madden we were already used to — for better or worse.

madden-21-ng3

Over this current-gen span from Madden 25 to Madden NFL 21, there have been significant improvements to gameplay — depending on who you ask. That being said, you can still make a valid argument that the improvements have been at a snail’s pace.

This also leads me to franchise mode. If there’s anything that mimics the mistakes of going from the PS2 to Xbox 360, it’s the transition from franchise mode to CFM that happened during the cycle leading up to and going into Madden 25. Regardless of where you stand on CFM right now and the pros it has over the old franchise mode, the point is some element of magic was lost during that transition phase.

What Happens When The Xbox Series X And PS5 Launch?

This upcoming generation has to put as much emphasis on franchise mode as it does on MUT. The team at Tiburon can’t make the same mistakes again. The fix franchise mode movement actually went global enough to garner a response from EA. They have no choice or excuse this time to not drastically improve franchise mode during this upcoming generation.

If you played the beta of Madden NFL 21, you can start to see that if this game uses the technology of the new systems to the game’s advantage, and some of these AI and playbook improvements actually work out on the whole, some real progress can be made on the field. This leaves the challenge perhaps more outside the white lines than between them.

madden 21 film study

The team also does seem more prepared for this jump over the last two. Even though we’re light on details, it doesn’t seem like this is the same monumental shift going to the next-gen systems. We’re not hearing about a major wave of hirings or firings at the studio. We also know Frostbite engine is not going anywhere as of now, which removes another big component of the transition. At worst, you can say the pandemic has made things more complicated for the team, but that’s a universal issue in the US right now.

With that in mind, the hope is that the team can focus more on legacy issues and making next-gen Madden pop. I assume next-gen Madden NFL 21 will be similar to the version we get in August, but by using the power of the new systems we should at least get better graphics and our first taste of some worthwhile physics upgrades.

So will next-gen Madden finally start a new generation on the right foot and rise from there? I believe it will, and I think it has to this time around. It’s time for Madden to live up to its deal with the NFL.

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  1. I have little to no faith EA will do anything different with the Madden franchise. It'll be the exact same game and play exactly the same but with better graphics. 
    These new consoles would have been a fine time to rebuild the game for the new generation. The game isn't at a place where even the die hard fans would be completely against a rebuild. It is about universally accepted at this point that Madden now is now as good relative to its time as Madden was when the 360 and PS3 were coming. Many still consider Madden 05 to 08 on the PS2 the best games in the series.
    Tiburon is way too scared to ever rebuild again, it seems. madden 06 remains fresh in every football gaming fan's mind to this day if they were there for it. That said, Madden has continued to be the slowest advancing game between the big 3, NBA 2k, MLB The Show, and Madden. It seems for awhile there, annually we were told by devs that the foundation of the game was too much of a mess for them to really make the progress they wanted. We have been told by ex-employees that things have basically not changed from what was mentioned in this article. Leadership still struggles to efficiently lead teams, there is a giant disconnect between the executives and the workers doing the actual work.
    This new generation was the perfect opportunity to rebuild. Yet, Madden is going to just port over what we have now and it's hard to imagine things being much different for the series moving forward. Technology has not been the limiting factor for the series, at least not the hardware of the consoles. There have been internal issues. We've heard the stories of how EA developers have called working with Frostbite a nightmare, yet the executives demand all games be built on the engine.
    Madden is not a terrible game at this point. It's an okay game with plenty of pros and cons, but it needs a fresh start. The series has been stuck in the mud for too long. 2k is rebuilding their game. They did the same thing this past generation as well and now they have a game that is 10x deeper than Madden and is generally considered the better game. Their rebuild paid off and their game actually has seemed to hit a wall due to the limitations of the consoles this generation, so they went and decided to rebuild the game once again for the new gen.
    Madden needed that as well. It needed to be built with this generation being the focus. It needed to be built on a foundation that allowed them to actually make significant progress each cycle. Instead, we're getting the same complacent game on the new consoles that are significantly stronger.
    Maybe this gen will be different, but I will not hold my breath. The consoles and their hardware have not been what has limited this series. It's the disconnect inside of Tiburon and the lack of a solid plan that has caused the series to seemingly add things at random and never build anything up. One year the focus is on X, the next on Y. Madden never builds anything up over multiple cycles and it shows how short-term the vision constantly is with the game.
    canes21
    These new consoles would have been a fine time to rebuild the game for the new generation. The game isn't at a place where even the die hard fans would be completely against a rebuild. It is about universally accepted at this point that Madden now is now as good relative to its time as Madden was when the 360 and PS3 were coming. Many still consider Madden 05 to 08 on the PS2 the best games in the series.
    Tiburon is way too scared to ever rebuild again, it seems. madden 06 remains fresh in every football gaming fan's mind to this day if they were there for it. That said, Madden has continued to be the slowest advancing game between the big 3, NBA 2k, MLB The Show, and Madden. It seems for awhile there, annually we were told by devs that the foundation of the game was too much of a mess for them to really make the progress they wanted. We have been told by ex-employees that things have basically not changed from what was mentioned in this article. Leadership still struggles to efficiently lead teams, there is a giant disconnect between the executives and the workers doing the actual work.
    This new generation was the perfect opportunity to rebuild. Yet, Madden is going to just port over what we have now and it's hard to imagine things being much different for the series moving forward. Technology has not been the limiting factor for the series, at least not the hardware of the consoles. There have been internal issues. We've heard the stories of how EA developers have called working with Frostbite a nightmare, yet the executives demand all games be built on the engine.
    Madden is not a terrible game at this point. It's an okay game with plenty of pros and cons, but it needs a fresh start. The series has been stuck in the mud for too long. 2k is rebuilding their game. They did the same thing this past generation as well and now they have a game that is 10x deeper than Madden and is generally considered the better game. Their rebuild paid off and their game actually has seemed to hit a wall due to the limitations of the consoles this generation, so they went and decided to rebuild the game once again for the new gen.
    Madden needed that as well. It needed to be built with this generation being the focus. It needed to be built on a foundation that allowed them to actually make significant progress each cycle. Instead, we're getting the same complacent game on the new consoles that are significantly stronger.
    Maybe this gen will be different, but I will not hold my breath. The consoles and their hardware have not been what has limited this series. It's the disconnect inside of Tiburon and the lack of a solid plan that has caused the series to seemingly add things at random and never build anything up. One year the focus is on X, the next on Y. Madden never builds anything up over multiple cycles and it shows how short-term the vision constantly is with the game.

