We worked so hard for this moment. All it took was
weeks, months, years of publicly slandering Madden and EA for the way that they comprehensively and systematically ruined Franchise Mode. Specifically, I’m not sure that they did anything actively to kill the mode (I have not bought a Madden since 2012, as the first signs of a reckoning were upon us), but rather ignored Franchise Mode in it’s entirety all while promoting “brand new features” and “up to date, ultra realistic graphics” that were essentially just a more in-depth sweat generators and increased fatigue on long runs.
Franchise mode is beloved by die-hard Madden fans, many of whom grew up without online play and wanted a break from exhibition games against the AI. For years, this portion of the game has laid stagnant all while EA promotes Ultimate Team in search of those sweet, sweet in game purchases. Trading was never fixed (seriously, it was impossible to trade whenever I’d snag a game at my buddy’s house), the in game physics are constantly broken, and it just was not that fun. Years of mismanaging this mode in favor of Ultimate Team and the quest for a more functional spin move have festered frustration in fans of the game for years.
That frustration came to a head about a month ago, when fans of the game (including several players) came forward in a campaign to get EA to #FixFranchiseMode. After years of pent up frustrations came to the fore, Madden finally issued a statement on the matter.
It was a sincere effort at letting people know they were heard, and appreciated. But words meant so much, only actions would truly mean anything. Today, just over a month on, EA announced upgrades and updates to Franchise Mode for today and Madden 2022.
The reason that they are focusing a lot on 2022 is naturally that the latest iteration of the game is due to drop soon and it’s simply too late to scrap it and update everything. So, they let us know their plans moving forward; what are the notable changes possibly coming over the next couple of years?
-Fixing trading logic
-Engine enhancements (heard this one before)
-Increased content such as management, relocating, new uniforms, scouting, and coaching improvements
What does this mean exactly? Well, it might lead to a deeper Franchise Mode, which would be excellent given that the mode has been heavily criticized for being very surface level. It might make the game make more sense, which, sure. Overall, I’m not sure there are a ton of improvements coming. What can not get overlooked is that this was possible because they finally listened to the people and are open to criticism. That’s a tough first step to make and an important one. It kind of reminds me of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, where fan backlash made the film re-animate entirely. The effort is there and that’s a big step. I don’t think this is a groundbreaking change to the game and I’m not sure that it’s enough to get a lot of people back into Madden, especially with minimal changes coming this year. But a brighter future *might* just lie ahead for Madden, one where they have a deeper, more meaningful gaming experience.
It’s not much, for now, but it’s a start. FIFA, we’re coming for your broken ass Manager Career Mode next.