By: Justin Holden
Madden 19 will be released on August 10, 2018. If you purchase the more expensive Hall Of Fame edition, you can get your hands on the game as early as August 7, 2018. So we have roughly two months to go before the next Madden game comes out. My purpose in writing this piece is to discuss what I would like to see in future Madden games, given that EA Sports has a history of going one step forward one step back with each Madden release. What I mean by this, is there are features from old Madden titles that were desirable, yet got discarded anyway in the newer games. It may be a bit late in the game for EA Sports to take notice of my article and adjust Madden 19 appropriately, but you never know. So let’s see if we can get this article trending and get the fans demands in front of EA Sports!
Owner Mode – Relocating Your Team
Yes, in recent titles such as Madden 17 and Madden 18 you still have the ability to play as an owner in connected franchise and re-locate your team. The problem is, the re-location process has been dumbed down compared to earlier Madden titles. I mean think about it, all you’re really doing is picking from pre-set options on everything. City, team name, jerseys, stadium, etc. There is no customization any more! I shouldn’t have to pick between 3 pre-set team names and 3 pre-set jersey options for each city. That’s lame as all hell and makes me not want to bother re-locating my team.
Now think back to earlier Madden titles such as 2005 and 2006. Yes, you had a limited number of cities to pick from. However, once you picked a city and got approved for funding, you were able to do some serious customization for your new team. Complete control of team name, logo, jerseys, stadium details, the works! Re-locating your team in franchise mode was so much better back in the day. And that process could be fine tuned even further! I’d suggest EA Sports to offer maximum customization in this process for Madden 19. They should make it so you can move to ANY city in the United States, plus give you several city options on the international stage. So, if I wanted to move to Annapolis and call my team “Maryland Blue Crabs” to give the Ravens and Redskins some competition for fan base, I should be able to do that! Or hell let me move the team to Burkitsville, MD and call my team “Blair Witchdoctors”.
Like seriously, if I own an NFL franchise, I should be able to move it virtually anywhere! Of course if you move the team to some random ass location with a population under 10,000 you should have a hard time making money and attracting fans as well. I’m all for making the financial aspect of things realistic. In addition to offering a wide array of city choices and customizable options for your new team, another interesting idea would be choosing a “culture” for your franchise. For example, a “smashmouth” franchise could get certain boosts when following a scheme of power run offense combined with a highly rated defense. And you reward owners for sticking with options that fit their team culture on and off the field. Stray from that culture by hiring coaches and players that aren’t a fit, and you lose your boosts.
Owner Mode – Hiring Coaches
We need to go back to the old Madden days on this one too. Remember back in Madden 2005 and 2006 when you could have players retire and then a few years later they show up as coaches? This was awesome! I used to always pick up guys like Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Doug Flutie, or Jerry Rice to be my HC/OC. And you just can’t do that anymore! In Madden 18, you find out in connected franchise mode that random ass computer generated coaches will show up as the years pass by in your franchise. This is honestly lame as shit. We already have to deal with fake college players in the draft, so please don’t throw fake coaches into the mix as well. I’m advocating for going back to the old system where players retire and then become coaches. Or, at the very least, come up with a list of NCAA head coaches and put them into the franchise over time. Enough of this computer generated coach nonsense.
Connected Franchise Mode – Why Does It Need An End Date?
So this is a really simple concept to grasp. We don’t know when the NFL will come to an end. It may survive forever, but then again it may go out of business by 2030. We really don’t know what’s going to happen in the future because we don’t have a crystal ball. However, why are we leaving it up to EA Sports to guess this for us? In Madden 18, they made it so that connected franchise mode ends in the year 2047. At that point, you have to retire your character and quit out of the franchise. My suggestion here is one of two things. Either A) let connected franchise mode run on forever. You can always delete your save file if you get bored and want to start a new one. Or B) let the players decide which year the connected franchise mode will end when first setting it up. That way, when I play my friends online, we can set a year to stop and the see who did the best. Either way, the current system of trying to guess what random year the developers have the connected franchise mode end does not make sense.
Let’s Talk About The Soundtrack…
For the life of me, I can’t understand why the FIFA and NHL games (also made by EA Sports) always seem to have better soundtracks than the Madden games. I’ve talked to numerous people who thought the past few Madden titles had piss poor soundtracks, and I’d have to agree with them! It’s getting so bad that I wouldn’t be surprised if they put Bangarang by Skrillex and Chicken Noodle Soup by DJ Webstar on the next soundtrack!
Meanwhile, FIFA features quality artists on their soundtrack year after year. You’ll get to hear songs from Foals, Saint Motel, Kasabian, The War On Drugs, DMA’s, and many other high quality groups! And even the artists that aren’t as good on FIFA, they’ll do a good job of selecting one hit wonder songs. Madden just hasn’t lived up to this standard in recent years. Stop focusing so much on country and hip hop songs in Madden. Give us more of a global blend of quality tunes like you get in the FIFA game.
Gameplay – Running The Football
Admittedly, EA Sports has made great strides in gameplay when you compare to the blockheadedness of older generation Madden titles. There is no more fuzzing off of tackles and blockers, which is good. But there is still a long way to go in making the gameplay feel like a real football game. One thing EA Sports could try doing is implementing different running styles. For example, your running back could have a style similar to Le’Veon Bell where he tries to be patient and hide behind his blockers until he sees a hole opens up. Or, you could have a bruiser running style where the guy tends to only run north-south, with a focus on running to contact and breaking tackles. But even more important than offering running styles is to just generally make the motions of running the ball, blocking, and tackling more fluid. Offer more animation possibilities so that no two plays feel the same. Again, some progress has been made here, but not enough given that EA Sports has had decades to work on this.
Scouting College Players
I actually like the way scouting has been in recent titles such as Madden 17 and Madden 18. The process has been simplified a lot and you get a pretty decent idea how guys will turn out by scouting them. Most importantly, you can avoid complete busts by taking the time to scout. However, the number one thing I look for in young players when I build my franchise is their development trait. You have no way of scouting this anymore. And honestly I’d much rather draft a guy in the 2nd or 3rd round with a lower overall rating but quick/superstar development compared to taking a guy in the early 1st round who has a high overall rating but slow/normal development.
I’d suggest making the scouting two-fold with basic scouting points and advanced scouting points. Your basic scouting points reveal players’ highest rated attributes and let’s you know whether they’re a 1st round talent, 2nd round talent, 3rd round talent, etc. Then you get advanced scouting points to spend on finding out very specific traits, such as development. And by the way, I actually love the player progression system in recent Madden titles. By having a system with development trait (player potential) plus earning experience points through training and on-field production, you give the most realistic system of progression. Much better compared to older titles where you could have a running back with “C” potential, rush for 3000 yards in a season, and he doesn’t improve his overall rating whatsoever. So kudos to EA Sports on this and please don’t make any major changes on the player progression model.
That concludes the points I have to make in this article. Please subscribe to LitTube Channel on YouTube and follow us on social media. Also, let us know what features you’d like to see on future Madden games. As a fan base, we need to make noise on this so that EA Sports won’t disappoint us in the future.