I have to agree with mackandmoon's sentiments. But... I still believe that the overwhelming majority of people who buy sports games do so because of the ONFIELD experience. It may not seem that way in forums like this, but it is true. The average "casual" gamer doesn't give a flying fig about a franchise/owner mode. I have 3 brothers and we've gamed ourselves into oblivion over the years. And I am the ONLY one to even click on the franchise option! Most people just want to play the game. Period. EA knows this. And VC knows this. That's why they devote some much of their development resources to the onfield gameplay. Now I am not a game developer, but I would guess that it would take a hell of a lot more people to produce the graphics side of a game than it does for the management side. There is just so much more for the graphic/animation team to do. If you are going to capture the gamers imagination, you will have to deliver a game that mimics close to what we see on tv. And a franchise mode is not it. A franchise mode has a market and it is a feature that a lot of gamers want. But these gamers are in the very clear minority. I will ALWAYS believe that an action oriented game will ALWAYS outsell the management game. Some always ask the question, "Well what if ESPN didn't have a franchise mode these days? How would it fair against Madden?". I ask a different question. What if we separate the modes of these games? Put Maddens owner mode as a separate game, and Madden arcade as a separate game. Then see which one sells. It wouldn't even be a contest. So have no fear mackandmoon.... things are not that bad. Gamers STIL want to play the games. And they always will.
The franchise mode will be another option to check out loosely by most gamers. But the stat gurus will be engrossed to unexplainable proportions. In the end, the game will have something for most everyone. And playing the game will always prevail.
I agree that on the field gameplay is most important, but I also enjoy managing a team, signing and scouting players, and all of that.
I think different people like different things. Some people just like to manage a team and would rather put together their roster, hire coaches and scouts, then simulate the games to see if the choices they made were good ones. It can be fun to simulate games and check out your stats to see how your team is doing.
It all depends on the person, some people just like playing the on field game, others like to have more options to keep the game new and interesting. There's nothing wrong with a great franchise mode with lots of cool options. I am pretty shocked though that some people actually complain about 2k3's and 2k4's franchise mode. What more could you possibly want out of the game? It all seems great to me.
I've never really played Franchise mode but I've heard that 2k's was great. I think what people want is for VC to imitate Madden & copy all it's modes. VC on the other hand is developing it's own game & I guess some Madden faithful feel disrespected because they can't gloat that the 2k franchise is a clone of Madden.
I just want to chime in on this subject. I'm currently in school for Graphics & Game development, so you guys know where I stand on this issue.
But the reason I feel that way is because alot of gamers are not just game fans, but they are also sports fans (as I am). So it is unfair to say all that other stuff like Franchise and Owner is fluff. EA said it themselves "if its in the game.." you know the rest.
Therefore, if part of the NFL experience is the chance for a guy to join your team via free agency in real life and you have the capabilities to do it in the game, then I want to do it to. Does that make me a casual gamer? I don't think so, but others have their opinions.
Like it or not signing bonuses and holdouts are just as much a part of the NFL as flat passes and zone coverage.
In short all I'm saying is, if you are going to make a game based on reality......I WANT IT ALL!!!!!!