Focusing Purpose

We took a long look right at the heart of Face of the Franchise: The League this year. Placing consistent feedback from our dedicated player base alongside our own expectations for what the mode could and should be, we knew it was time for some fundamental changes.
With that in mind, we used a few basic principles to guide us throughout development:

  • Action
    • We focused heavily on what players have told us they want the most; impactful progression, feeling of achievement in your career, and most importantly, getting you into the action on the field much faster.

  • Core Systems
    • We created, refined, and in some cases overhauled systems central to our core gameplay loop. We want them to be more polished, engaging, and easily sustainable for the future.

  • Quality
    • While quality and polish is always a focus, we really made it a top priority across the Face of the Franchise team to deliver both at launch.

Contracts & Quick Starts

While there’s no doubt plenty more stories to be told about promising young rookies rocketing to stardom, we all know there’s a lot more to the NFL than just that. This year, we wanted to let our players explore a place just beyond traditional starting points.
So, far from being a fresh-faced first year straight from the draft, you enter The League as an underutilized fifth year free agent, eager to finally make this his breakout season. Your biggest decision right from the jump is making use of our upgraded free agency contract signing system to select the team you want to play for.

Take into consideration things like the quality of a team’s need for a player at your position and skill level, whether you’re a good fit for their current scheme, and of course whether they’re willing to pay you above your current predicted market value. Those dollars and cents will matter this year, granting you things like bonus REP used for leveling your player depending on the quality of your pay. It’s down to you whether you want to play for your favorite team, and just let money do the talking.
From creating your player, signing with a team, and running out onto the field ready for kickoff will be just 15 minutes of setup. It’s a change of pace we made for a few reasons, with the biggest one being that it lets our players dive straight into exactly what they came for – real NFL football. We want everyone to be able to get on the sticks and into the regular season so they can begin to define who they are and how they play through their own actions, rather than focus a huge amount of effort into a lengthy, linear prologue that sometimes puts playtime in the League hours out of sight.
This year, you’re free to just play.
Improved Player-Locked Gameplay

As you dive into the action, one of the biggest changes you’ll notice is the introduction of true player-locked gameplay. While operating solely out of the shoes of your created player was always an option in previous years, now you’ll be committed to mastering your position, and relying on your teammates to do their job, without the ability to flip over to full team control.
It wasn’t a decision made lightly – but in a mode whose guiding purpose is living the life of YOUR star player, we wanted to deliver a unique and compelling experience that felt distinct and engaging for Face of the Franchise-focused players both new and old.

With that change in mind, a lot of work has gone into making each of our five playable positions more fun and engaging to handle at all times. From camera work to core mechanics all over the field for five positions, every game should feel dynamic and alive no matter where you line up on the field.
And we did say five positions – Cornerback is selectable within Face of the Franchise for the first time this year, as we continue to key in on the ways to play most requested by the community. While performing as a lockdown CB is no easy feat, we believe it can be one of the most fun and rewarding new ways to play for Madden veterans looking for a fresh challenge.

Be sure to check out the FieldSENSE™ Gridiron Notes to learn how the new gameplay system will impact your play while locked-in as your favorite position.
Position-Focused Progression

Another sizable shift was in the world of player progression. We’ve moved away from last year’s concept of levelable classes, that were meant to represent unique football archetypes, and instead simply focused progression around each of the five playable positions. This will put a greater emphasis on making each of those positions more flexible and customizable, giving power back to the player when it comes to how they want their build to function and operate.
With things like a freshly updated UI, plus the added ability to freely respec your build so you can shuffle your skill points and abilities as desired, we’re hoping players will feel empowered to experiment and fine-tune their setups until they find what looks and plays right for them.
Refreshed League Hub

The League Hub, that core screen which will serve as your home before and after every single game, has also gotten a significant facelift. Beyond a number of organizational improvements to the UI with things like sub-categories in the Action Item list, the most notable change is our return to 3D backgrounds.

In Madden NFL 23, these living spaces will update dynamically depending on a number of factors throughout the week and the season. Prior to an away game, you might see your player set up in a hotel room. For a home game, you’ll be operating out of your regular apartment. After a big win, you’ll be in the locker room celebrating alongside your teammates – after a loss, things might be a little more somber.
Part of our push this year was to keep you connected to your created player and their journey whether you’re in a game or in the menus preparing for the next one. By providing consistent windows into your life even when off the field, we hope that degree of immersion starts to bleed through into every moment of play.
Through the League Hub you’ll be able to select your weekly goal for the upcoming game. Keeping your next matchup in mind, you’ll be able to select more difficult goals to earn more REP.

Speaking of goals, be on the lookout for goals to pop up during your games each week to earn even more REP.

Side Activities Overhaul

Finally, there’s far more to the life of an NFL pro than just what they do on gameday. It’s the hard days of training, prep, plus other obligations that make up the bulk of their real workload – and our new and improved Side Activities system is your way to capture that part of the fantasy.
From off-field training prep that provides temporary stat boosts to get you operating at peak performance, to on-field drills to test your skills and provide more REP to help boost your level, to side stories that fire off short vignettes and grant even more unique rewards, the goal was to give a variety of content that will give you more freedom to dictate how you want to spend your time and fine-tune your player on his journey.
At a basic level, it works like this:

  • Select the Side Activities action item prior to your game for the week.
  • Browse through the available “open” days, depending on how short the current week is.
  • Set up an activity or drill available within each given day.
  • Lockin your selections and sim the week.

Past that, you’ll watch any cutscenes or be prompted to play or sim any on-field drills you selected, see the rest of the week fly by, and then get a summary of all the boosts and rewards granted for the work you just put in. Do you want to get more involved with your community to earn unique rewards or opt for extra training to receive another stat boost for the next game? You’ll take note of how these decisions each week unfold through your career. It will give you another piece of immersion that makes you feel closer to the life of your player and creates a greater connection to the League.

We’re really looking forward to you experiencing all that Face of the Franchise: The League has to offer in Madden NFL 23. We’ll be listening to your feedback on the changes we’ve made and look forward to building upon it in the future.