    While I understand your rationale, I think the reality is if they did "rebuild" it's hard to encapsulate what that means in a sport game coming out every year. It's near impossible to do something like that in a year, and if it was bereft of features and gameplay elements because they wanted to go back to basics, there's just about zero chance folks end up cool with that.
    bucky60
    Well, they have the license for like the next 5ish years. So they can make the same mistakes.

    Haha, I had the same thought! They can afford to do whatever they wish for another generation.
    I have no Faith on Madden I lost the Love for the game Madden long time ago.. I don't buy or play the Game no more..
    I tryed playing madden 20 but couldn't deal with the Arcade Game. So I returned the game.. I Moved On from Madden..
    ChaseB
    While I understand your rationale, I think the reality is if they did "rebuild" it's hard to encapsulate what that means in a sport game coming out every year. It's near impossible to do something like that in a year, and if it was bereft of features and gameplay elements because they wanted to go back to basics, there's just about zero chance folks end up cool with that.

    If EA were to rebuild the game, one would hope it wasn't a decision they made that forced themselves to only have a year to work on it. In the hypothetical world where EA has decided to rebuild Madden for the next generation of consoles, this would have been a decision they made multiple years ago and there would have been a team working in the background to build the game from the ground up while another team focuses on the games that continued to release.
    I wouldn't expect EA to decide to decide to rebuild the game up after releasing Madden 20 and then working towards releasing Madden 21 and it being completely built from the ground up. While that would not be surprising for EA to make such a silly and short-sighted decision, I think all of us in the "it's time for a rebuild" camp are saying EA should have laid out a plan to rebuild the game cycles ago and work in the background to do just that.
    We know EA has the resources to have done that. Madden is a series where it is actually economically feasible for them to have split their teams up to rebuild the game from the ground up had they wanted to. 2k is rebuilding and I think it is safe to assume they've been working on this rebuild for multiple cycles in the background now. Even PES is rebuilding and while Konami has a good amount of resources, PES is not Madden which means it is even further behind Fifa, yet they've even found the ability to rebuild their game from the ground up.
    Anyways, point is when saying Madden should have been rebuilt, it's saying this is something that should have happened over multiple cycles and be releasing this year with the new consoles. It's not us saying EA should have released Madden 20 then built an entirely brand new football game in 10 months and released it on the new consoles. Obviously that's not going to happen with a company notorious for their games receiving so little changes annually.
    If they had a competitor i would agree that they cant do the same but lol. They can do whatever they want as seen for the last 10 years or so. If they had competition madden would be on the shelf with nba live
    I still don't like the idea of forcing Madden to run on the Frostbite engine. I do agree that this would have been the perfect time to do a rebuild while having a "season update" like PES. I get the overall experience with the Madden 06 transition is burnt into EA's mind. But, this is the best time.
    I just don't want next-gen Madden to feel like a shinier port. I want the Next Level Madden to feel Next Level. I don't want the same ole Madden just at higher res/frame rates and hardware benefits.
    This is just my interpretation of course but it's interesting that so many people who have problems with Madden across the board seem to presuppose that they would definitely enjoy the rebuilt(one worked on for years and not rushed) Madden more and not less. I guess the game just being different in this case would be automatically make it better for many folks.
    jfsolo
    This is just my interpretation of course but it's interesting that so many people who have problems with Madden across the board seem to presuppose that they would definitely enjoy the rebuilt(one worked on for years and not rushed) Madden more and not less. I guess the game just being different in this case would be automatically make it better for many folks.

