• Announcing the Madden NFL Community Wish List Tournament

    Many football fans may follow one level of football more than the other (college more than pro, for example), however sports gamers tend to play many different sports games, even of the same sport. It seems to only make sense that NCAA Football gamers would devote significant hours to Madden NFL as well (and vice versa) given some of the natural tie-ins including Draft Classes and Road to Glory export to Superstar Mode. However, it seems that in recent years the split has become more diverse, with fans of each franchise going into diverse directions.

    While each in the hardcore communities may have gameplay improvements as their top feedback item, NCAA Football gamers have fallen deeper into Dynasty Mode while Madden NFL seems to be more of a 'one-off' game in part due to such a large tournament scene.

    One of the most frequently asked questions following the 2010 NCAA Football Community Wish List Tournament was 'will/can you guys do the same for the Madden NFL franchise?' Visit our Madden NFL Community Wish List Tournament sub-forum and begin voting now. The format for this tournament will differ from its NCAA counterpart. Each game aspect (Gameplay, Presentation, Franchise Mode Improvements, etc.) will be their own bracket to determine the 'most requested' community aspect for each area of the game.

    Before the tournament begins, we want to hear from the community on their thoughts on Madden NFL and their opinions on how Madden NFL stacks up to 'little brother' NCAA Football.

    • How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football?
    • What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)
    • Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?
    • What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?


    Answering these questions will help share some insight among community members as we head into the Madden NFL Community Wish List Tournament.

    Game areas of focus for the tournament: Gameplay, Franchise Mode Improvements, Presentation, Features from Other Games, Superstar Mode Enhancements, & Other. Tournament entries were selected for being the most frequently mentioned and/or requested from community sites such as Operation Sports, EA Forums, The Gaming Tailgate, and more.
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      • How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football?


      - I primarily play NCAA Football, but did play more of Madden NFL 11 than I have any Madden in recent years. Have a Franchise with Oakland and played quite a bit of OTP with JStein2469, JBHuskers, Shopmaster, xRomo9, Anton32, Kev5890, DaMole and others.

      • What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)


      - Non-gameplay, I'd go with Presentation and Franchise Mode. IMHO, Madden's biggest issue is that the game is just so dry. In NCAA, I can't get enough of Dynasty Mode (2 ODs, 1 offline Dynasty) but can barely make it through one season in Madden. Each game seems like a 'one-off' and there's no connectivity to the season at hand. (That's somewhat of an issue in NCAA, but the non-game Dynasty aspects - Recruiting, Dynasty Wire - are engaging enough to counter the problem.)

      • Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?


      - I don't think so. That large Tournament crowd isn't going to go anywhere anytime soon. The game could devote significant resources to improving Franchise Mode & Presentation and it would only be a benefit.

      • What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?


      - The biggest challenge is adding items and features that span such a large audience. In the online, hardcore community Franchise Mode is the area that needs the most work. One problem there is the intricacies and details that go into managing a roster, salary cap, etc. If a gamer overspends for a few players, that could end their desire to continue in Franchise Mode - and that could be killer to Online Franchises. They have to make this mode deep yet also add in 'Franchise for Dummies' (I'd need a copy ) to make it user-friendly. Most people probably understand some sort of financial basics of the NFL, but the details are very tricky and people would need walked through.
    1. CLW's Avatar
      CLW -
      • How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football?
      I have not played a SINGLE SECOND of Madden 11. I played Madden 10 quite a bit but was SEVERELY disappointed with the Online Franchise and Franchise modes. To put it bluntly, Franchise mode is BROKEN and doesn't even come close to offering anywhere close to the experience of a well run online dynasty or even an offline dynasty in NCAA Football.

