In what has become an annual tradition, anticipation for the sports games at E3 is gearing up. Undoubtedly, Madden is always one of the most talked about titles at the event and while this year is no exception, some of the information released today may put a damper on the hopes of Madden fans around the globe, especially those interested in its career modes (franchise, online franchise and Superstar). Earlier today, Phil Frazier used an online blog to update fans of the series (i.e. “let them down gently”) about improvements to the career modes as well as set the time and date of a major E3 announcement which is to take place tonight at 11:00 PM eastern time.
However, the largest news from the blog was lack of improvement for franchise mode this year. In summary, the Madden team has decided that the structure of franchise and Superstar mode needs to be completely rewritten from the ground up. Since Madden 99, the team has slowly added layers of code, leading to a fairly ancient base with subtle additions throughout the years. In order to give the modes their proper due while focusing on gameplay improvements, the team is planning to use the next development cycle to entirely rewrite the aforementioned game modes, leading to only subtle improvements until Madden 12.
To cushion the blow, Frazier alluded to slight improvements to franchise which include tuned stats, enhanced presentation, better NCAA draft class integration, and game planning. Despite these improvements, it’s hard to call this year a step forward for those who enjoy offline game modes. It may also be difficult for some users to justify the sixty dollar purchase with only gameplay improvements.
Overall, the news is disheartening considering that the sports gaming community has called for a franchise makeover for the last several years. If there is some silver-lining to be found, it is that the mode should be completely overhauled for the remainder of this console generation at the very least and the development team is continuing to be transparent with the community, at least to some degree. While the book isn’t completely closed on a big year for the Madden franchise, this news may be difficult to overcome for many users.
What do you think of the news? Are you more or less likely to purchase Madden 11? Leave your comments below.
Madden 11 will be available on August 10th and is available for pre-order now at Gamestop locations across New England.