    The gameplay is good. It could be a lot worse. Even rebuilding could lead to a Madden 06 situation. But when I suggest a rebuild its because of legacy issues that recurring bandaid fixes won't fix. OL/DL logic, AI in whole, dependency on 2 Man animation, animations based gameplay, shifting/warping, physics not mattering as much. Those of the things I would want to see in a rebuild being fixed
    illwill10
    The gameplay is good. It could be a lot worse. Even rebuilding could lead to a Madden 06 situation. But when I suggest a rebuild its because of legacy issues that recurring bandaid fixes won't fix. OL/DL logic, AI in whole, dependency on 2 Man animation, animations based gameplay, shifting/warping, physics not mattering as much. Those of the things I would want to see in a rebuild being fixed

    Couldn't say it any better.
    Hshaw810
    If they had a competitor i would agree that they cant do the same but lol. They can do whatever they want as seen for the last 10 years or so. If they had competition madden would be on the shelf with nba live

    This^^^^^^
    The fact that the franchise was more advanced in 2007 than it is now SHOULD be embarrassing for the folks at EA. But they don't really care about putting out a quality product; they'd rather tweak the virtual card game to entice kids to spend more of their parents' money on their gambling mechanics.
    This is why I quit buying Madden 2 years ago, and I don't miss it one bit. Head Coach 09 on PS3 scratches the Franchise itch for me.
    I remember being in highschool so pumped up for next gen madden 06. I loved my Xbox version and couldn’t wait to play the game with these new amazing graphics... friend got madden 06 on 360.  While things popped in HD  everything else was 5 major steps back .  Personally madden hasn’t only IThe last few years starting to feel like madden of old and even then it’s still not quite there. We literally lost 7-8 of madden progress just playing catch up. We are so far behind where madden would be and NBA2k is a prime example of what could of been if they just built of ps2 era of madden 
    canes21
    Couldn't say it any better.

    2 man animations definitely need to go and more 1 on 1 gameplay. It's not as bad as it use to be, especially how WR/DB interactions use to be. They use to just have DBs mirror the WRs during animations. Which was bad during catch situations where instead of during a appropriate INT animation, they use to mirror the WR catch animation.
    I just hope that AI is vastly improved next gen. I liked what the gridiron notes had to say about AI improvements for current gen. I just hope AI is taken to a whole Next Level(pun intended). Even if the engine is the same, vastly improving AI, would change gameplay for the better. The game just feels so scripted where interaction happens and you are in the hands of scripted animations playing out.
    I do feel like this current gen was definitely better than the 7th gen, at least as far as gameplay. Gameplay was solid for most of the generation. If Franchise and AI was in a better state, I would have really enjoyed this generation. I still hold the 6th gen(PS2/Xbox) as my favorite Madden gen. I just want next gen to be a big step in the right direction. 6th to 7th gen was a big step in wrong direction. While gameplay and graphics got better, I don't think 7th to 8th gen was a big leap. I feel like for gaming in general, current gen was mostly a better experience but not a huge leap over 7th gen. I'm hoping next gen is a huge leap that leads to different better experiences
    ChaseB
    While I understand your rationale, I think the reality is if they did "rebuild" it's hard to encapsulate what that means in a sport game coming out every year. It's near impossible to do something like that in a year, and if it was bereft of features and gameplay elements because they wanted to go back to basics, there's just about zero chance folks end up cool with that.

    Why don’t they split the devs into 2 teams? Each team has a two year cycle to make significant improvements to their assigned mode.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I don't believe EA knows how to rebuild the game, the code is so messed up. Patched together like a house with the basement on top, a two-car garage in the middle and the front door that opens to the roof.
    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
    My problem with EA and Madden is that the game of football fundamentally hasn’t changed. The technology to make these games have. I’m sick of reading that this installment will make process when this is 28 installment since Madden on sera geneisis. How can we not get a blocking logic or conerback awareness logic right at this point? This is ridiculous so I am not buying until the price drop.
    Madden can continue to make any mistake it wants as its the only game in town, literally. Until the exclusive license ends (Which won't ever happen) they can do what they want whenever they want.
    ChaseB
    While I understand your rationale, I think the reality is if they did "rebuild" it's hard to encapsulate what that means in a sport game coming out every year. It's near impossible to do something like that in a year, and if it was bereft of features and gameplay elements because they wanted to go back to basics, there's just about zero chance folks end up cool with that.

    NBA 2K says "hold my beer"
    jfsolo
    This is just my interpretation of course but it's interesting that so many people who have problems with Madden across the board seem to presuppose that they would definitely enjoy the rebuilt(one worked on for years and not rushed) Madden more and not less. I guess the game just being different in this case would be automatically make it better for many folks.