      • What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)
      Unless and until Madden does a major overhaul of the Franchise/Online Franchise modes I won't even bother renting Madden.
      • Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?
      That depends ENTIRELY on the development team. IMHO, IF the "powers that be" decide to make Franchise Mode (particularly an online franchise) complete and "true to life" then I could see it taking off. However, as currently situated Madden will remain an "East Room" / "Play now" game.
      • What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?
      The Madden team has to decide what kind of game they want to make. They can either continue to focus on the arcade/play now/tourny type players and do "silly" add ons like "Ultimate Team" and the like OR they can revamp and attempt to go for a simulation/franchise player experience.

      I do not believe that they have the time/$/resources/desire to do both. They need to just make a decision and let the chips fall where they may. If they don't want to make a game focussed around franchise mode fine but don't be shocked when gamers that prefer that experience would rather play NCAA than Madden.
    1. JeffHCross's Avatar
      JeffHCross -
      • How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football?

      I played Madden 10 for a few months as part of an Online Franchise. Otherwise, I have never owned a Madden title, and do not foresee that changing.

      • What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)

      Franchise, especially Online Franchise. I know the Madden team said that they were not working on it for Madden 11 in order to make a major stride in Madden 12, but that was a tough pill to swallow. Madden 12 is a put-up-or-shut-up moment for them in terms of Madden's hardcore audience. If the stride isn't as large as people thought was being promised, the backlash could be fairly significant.

      • Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?

      Yes, absolutely. Madden is centered around the Online play of individual games. The Madden Challenge has only perpetuated this reputation over the years. I think a sizable amount of the players still play Franchise, but I, personally, think Madden's Online Play Now usage is higher than Franchise, which is not true for NCAA.

      • What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?

      Balance. Madden appeals to a largely casual crowd and everyone knows it. There are a ton of people for whom Madden is an annual tradition, but they are not all, or even mostly, "hardcore" Madden gamers in the traditional sense. Madden might be a yearly purchase, but I also think those same players are probably purchasing other games, rather than putting a weight of their focus on Madden.

      • What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?, part deux

      Growing a new audience. It has recently come to my attention that EA requires individuals to be 13 or older to register for an EA account (and thusly play online). This is true for any of EA's games, not limited to just EA Sports. However, some of their competition (namely Activision) has no such restriction. I believe that EA is trying to protect the younger audience from, among other things, derogatory and inappropriate things said in chat, pedos, and general bad influences. This is all good and well, and I applaud EA for doing so. But there must be another option that allows kids to play online without creating a new account that claims they're older than 13. Either letting a Master Account grant permission, or something along these lines, is probably the best option. Create children EA Accounts that are attached to a Master Account -- something like that.

      The reason I feel strongly about this is that I already think EA Sports is in a nasty position when it comes to growing a new audience. Sports sims are not casual friendly, and are decidedly not easy to pick up for a first-timer. I started my first sports sim when I was 9, and they were considerably simpler than they are today. So EA Sports is already fighting an uphill battle, which they need to combat with innovative thinking (Gameflow being one step in the right direction) that reduces the learning curve for new players. Tutorials that actually teach football would be another possibility. But even if EA wins that battle, the restriction of not letting kids play online means, more than likely, those kids are getting their gaming fix elsewhere. For the 9-year-old me, nothing would have been more frustrating than getting a football game and being unable to play my friends online if I so chose. For my generation, playing against your friends was a large part of the enjoyment of home consoles ... go to a friend's house and beat each other up all night via Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or what-have-you. Now kids can stay at home (which parents are likely to prefer) ... and play Call of Duty ... but not Madden. That's a problem for Madden.
    1. morsdraconis's Avatar
      morsdraconis -
      How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football?

      I had it for the 360, but barely played it at all. Franchise is absolutely despicably bad as the logic of pretty much everything involved is just plain bad. The CPU controlled teams don't make trades or draft correctly at all. None of the teams have a coherent way of working their roster (like NBA 2k11 having the teams in different "roles" by having teams like the Lakers not looking to really deal anyone unless a significant piece to add to their rotation became available or the Timberwolves in a constant state of rebuilding because of their piss poor management) towards a goal.
      What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)

      Franchise, without a doubt, though presentation is pretty freakin' bad as well. The commentary is atrocious, but that comes down to me not liking Chris Colinsworth or Gus Johnson at all.

      Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?

      As it is right now, yes. Will it continue to be? Depends on what they do with Franchise mode and how much is available in Online Franchise.

      What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?

      Making Franchise what it should be (a true simulation of the on goings of a NFL team and of the NFL game from the financial, personnel, and coaching perspectives as well as the players' perspectives). If they don't make some GIGANTIC leaps in the right direction with '12, I don't see how they can possibly keep afloat.
    1. xRomo9's Avatar
      xRomo9 -
      • How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football?
      Very often with both games . It does not compare very much to NCAA . Sorry ! NCAA has a lot more depth and that is what most gamers want..
      • What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)
      Online Franchise, Madden OTP are the biggest areas that need help. Depth , Depth , Depth...
      • Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?
      No I don't think so , but improvements is a must , and it must make a big splash this year for the Community to really except it .. compared to NCAA dynasty? I think it can be just as in depth as Dynasty. I really do.. Franchise vs Dynasty has came down to the total control of the team or teams in a online setting along with how the game makes you feel. Is it keeping you interested? Is it as exciting as the first time you saw The Cowboys win the Super Bowl or felt excitment of the game.. Do I have that tatol control over my team? Do I get to build my team like a real NFL franchise? The answer is NO. Not yet !
      • What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?
      Making everybody happy! I think there is a lot f things they do want to do to the game, but maybe they get cut before they get started.. Madden must have a strong year in the Online Franchise deptartment to get over the hump and get the ship going in the right direction.. I hope they don't forget the OTP part as well .. Look at the NHL11 game .. OTP and Super Star mode is so deep it is crazy!

      Thanks
      Romo
    1. steelerfan's Avatar
      steelerfan -
      *How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football?

      Madden 10 was the first one I skipped since it jumped to the Sega Genesis. I just haven't enjoyed it at all on the current gen. I only got 11 because it was free (thanks again, TGT!). NCAA is vastly superior to Madden, and that comes from a guy who is a much bigger NFL fan than NCAA fan.


      *What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)

      Franchise Mode needs a serious overhaul.


      *Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?

      If Franchise Mode continues to be lacking, yes.


      *What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?

      Fixing Franchise Mode and making the game play like NFL football. It's been years since I've been able to generate realism on Madden. The horrible slider set is partly to blame.
    1. steelerfan's Avatar
      steelerfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by cdj View Post
      'Franchise for Dummies' (I'd need a copy )
      When you're done, forward it to Al Davis.
    1. JStein2469's Avatar
      JStein2469 -
      There has not been a better football game that still has so many strides to take. Madden NFL 11 was still the best NFL game to date but lacks the depth that NCAA has gotten over the past couple of years.

      I am a madden guy. I play it probably 95% more than I do NCAA. My main focus is with gameplay, so between the two titles, there obviously isn't TOO much different there.

      The weakest area as I mentioned is the depth. I know everyone will be critical of franchise and rightfully so. There are so many aspects of Head Coach that simply have to find a way into Madden.

      OTP is another big one. I'm 100% convinced that if this had stat tracking, leagues, and leaderboards, that it would be an extremely popular mode that the franchise desperately needs.

      Is it a play now? For me, no and it will never be. I used to be a heavy ranked game online player. I'm really not the guy anymore. Even with the lack of depth in franchise, I still enjoy building a team, drafting, and always striving to have the best possible 53 man roster I can have.

      I echo Romo's thoughts when he says the biggest challenge is making every demographic happy when building this game. They'll never make everyone happy, but I hope they take NCAA's lead of having a tight ear to the community wants!
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      Great thoughts and feedback so far, guys. Keep it coming!

      In case anyone missed it, voting is now open here. If you have any trouble leaving comments, please let me know. Franchise Tournament match-ups will be open for voting later this morning.

