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Re: Are You Losing Interest In Madden More And More Each Year? 
Posted on October 21, 2010 at 03:57 AM.
Re: Are You Losing Interest In Madden More And More Each Year?
I voted yes. What follows is a 860+ word post to explain why. You wanna skip me, I understand.

Like someone pointed out earlier - I still have interest in football gaming, hence I'm on Operation Sports - but it's my interest in Madden that is starting to fade.

I am a video game fan FIRST. I was so hardcore into Madden 10 and Madden 11, I hunted them down and got them BEFORE they were released. I was a fanboy. Now at this moment in October, Madden 12 is a potential rental for me.

A myriad of reasons drive my frustration but the main culprit is a VERY dirty word around here and insulting to the developers, however I must use it because it perfectly encapsulates my emotion -- laziness. Madden 11 is a good playing game, yet for every positive step it takes toward being something elite (forgive the choice in words) - there's a flaw I perceive as laziness, something that "slaps you in the face" as downright wrong, that slowly erodes away at it's sense of quality as a game.

A few examples, first being AUDIO and Gus Johnson. I feel his implementation into Madden 11 sucks. He's a great voice, but it's being driven by the same scripting and technology as last-gen games. As a result, the commentary is stilted and robotic. The clips are poorly edited in places and pre-game storylines are broken with no mention of a fix, 4 patches deep. The "slap in the face" is hearing Cris Collinsworth use the name "Tom". Gus Johnson is a 'back of the box' feature to sell Madden 11 and no-one bothered to edit Cris' clips to reflect the changeover from Tom Hammond. As a GAMER, when I'm trying to suspend my disbelief and get into what I'm playing - things like this destroy the game's universe.

Another example is LIGHTING and NCAA. This year, Tiburon trumpeted their "new" lighting system for Madden in a marketing blog. Yes, Self-Shadowing and better Contrast do make the game look better. Rex Ryan really pops off the screen now. However, after being IN Madden 07 - Progressive Lighting is gone baby gone with no mention of ever being back in. I can play an afternoon game and go well into the 4th Quarter with a bright sunny sky. On earth, NFL games take 3 hours. In Madden, they're frozen in time. The "slap in the face" comes from right down the hall from where Madden is made. Next-Gen NCAA has had progressive lighting for two years. (Although it's a quick and dirty version that changes every quarter, unlike the TRUE per-play light progression from 07). To NOT include things like this, which ground the game in SOME form of pseudo-reality...ESPECIALLY when your other game does it running on an identical engine...not only begs to be perceived as at worst "laziness" or at best a "questionable creative decision".

Example 3 is the Ultimate Slap in the Face as it has nothing to do with laziness as it has to do with greed. It's the ever-increasing role of MONEY in Madden. Sadly, buying the game for $59.99 is no longer enough. When I play Madden 11 I am constantly being sold something else. Whether it's "Boosts" for my franchise, packs of "Coins" to "Purchase Madden Moments" or "Scouting Reports", or the sheer atrocity of the ponzi-like Madden Ultimate Team, "monetize the consumer" has been programmed into the developers' heads from up high and as a consequence, creativity and innovation have suffered while gamers like me have been totally alienated and forced into a bitter disagreement.

This one is the most heartbreaking of all, man. In a world where we're being constantly bombarded with messages for us to consume, video games used to be an escape. First came a little product placement, but like in a movie, a soda poster or billboard won't distract me - it may even HELP immerse me. On the other hand, Pop-up ads? There's no excuse! They may justify it by saying "you watch a real game, you see ads". Doesn't matter what you spray on poop, either - it'll stink regardless. Toning them down isn't a solution when something shouldn't exist to begin with.

Forgive me, Mods. I know not being constructive is a no-no around here but this thread inspired me to vent feelings I've bottled in and if read with an open mind, AND in consideration of my passion for the subject, I feel I'm being VERY constructive.