    I guess the answer to your question depends on how much someone likes the current Madden. The less someone likes madden the better chance that a rebuild of gameplay and franchise would end up being better.
    They can, and will, make the same mistakes again. My thoughts are that, if they were going to rebuild Madden, they would have announced it during their big reveal. What a better time to get the fan base excited for next gen! But, by saying nothing, they’ve said a lot.
    As the only AAA football game in town, I want Madden to be good. I want it to emulate the game I love so much. I want it to do the little things right. But, after 15 years, I am also realistic. I understand why they do things the way they do; money. As such, I will not waste my time waiting and hoping on a better Madden.
    Highly doubt EA remade anything with this game. It’s going to be a complete port from the PS4 which is a tragedy to me. They had a great base on to work with on the ps2 games but started over for the next gen.
    The next gen was rushed and it was crap. It’s been crap ever since. The physics, ai, play movement have never gotten to the level of other games since. Sadly, when it was time to develop on the ps4/XBone they opted to port the crappy base because of the disastrous madden 06.
    They will do the same thing for ps5 siting the same reasons about lessons learned with Madden 06. It’s too late in the cycle for them to truly renovate franchise mode after the Madden 21 reveal and covid gives them credible reason not to anyways.
    By the time Madden 22 comes around I expect we might get a few nuggets of new franchise but not much. MUT will still be the focus and the core Madden will be the same that was used all the way back in 2006.
    And unlike the title of this article, EA can and will do exactly that. They have a licensing lock on virtual football and a core group of fans that in truth would hate to see Madden changed all that much
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I don't know if they will make the same mistakes, but I have all the confidence that they can; and make new ones too.
    Personally, I think they are already making a mistake by not rebuilding the game for next gen. At the very least, it's a missed opportunity, in my meager opinion.
    Sent from my SM-S727VL using Operation Sports mobile app
    We've reached the point of insanity with Tiburon and Madden. Seems like an injustice that they've gotten away with this ineptitude and apathy for so long. With the sheer processing power of these consoles, physics, AI, and motion should essentially be '4D' at this point. The graphical prowess is a default. Bottom line, PS5/XBSX Madden should be what Madden 06 was for X360 except for the weird art and sound direction––instead, an all-new physics and comprehensive AI system should go along with these new graphics. Franchise can be the focus for next year, and they can just throw in a basic season mode (and MUT *eyeroll*) for now. They need to right the foundation once and for all. Of course if this were to happen, they would have had to have been working on this for the past couple years behind the scenes; haha, of course it won't happen......
    Agent89
    We've reached the point of insanity with Tiburon and Madden. Seems like an injustice that they've gotten away with this ineptitude and apathy for so long. With the sheer processing power of these consoles, physics, AI, and motion should essentially be '4D' at this point. The graphical prowess is a default. Bottom line, PS5/XBSX Madden should be what Madden 06 was for X360 except for the weird art and sound direction––instead, an all-new physics and comprehensive AI system should go along with these new graphics. Franchise can be the focus for next year, and they can just throw in a basic season mode (and MUT *eyeroll*) for now. They need to right the foundation once and for all. Of course if this were to happen, they would have had to have been working on this for the past couple years behind the scenes; haha, of course it won't happen......

    Gameplay has been steadily improving, at least in theory. With mods on PC, you can maximize the changes they make, and minimize the imbalances new features create, so the bottom line on Gameplay is that it is improving - even with the current engine everyone likes to hate.
    But AI in general needs so much work, including in Franchise.
    If they want to avoid the mistakes of the past, they need to do three things:
    (1) Completely overhaul Franchise, adding more or less all the things Deuce Douglass has been evangelizing for years
    (2) Completely overhaul, or at least significantly update, presentation (commentary is really good for a sports game, but there are so many other areas where presentation can be improved; post-game, pre-game, Franchise in between games making the league come alive, and so on).
    (3) Continue to implement gameplay ideas that lead to more faithfully simulating what is seen on Sundays in the NFL.
    Each of these are major, but none should be ignored.
    ChaseB
    While I understand your rationale, I think the reality is if they did "rebuild" it's hard to encapsulate what that means in a sport game coming out every year. It's near impossible to do something like that in a year, and if it was bereft of features and gameplay elements because they wanted to go back to basics, there's just about zero chance folks end up cool with that.

    I myself don’t need a “rebuild”. And it may be impossible to do that, but they find time during year for the FOF-QB superstar -Yard..or whatever else mode they throw in.
    Why can’t that time and effort be put into Franchise...?
    tuckermaine
    I myself don’t need a “rebuild”. And it may be impossible to do that, but they find time during year for the FOF-QB superstar -Yard..or whatever else mode they throw in.
    Why can’t that time and effort be put into Franchise...?
    Didn't you hear? We got 5th year options (that the CPU don't get) we got new superstar and factor abilities (we had to restart our franchises to get these). They add plenty of new stuff. Its all just half implemented. Same thing when file share and online franchises were down. It didn't seem like they were in any hurry to fix those. If MUT goes down for any length of time, those players get compensated with cards or coins.
    The biggest mistake I think will be to continue to ignore your longtime fans that have been there for years. The franchise players.
    #fixmaddenfranchise
    ever since 2K was out of the picture, madden has declined ever since......and now with the invention of MUT and microtransactions, that pretty much did the franchise (pardon the pun) in.  the focus has been away from franchise mode ever since with no myleague, create-a-team or any customization options at all. not only that, no historic teams as well. NBA 2K is miles ahead, with MLB  The Show right behind it. Madden isn't even a close third. sad. what is worse, is the NFL signs off on this mess and agrees to another licensing deal with EA, essentially stamping their approval on the current state of the franchise. if the NFL had chosen 2K instead of EA back in 2005, we would have an amazing game. let's be honest, players are growing tired of the same, tired madden year after year. EA is sadly mistaken to think a superstar KO mode or the yard mode will appease diehard fans.
    Just an observation: IMO when EA switched to Xboxes as the flagship, things changed in how good the games were. It seems like it has not been the same as when they were using the PlayStation systems. Every year Madden got better from Madden 99-05. That has not been the case since 06. They have to find a way to get back to that magic they had when they were doing the PlayStation systems.
    From the RS article: "We brought in a director who worked on I think Lilo & Stitch, and his graphical style was that. We're going to make these guys look like gladiators".
    Wonder if that's the same person who thought oversized shoulder pads and a yellow tint would be great ideas for Madden NFL 19.
    bucky60
    Well, they have the license for like the next 5ish years. So they can make the same mistakes.