      We ask that you spread the word about this tournament to your friends, co-workers, and acquaintances via e-mail, social networks, etc. The more votes and feedback, the better. Thanks!
    1. Paakaa10's Avatar
      Paakaa10 -
      How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football?
      Despite enjoying Madden NFL--and typically playing it far more often than NCAA Football--for the '11 title year I definitely played more NCAA. I would say that I play Madden once or twice a week, while that number would be doubled or tripled for NCAA.

      What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)
      Franchise mode needs some significant improvement, and Presentation still needs to be worked on in order for the game to be a complete and accurate representation of the NFL. Gameplay is always central to the gaming experience, but Madden NFL 10 and 11 were steps in the right direction and less attention is needed there than before.

      Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?
      I certainly hope not, but it does seem that Madden NFL has become an "Online Play Now" game more than anything else; something which doesn't sit well with me as somebody who typically plays against the CPU. I do think that the NCAA fanbase is typically more "hardcore" about football, which means that the franchise will always be more into Dynasty mode whereas the Madden NFL crowd has a wider spectrum of gamers with more "instant gratification" needs.

      What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?
      After the '11 title year, the biggest challenge is to live up to the game developed by the NCAA team. I felt that NCAA Football 11 outclassed Madden NFL 11 in nearly every way, despite both games having the same Locomotion system in place. That I liked NCAA more than Madden really is a big deal, as I follow the NFL much more closely than I do the college game; even with that in mind, I spent much more time with NCAA and feel as though it was clearly the better game that came out of the studio last year.

      Game areas of focus for the tournament: Gameplay, Franchise Mode Improvements, Presentation, Features from Other Games, Superstar Mode Enhancements, & Other. Tournament entries were selected for being the most frequently mentioned and/or requested from community sites such as Operation Sports, EA Forums, The Gaming Tailgate, and more.
      I have seen the categories for Gameplay and Franchise Mode Improvements so far; are the other areas going to be posted later on?
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paakaa10 View Post
      I have seen the categories for Gameplay and Franchise Mode Improvements so far; are the other areas going to be posted later on?
      Yes, they will. We plan on timing all of the brackets so they end at the same time. The Gameplay & Franchise Mode fields have 32 entries, Presentation 16, Features From Other Games 8, Superstar Mode Enhancements 8, and Other 8. So once the big two get to Round 2, the Presentation tourney will start. When they get to 8, then the next three will be added.
    1. Paakaa10's Avatar
      Paakaa10 -
      Quote Originally Posted by cdj View Post
      Yes, they will. We plan on timing all of the brackets so they end at the same time. The Gameplay & Franchise Mode fields have 32 entries, Presentation 16, Features From Other Games 8, Superstar Mode Enhancements 8, and Other 8. So once the big two get to Round 2, the Presentation tourney will start. When they get to 8, then the next three will be added.
      Ah, I see how it works. Sounds great to me! I should've known, based on track record, that you all had a plan for this.
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paakaa10 View Post
      Ah, I see how it works. Sounds great to me! I should've known, based on track record, that you all had a plan for this.
      We almost always have a plan. How effective of one is always a different question though.
    1. Jayrah's Avatar
      Jayrah -
      • How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football

      I played madden every year from the 1998 title on N64. However after 10 I did not see what I wanted to see to spend my money, and this was tough for me. I've always been more drawn to the NCAA game, but I am a football junkie, and love the NFL game, so it was tough to admit that it wouldn't be worth my buy. Example below.

      • What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)

      Like many have said, the franchise mode is so disappointing. Presentation is actually ok for me, even though I could use a boost in the area of streaming and connection between single games within the season and seasons as a single string of events. The major part is the depth (mentioned above), connection to players (still feel like I am running a player onto the field without any special or specific purpose to accomplish for my team, other than filling the spot with the basic qualities or requirements of the position) and the cpu logic in many areas.