Madden was like a great girlfriend, I hate to see us break up - but it's the things she's doing that's killing me inside. If only she would change her behavior and go back to acting the way she USED to circa 04 and 05 - when she was innocent and pure (and had competition) - maybe I can open my heart, and wallet, to her again. Until then, I've met somebody new. She's content with the $60 I gave her and she does all the little things that matter to me. So what if she's a basketball game. She's set the standard of what I expect from now on.
# 1 Dazraz @ Oct 21
Nice read. You make your point well.
EA is no longer about passionate people making games they love. Their games are designed in the boardroom now with every development cost being scrutinised to the last cent.
So many of the new features in NBA 2K11 on there own, are small & insubstantial, but collectively work to make a game that sets the standard. As you mentioned, the laziness in EA Sports in regards to commentary beggars belief. They think it's enough to say they got Gus in the game. Not so. 2K's commentary is on another scale compared to the trite EA are dishing up.
Here's hoping 2K get a chance to release an NFL title soon.
# 2 Brew @ Oct 21
Great point... the feeling is mutual. Ive long been a Madden gamer first. Everything else has come along after... Call of Duty, Halo, NBA 2K, etc.
Madden has turned into a cash cow for EA and their milking it for what its worth. The quality that should be shown progressively year after year has dwindled into changes that alienate the dedicated fan base and tried to bring in more casual gamers. Their lack of focus on Franchise, charging us for every little nuance they can, and shotty improvements from year to year has deterred me from playing. I actually liked NCAA far more this year than Madden.
After buying NBA 2K11, I cant put it down and it justifies my disappointment with Madden. Seeing the improvements that 2K has made in one year with an already great game just goes to show what EA SHOULD be capable of. EA has become a pompass dictator in the video game industry and its starting to bite them in the ***. 2K is taking over baby!
Cant wait til' 2K has an opportunity to make an NFL game again!
# 3 HarveyCamper @ Oct 21
Perfectly stated and could not agree more
# 4 ZFarls @ Oct 21
I like your post, very well thought out. You dont hate and I think gamers are getting frustrated by the Ad's in video games. The way I lose interest is because....
You play Madden and while small thing changes and EA pretends to add huge things, BUT at the end of the day its football. The game doesnt change a ton year to year. It cant because the NFL doesnt change.

NHL 09, I played so much of, yes it wasnt the most polished, but when NHL 10 came out I had already fed my hockey cravings. Although 10 was better overall it was still skating around playing hockey and didnt change that much from 09.

tough to articulate my point, but I do like your thoughts.
# 5 jestep123 @ Oct 21
The worst part of the advertising and the "nickel and diming" is that if they would just make a better football game, they wouldnt have to do this and/or if they did do it, it would be much more tolerable.

It really is sad to see a franchise like Madden have so many detractors but I have to be honest, I played a full game of APF2k8 last night, its not the greatest game of football either and with that it is still miles ahead of Madden.

Forget about the exclusive licsence, Madden sucks because it no longer has to carry the load all by itself (ala NBA 2k11, which most certainly doesnt suck). FIFA and NHL are taking over as the cash cows, so less effort is being put into Madden. Well if that is how its going to be than give consumers a chance at a good football game. You dont want it, and we dont want you to have it. Seems like a perfect mismatch to me.

Laziness is a perfect description, and it is very sad.
# 6 hail2thechief @ Oct 21
This dude is right. Here, here
# 7 stlstudios189 @ Oct 21
It used to be Madden was top dog in my game library as football was always my top sport but, now NBA 2k sereies, baseball, hockey, and soccer are a much more exciting series of games to play. I love Madden but, some of the aspects are off.
# 8 outlaw221 @ Oct 21
Great blog please send this is the NFL Players Inc
# 9 AMYO @ Oct 21
gave up on madden
# 10 datruth251 @ Oct 21
# 11 midway23 @ Oct 22
Ten Cheers 2 SeventhWard's Blog
# 12 thescoop @ Oct 22
I still enjoy Madden, but I hear you. I think you made very, very good points. And sometimes as a consumer, we should demand more and shouldn't always have to be constructive.
# 13 dsmi155 @ Oct 22
Agreed, 100%. And hopefully if/when EA loses the exclusive rights to Madden, NFL fans will finally get a game that will treat them with respect and show them how it should be done, as NASCAR fans are finally going to get after almost a decade wandering in the EA wilderness, with the new Eutechnyx title.
# 14 Steven123 @ Oct 22
Slowly lost interest in Madden every year since they got the exclusive license. I'm proud to say I'm officially done with the sham known as Madden NFL Football. NFL 2k13, here I come!
# 15 LucianoJJ @ Oct 23
Don't get me wrong. I am a Collinsworth fan. Bringing in Gus Johnson was an upgrade over Tom Hammond. I've suggested this in another post before. Let me repeat it here. Gas up the Madden Cruiser. Set the GPS to Tiburon Studios, Orlando. Let the man himself do extensive, fresh color commentary for Madden 12.

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