    Yeah, if they didn't "have" to avoid these mistakes during the last 2 generations then why do they have to avoid them now?
    All they "have" to do is make it pretty, fun for the online and couch competitors, and slap the licensing on it. Do that and the $$$ will continue to pour in.
    Full disclosure: I've personally given up on expecting anything else. Although in that context I would love to see the return of an NFL Steeet like mode (fun) and an option to import custom sounds to go along with the pretty graphics.
    I lost faith in Madden long long long ago (thanks for that Madden 08) and I've yet to be proven wrong in doing so. Also, it's just good practice to not buy a sports game its first year on a new console, sometimes even its second year. 
    Feels like we won't hear anything more about next gen until after post current gen launch. Seems like they are still slow rolling out info on current gen info. We are getting info on Feedback on Beta on this Tuesday. Then I can imagine the Official X-Factors/Superstar ability Gridiron Notes will follow that. Then would be any Presentation changes Gridiron, any MUT, and The Yard blog. Then gameplay vids will start to come out between all that.
    I just don't want the selling point for next gen to be a better looking port that takes advantage of hardware features. Im sure all the modes will transfer over to next gen(don't see them stripping down anything). Based on trailers, they are still using Frostbite. At the very least, I just want them to take advantage of the big jump in CPU power to improve the AI and physics
    bxphenom7
    Also, it's just good practice to not buy a sports game its first year on a new console, sometimes even its second year.*

    Yep. I'm personally looking toward Madden '23 as the one to reasonably expect Tiburon to harness full or near full capabilties of next-gen tech.
    My biggest gripe with the game right now is its "soft" and air buffered player contact.....its inability to replicate the violence of football (outside of hit stick tackles) with real momentum and the transference of explosive kinectic energy upon impact between players.
    If Tiburon is ever able to achieve this...via rebuilding the game or otherwise...it would be HUGE. Without it, they simply will never have a simulation of the sport no matter how many AI tweaks and graphical upgrades they make to the game.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    Gameplay has been steadily improving, at least in theory. With mods on PC, you can maximize the changes they make, and minimize the imbalances new features create, so the bottom line on Gameplay is that it is improving - even with the current engine everyone likes to hate.
    But AI in general needs so much work, including in Franchise.
    If they want to avoid the mistakes of the past, they need to do three things:
    (1) Completely overhaul Franchise, adding more or less all the things Deuce Douglass has been evangelizing for years
    (2) Completely overhaul, or at least significantly update, presentation (commentary is really good for a sports game, but there are so many other areas where presentation can be improved; post-game, pre-game, Franchise in between games making the league come alive, and so on).
    (3) Continue to implement gameplay ideas that lead to more faithfully simulating what is seen on Sundays in the NFL.
    Each of these are major, but none should be ignored.

    As much as I would like to consider a PC, it's just not practical for me in a Mac household, nor would I have the space for it. I do respect the work put into mods a great deal but this just further exacerbates the problem with EA's efforts. All the tools already in their own game aren't even used properly. But nonetheless, a lot is left to be desired with replicating the true facets of the sports, and physics are a very key component along with AI and player behavior. I do wholeheartedly agree about Franchise, and 2K5's weekly prep, and weekly highlights/player movement commentary features are something that scratches the surface of what franchise should've been at least 7-8 years ago.
    I also agree about the commentary––if you pay attention, Gaudin and Davis really do have a lot to say and have lines for a very robust set of situations. This is one thing EA has gotten right, but unfortunately from what I read, a lot of players can't stand the two. What I would like to see is them continuing to expand the commentary with these two and introducing another broadcast team (perhaps Joe Buck and Troy Aikman or Tony Romo and Jim Nantz), and having the option to pick between the two in exhibition games, while assigning them to different packages in Franchise mode.
    Kanobi
    Yep. I'm personally looking toward Madden '23 as the one to reasonably expect Tiburon to harness full or near full capabilties of next-gen tech.
    My biggest gripe with the game right now is its "soft" and air buffered player contact.....its inability to replicate the violence of football (outside of hit stick tackles) with real momentum and the transference of explosive kinectic energy upon impact between players.
    If Tiburon is ever able to achieve this...via rebuilding the game or otherwise...it would be HUGE. Without it, they simply will never have a simulation of the sport no matter how many AI tweaks and graphical upgrades they make to the game.

    Physics in a nutshell. They probably can't (or won't want to) invest in creating their own physics engine from scratch, but I sure wish they could license one. Their ego would prevent them from doing so. We're so long overdue for a real-time physics engine. That's the true foundation that should be built for a football game so you see less of the sliding and warping, while making the ratings really matter and impact the game.
    Agent89
    As much as I would like to consider a PC, it's just not practical for me in a Mac household, nor would I have the space for it. I do respect the work put into mods a great deal but this just further exacerbates the problem with EA's efforts. All the tools already in their own game aren't even used properly. But nonetheless, a lot is left to be desired with replicating the true facets of the sports, and physics are a very key component along with AI and player behavior. I do wholeheartedly agree about Franchise, and 2K5's weekly prep, and weekly highlights/player movement commentary features are something that scratches the surface of what franchise should've been at least 7-8 years ago.
    I also agree about the commentary––if you pay attention, Gaudin and Davis really do have a lot to say and have lines for a very robust set of situations. This is one thing EA has gotten right, but unfortunately from what I read, a lot of players can't stand the two. What I would like to see is them continuing to expand the commentary with these two and introducing another broadcast team (perhaps Joe Buck and Troy Aikman or Tony Romo and Jim Nantz), and having the option to pick between the two in exhibition games, while assigning them to different packages in Franchise mode.