      I REALLY love the draft process as well, but the game's depiction of that, including the players connecting from my NCAA dynasty and their rating process, does not make me happy. For example, there's no pre draft workouts or anything to depict where the difference from how a player's college game vs pro game will translate. I would like to see maybe not even the players do their thing but at least some "stats" from a "workout" to let me or cpu know why the player came out so highly rated, and dropped for NFL, or visa versa. So players come out as the heisman winner or whatever and then end up rated in the middle of the class for no specific reason. Also it's very difficult to scout players.

      Unfortunately, that's kind of the way the entire Franchise Mode operates. Very little depth or engaging material in too many of the areas that have natural engagement abilities. It seems as if the team dulls each section of the game down to make it playable, instead of taking the most playable aspects of each section and bringing it to light in a playable fashion.

      • Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?

      No way! Not unless they make it into a Blitz type game. I don't think the play now crowd will go anywhere, but this game is PERFECTLY SUITED to be a franchise game! I myself play my dynasty in NCAA, and would play Madden in between as a parallel single player franchise. I think more people would do this if they could, but the franchise is so lacking that it's not fun. It would be GREAT if the commissioner from an ncaa franchise could outsource the draft class to whomever within the dynasty so they can do something like that.

      • What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?

      The team in one year has been flipped with the NCAA franchise. In my estimation, this was the same question about this time last year that the NCAA franchise was having the same questions thrown its way. So the biggest challenge is going to be to supplying "The Game" again to the football community. Or at the very least re-involving the franchise crowd.
    1. JHeb's Avatar
      JHeb -
      •How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football?

      For the first time in many, many, many years I did NOT buy Madden. I started my football gaming career on Madden back on the PS1 and loved it. I played it all the time.
      Once EA came out with College Football I moved to it and have never looked back. I still played Madden but with the lack of depth in the Franchise mode, I just can't play it anymore.
      If Madden would drastically revamp the Franchise mode and make the draft more involved, etc. I'd likely go back to Madden and make it an annual purchase.

      •What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)

      As stated above, I'm all about the Franchise...

      •Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?

      No, I think Madden can and should be a Franchise heavy game just as the Dynasty is for us NCAA lovers.

      •What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?

      Making the game more than just an online players game. Make it a game us Franchise guys want to play for months and months.
    1. skipwondah33's Avatar
      skipwondah33 -
      • How often do you play Madden NFL? How does that compare to NCAA Football?

      - I play atleast 5-6 times a week. It is primarily the only game I play other than COD. I am involved in a Madden community and play in all 4 of our leagues that we run. I do not own NCAA any longer. I traded it in sometime in September due to not having much time to play it, but I still played Madden more.


      • What one area (or game feature) do you feel the Madden NFL franchise needs to address or focus on most? (Or what area do you feel is currently the weakest within the Madden NFL franchise?)



      - Gameplay. The presentation, offline modes and things of that nature don't bother me because I do not play the other modes. I feel like big strides were made with gameplay this year but there are still flaws in it. Locomotion was a huge addition and fixed quite a bit of issues but little things are still problems. Defensive assignments still need work, the physics in general need improved. Just various things that would enhance the overall gameplay.


      • Is the Madden NFL franchise destined to be primarily a 'Play Now' game as compared to the Dynasty-enriched NCAA Football franchise?

      - I honestly believe it is. I solely play unranked online games with members of the community I've involved in. Mostly because the CPU AI does not offer a realistic challenge and the franchise features are full in comparison to the NCAA series. One of the leagues I am in is a online franchise league and even still it does not offer what NCAA's dynasty feature has. Then again I'm not necessarily looking for that when I play in Madden OF's.

      • What do you feel is the biggest challenge for the Madden NFL development team?


      - Appeasing both the online only crowds, then the Offline/Online franchise mode crowds. I would venture to say the majority of Madden players play online, whether that is play now games or unranked league games or even Online franchises. I think one thing that both crowds can agree on and want is gameplay issues being fixed. I believe that should be the most important concern over any developments. I do believe the offline modes need fixed because over the last several years it has been horrible. The last franchise I can remember playing was back in 03-04.