We all know EA royally screwed up with Madden 21. The like to dislike ratio on the Madden 21 trailer is the worst I have ever seen on any Youtube video.
Not only that, but #FixMaddenFranchise was NUMBER 1 on trending in the United States. If that’s not a wake up call to EA I have no idea what the hell is.
So instead of completely burying EA and absolutely dogging on them (Like I’ve done in the past as well as our very own Jackson Law and his piece yesterday) I’ll be giving ways that EA can put out the dumpster fire that they have created called Madden 21.
I think it’s safe to say we’re ALL tired of clicking a button 3 times and that’s it for scouting. Like, where the hell is the fun in that? What effort does that take? A 9 year old could do that, it’s not engaging enough. I only have NHL and FIFA 18, but they’re scouting is SO MUCH BETTER. Yes it’s more complex than hitting a button 3 times but that’s what fans want. Both NHL and FIFA 18’s scouting systems are very similar. NHL’s is picking a region/league (OHL, WHL etc.) and a position (Forwards, Defensemen, Goalies) as well as a duration of time that can max at ended before the draft. The longer the duration and the more a position is scouted in a given region the information on the player is more accurate. In FIFA, you have a team of scouts and you give instructions to them in a certain region. You give what position you’re looking for and what traits you desire (I.e Play Making Striker). This was implemented 3 freaking years ago. How hard would it be to do it for Madden? Have the different conferences or states for regions. Either allow us to see number ratings or make it even better and give written reports. Let us see stats, story lines, pro comparisons, combine AND pro day numbers. Make it more in-depth, 3 button clicks is not enough.
Before anyone says “This is just unrealistic, how would they do this?” I want to point to Madden 07 on the PLAYSTATION TWO. They have done this before, and it was so much fun.
We had training camp, and story lines. More than just some dumb tweets that don’t mean anything.
We had player specific drills that can improve on a player’s skills and attributes. This means that developmental quarterback that you took in the 3rd round can actually get meaningful practice and work on their skills. It’s also great for user development. You can learn how to navigate and shuffle in the pocket, how to lock a receiver down as a corner, fighting in the trenches with the offensive line against the defensive line and linebackers. All of this was done on the Playstation 2 back in 2006. They definitely could have done it on the Playstation 4, and damn sure can on the Playstation 5.
Advanced Story Lines
I will acknowledge EA and say the scenario engine in Madden 20 was a step forward. Yet, it’s not enough. In NHL 18 there was a thing called locker room morale. If it dipped below a certain level players became disgruntled and demanded trades. We NEED this in Madden. It may sound weird that fans want things that can screw up their franchise but it’s true. It’s no fun starting my 4th franchise with the Steelers for everything to fall out the same again. Adding players demanding trades from struggling teams, holding out if franchise tagged, having negotiation sit downs in a very similar way to FIFA 18, surprise retirements if a player constantly gets hurt (Andrew Luck anyone???). It sounds weird to ask for scenarios that can kinda screw over a franchise but those wrinkles and challenges make the game more fun.
Improve Free Agency
In NHL 18, there’s a thing as restricted free agents, compensatory draft picks and players holding out for contracts. That was done 3 years ago, is it that hard to ask for it to become a thing in Madden when it was done years ago? While we’re at it, let us structure contracts and cap hits how we want. I’m sick of having contracts being so ridiculously back loaded and end up getting screwed. Let me front load a contract if I want. Let me use all the cap space I currently have instead of screwing me a couple of years down the road. I have no issue signing to a quarterback to a 6 year $200 million dollar contract, just let me choose how it’s distributed over the years so I don’t get hit in the mouth with a $50 million cap hit in year 6. While we’re at it, let us restructure contracts like we see in real life all the time. Overall, bringing in a system that changes team building and cap management.
Hey EA, you want a back of the box feature to really sell your game? How about do something that was done back in 2013. Bring back coaching carousel, before people bring licensing for assistant coaches + coordinators let me tell you right now. We don’t care about real OCs and DCs, we just want the feature and ability to have to hire an OC and DC that fits your scheme. A starting point for a coaching career, and even upgrade paths similar to NCAA 14. Give Andy Reid’s teams better route running and catching by way of a skill tree just like the one in NCAA 14. Nothing new needs to be made. Literally just copy and paste the coaching carousel in NCAA 14 and it’ll be both a major back of the box feature and make franchise fans extremely happy.
I know for a fact that we won’t get all these in Madden 21. It’s very likely we actually get none of these. But our voices must be made heard, the franchise community is not just a “loud minority” it is very much the majority. If you don’t like people talking about improving the core game mode of Madden, that’s fine go enjoy your NFL Pokemon Cards and spending $60 on packs that are worthless in a couple weeks.