    The issue with the commentary in Madden is that EA tries to have too many unique lines. It sounds the opposite of how it should be, but when you strive to have so many unique lines that are distinct, it makes the commentary get stale quicker.
    When you hear, "Chestnuts?", or the "Largo" lines each game, sometimes multiple times per game, those types of lines stick out and lose their luster much more quickly than going generic.
    It sounds counterproductive, but EA would actually be better served having the commentary team be more generic in their lines, but have the ability to talk about more situations. This is something that also plagues 2k, and while both 2k and Madden have pretty good commentary, their unique lines and stories get old after the 1st and 2nd time, and when your commentary is built to show those lines/stories off, then it makes the entire commentary get stale quicker than it otherwise should.
    Even 2k5 struggled with this as well when they had their voice actors have unique stories and lines for different situations. It lead to repetitiveness, and it actually is a reason I think 2k8 has the better commentary despite having less specific lines.
    Here is an example of what EA does, it's not an exact EA line, but it shows what they try and do with the commentary.
    "Here comes Cam Newton, Superman they call him. A national title winner at Auburn. Brandon, you're a big fan of Newton, aren't you?" and then they have a mini discussion on Cam Newton for a play or two completely missing out on the play by play and telling you something that gets extremely old after 3 or 4 games in your Panthers franchise because they say it every single time he comes out onto the field for the first drive.
    While it sounds neat in theory that they have that kind of uniqueness to the lines that make the players feel real and that the commentary team has knowledge of the world your franchise exists in, that is all nullified by the sheer repetitiveness of lines like that.
    The play by play also has plenty of unique lines that get old and stale because they are so unique and not generic. It would be better for the commentary team to have multiple generic lines they can say surrounding each player and situation.
    For example, when Cam Newton comes onto the field they can say:
    "Here comes Cam Newton, the former first round pick out of Auburn."
    "Here is Newton, to this point he has X yards, Y TDs, and Z INTs. Then go on to say whether or not it is a good, average, or bad year."
    "Here is Cam Newton, the X year vet out of Auburn."
    These types of generic lines allow for them to change dynamically as the franchise goes on, they allow for some variability, and they are generic enough to where they don't stick out as being repetitive. When you turn on any football broadcast, you're going to hear those types of introductions for QB's over and over. They get straight to the point in a generic enough manner to not stick out near as much as the example line I gave earlier.
    I'd much rather hear those 3 lines plus a few others repeated multiple times over my franchise over one unique line that doesn't update whether I am in year 1 or year 5 of my franchise.
    Like I said, it sounds opposite to what you think EA should strive for, but if they went with more generic commentary lines for the play by play and color commentary, lines that sound perfectly fine and realistic to repeat versus extremely unique lines that get stale after 2 hears, then the commentary would immediately improve.
    With their chemistry, the commentary team sounds solid. The only knocks I see on the commentary is typically about their unique lines. People constantly quote the dumb, unique lines and talk about how stale it gets and that's the main reason they mute the commentary. That, and EA being dumb enough to give them lines to record that break the 4th wall. That's a gigantic no-no.
    Other issues with the unique lines is how they aren't set up to play correctly in context. Using modded gameplay on PC in my CPU vs CPU franchise, it plays out like a realistic NFL game. Each team runs 60-70 plays, only gets 300-400 yards on average, and there are plenty of punts like the real NFL. It's rather authentic for Madden. What gets extremely old is how the commentary has some unique lines to talk about that more gritty brand of authentic NFL football, but the lines are repeating constantly all game and give incorrect numbers.
    I'm playing as Washington. Their offense isn't anything special. They punted on average 5 times per game last year despite running such a slow offense that ate up time limiting their number of punts. My offense is still not the greatest, but my defense in my franchise is one of the more talented ones in the league. This leads to a lot of my games being 19-13 type of games where the teams punt a lot, 3rd down conversions are scarce, and it's just overall low-scoring defensive battles.
    This leads to the commentary struggling. Once you punt the ball 4 times, every subsequent punt leads to the commentary talking about how the punter has already punted it 4 times, here comes number 5, give him the bronze leg. You will hear that same exact line play for punt #5, punt #6, punt #7. If your offense is really struggling and you punt closer to 8 or 9 times, you will hear that same exact line about it being punt #5, up to 5 times per game.
    This is another area where having completely unique lines is a no-no. Go generic. Have them literally record a line saying, "Here is -player X- out to punt for the -#x-
    time of the game>" Then have another few generic lines that it could branch into with proper context that sound natural and do not get repetitive.
    Do not tell me my punter deserves the bronze leg 5 times in a game. Simply say he has been busy today in 3-4 generic ways. That is much better.
    Anyways, there's a book about the commentary team.
    Here's a tl;dr that I probably should have just went with instead of typing up that novel.
    tl;dr Make the commentary less unique, make it so much more generic and the ability to branch into more generic lines to reduce repetitiveness.
    As someone who uses on the field presentation, the PA announcer, which they really improved in 20 and seemingly did more work to this cycle based off of the 21 Beta, is IMO the best commentary aspect of Madden.
    canes21
    The issue with the commentary in Madden is that EA tries to have too many unique lines. It sounds the opposite of how it should be, but when you strive to have so many unique lines that are distinct, it makes the commentary get stale quicker.
    When you hear, "Chestnuts?", or the "Largo" lines each game, sometimes multiple times per game, those types of lines stick out and lose their luster much more quickly than going generic.
    It sounds counterproductive, but EA would actually be better served having the commentary team be more generic in their lines, but have the ability to talk about more situations. This is something that also plagues 2k, and while both 2k and Madden have pretty good commentary, their unique lines and stories get old after the 1st and 2nd time, and when your commentary is built to show those lines/stories off, then it makes the entire commentary get stale quicker than it otherwise should.
    Even 2k5 struggled with this as well when they had their voice actors have unique stories and lines for different situations. It lead to repetitiveness, and it actually is a reason I think 2k8 has the better commentary despite having less specific lines.
    Here is an example of what EA does, it's not an exact EA line, but it shows what they try and do with the commentary.
    "Here comes Cam Newton, Superman they call him. A national title winner at Auburn. Brandon, you're a big fan of Newton, aren't you?" and then they have a mini discussion on Cam Newton for a play or two completely missing out on the play by play and telling you something that gets extremely old after 3 or 4 games in your Panthers franchise because they say it every single time he comes out onto the field for the first drive.
    While it sounds neat in theory that they have that kind of uniqueness to the lines that make the players feel real and that the commentary team has knowledge of the world your franchise exists in, that is all nullified by the sheer repetitiveness of lines like that.
    The play by play also has plenty of unique lines that get old and stale because they are so unique and not generic. It would be better for the commentary team to have multiple generic lines they can say surrounding each player and situation.
    For example, when Cam Newton comes onto the field they can say:
    "Here comes Cam Newton, the former first round pick out of Auburn."
    "Here is Newton, to this point he has X yards, Y TDs, and Z INTs. Then go on to say whether or not it is a good, average, or bad year."
    "Here is Cam Newton, the X year vet out of Auburn."
    These types of generic lines allow for them to change dynamically as the franchise goes on, they allow for some variability, and they are generic enough to where they don't stick out as being repetitive. When you turn on any football broadcast, you're going to hear those types of introductions for QB's over and over. They get straight to the point in a generic enough manner to not stick out near as much as the example line I gave earlier.
    I'd much rather hear those 3 lines plus a few others repeated multiple times over my franchise over one unique line that doesn't update whether I am in year 1 or year 5 of my franchise.
    Like I said, it sounds opposite to what you think EA should strive for, but if they went with more generic commentary lines for the play by play and color commentary, lines that sound perfectly fine and realistic to repeat versus extremely unique lines that get stale after 2 hears, then the commentary would immediately improve.
    With their chemistry, the commentary team sounds solid. The only knocks I see on the commentary is typically about their unique lines. People constantly quote the dumb, unique lines and talk about how stale it gets and that's the main reason they mute the commentary. That, and EA being dumb enough to give them lines to record that break the 4th wall. That's a gigantic no-no.
    Other issues with the unique lines is how they aren't set up to play correctly in context. Using modded gameplay on PC in my CPU vs CPU franchise, it plays out like a realistic NFL game. Each team runs 60-70 plays, only gets 300-400 yards on average, and there are plenty of punts like the real NFL. It's rather authentic for Madden. What gets extremely old is how the commentary has some unique lines to talk about that more gritty brand of authentic NFL football, but the lines are repeating constantly all game and give incorrect numbers.
    I'm playing as Washington. Their offense isn't anything special. They punted on average 5 times per game last year despite running such a slow offense that ate up time limiting their number of punts. My offense is still not the greatest, but my defense in my franchise is one of the more talented ones in the league. This leads to a lot of my games being 19-13 type of games where the teams punt a lot, 3rd down conversions are scarce, and it's just overall low-scoring defensive battles.
    This leads to the commentary struggling. Once you punt the ball 4 times, every subsequent punt leads to the commentary talking about how the punter has already punted it 4 times, here comes number 5, give him the bronze leg. You will hear that same exact line play for punt #5, punt #6, punt #7. If your offense is really struggling and you punt closer to 8 or 9 times, you will hear that same exact line about it being punt #5, up to 5 times per game.
    This is another area where having completely unique lines is a no-no. Go generic. Have them literally record a line saying, "Here is -player X- out to punt for the -#x-
    time of the game>" Then have another few generic lines that it could branch into with proper context that sound natural and do not get repetitive.
    Do not tell me my punter deserves the bronze leg 5 times in a game. Simply say he has been busy today in 3-4 generic ways. That is much better.
    Anyways, there's a book about the commentary team.
    Here's a tl;dr that I probably should have just went with instead of typing up that novel.
    tl;dr Make the commentary less unique, make it so much more generic and the ability to branch into more generic lines to reduce repetitiveness.

    Don’t forget when your on year 3 in franchise they will still talk about it being Cams first year as the pats qb at the beginning of ever game in 2023
    canes21
    The issue with the commentary in Madden is that EA tries to have too many unique lines. It sounds the opposite of how it should be, but when you strive to have so many unique lines that are distinct, it makes the commentary get stale quicker.
    When you hear, "Chestnuts?", or the "Largo" lines each game, sometimes multiple times per game, those types of lines stick out and lose their luster much more quickly than going generic.
    It sounds counterproductive, but EA would actually be better served having the commentary team be more generic in their lines, but have the ability to talk about more situations. This is something that also plagues 2k, and while both 2k and Madden have pretty good commentary, their unique lines and stories get old after the 1st and 2nd time, and when your commentary is built to show those lines/stories off, then it makes the entire commentary get stale quicker than it otherwise should.
    Even 2k5 struggled with this as well when they had their voice actors have unique stories and lines for different situations. It lead to repetitiveness, and it actually is a reason I think 2k8 has the better commentary despite having less specific lines.
    Here is an example of what EA does, it's not an exact EA line, but it shows what they try and do with the commentary.
    "Here comes Cam Newton, Superman they call him. A national title winner at Auburn. Brandon, you're a big fan of Newton, aren't you?" and then they have a mini discussion on Cam Newton for a play or two completely missing out on the play by play and telling you something that gets extremely old after 3 or 4 games in your Panthers franchise because they say it every single time he comes out onto the field for the first drive.
    While it sounds neat in theory that they have that kind of uniqueness to the lines that make the players feel real and that the commentary team has knowledge of the world your franchise exists in, that is all nullified by the sheer repetitiveness of lines like that.
    The play by play also has plenty of unique lines that get old and stale because they are so unique and not generic. It would be better for the commentary team to have multiple generic lines they can say surrounding each player and situation.
    For example, when Cam Newton comes onto the field they can say:
    "Here comes Cam Newton, the former first round pick out of Auburn."
    "Here is Newton, to this point he has X yards, Y TDs, and Z INTs. Then go on to say whether or not it is a good, average, or bad year."
    "Here is Cam Newton, the X year vet out of Auburn."
    These types of generic lines allow for them to change dynamically as the franchise goes on, they allow for some variability, and they are generic enough to where they don't stick out as being repetitive. When you turn on any football broadcast, you're going to hear those types of introductions for QB's over and over. They get straight to the point in a generic enough manner to not stick out near as much as the example line I gave earlier.
    I'd much rather hear those 3 lines plus a few others repeated multiple times over my franchise over one unique line that doesn't update whether I am in year 1 or year 5 of my franchise.
    Like I said, it sounds opposite to what you think EA should strive for, but if they went with more generic commentary lines for the play by play and color commentary, lines that sound perfectly fine and realistic to repeat versus extremely unique lines that get stale after 2 hears, then the commentary would immediately improve.
    With their chemistry, the commentary team sounds solid. The only knocks I see on the commentary is typically about their unique lines. People constantly quote the dumb, unique lines and talk about how stale it gets and that's the main reason they mute the commentary. That, and EA being dumb enough to give them lines to record that break the 4th wall. That's a gigantic no-no.
    Other issues with the unique lines is how they aren't set up to play correctly in context. Using modded gameplay on PC in my CPU vs CPU franchise, it plays out like a realistic NFL game. Each team runs 60-70 plays, only gets 300-400 yards on average, and there are plenty of punts like the real NFL. It's rather authentic for Madden. What gets extremely old is how the commentary has some unique lines to talk about that more gritty brand of authentic NFL football, but the lines are repeating constantly all game and give incorrect numbers.
    I'm playing as Washington. Their offense isn't anything special. They punted on average 5 times per game last year despite running such a slow offense that ate up time limiting their number of punts. My offense is still not the greatest, but my defense in my franchise is one of the more talented ones in the league. This leads to a lot of my games being 19-13 type of games where the teams punt a lot, 3rd down conversions are scarce, and it's just overall low-scoring defensive battles.
    This leads to the commentary struggling. Once you punt the ball 4 times, every subsequent punt leads to the commentary talking about how the punter has already punted it 4 times, here comes number 5, give him the bronze leg. You will hear that same exact line play for punt #5, punt #6, punt #7. If your offense is really struggling and you punt closer to 8 or 9 times, you will hear that same exact line about it being punt #5, up to 5 times per game.
    This is another area where having completely unique lines is a no-no. Go generic. Have them literally record a line saying, "Here is -player X- out to punt for the -#x-
    time of the game>" Then have another few generic lines that it could branch into with proper context that sound natural and do not get repetitive.
    Do not tell me my punter deserves the bronze leg 5 times in a game. Simply say he has been busy today in 3-4 generic ways. That is much better.
    Anyways, there's a book about the commentary team.
    Here's a tl;dr that I probably should have just went with instead of typing up that novel.
    tl;dr Make the commentary less unique, make it so much more generic and the ability to branch into more generic lines to reduce repetitiveness.

    I do agree to an extent. The unique lines though do come off more natural. EA should do both but definitely create a generic template for certain situation, especially those involving numerical or chronological data.
    The unique lines are voiced well, it's just that when you try and make things to unique they get repetitive quicker than something more generic. I don't think the commentary team says anything poorly, it's what EA has them say is the issue, and the lines they lack. A different approach is needed for the team to take the next step.
    I don't think Canes is asking for fewer unique lines of commentary in favor of more generic ones.
    Instead it seems he is suggesting Tiburon implement the unique lines in a such a way that they are easily adaptable to the context of the game and the user's current franchise thus making them a LOT less repetitive and far more dynamic. And I agree this would be a tremendous boost to immersion.

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