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Rex Dickson Leaves EA Tiburon and the Madden Team

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Old 05-04-2018, 04:12 PM   #137
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Re: Rex Dickson Leaves EA Tiburon and the Madden Team

I'm big into eSports, I watch hours & hours, probably more year-round hours than I watch NFL + NBA combined. And I am convinced EA is making a mistake to invest so heavily into trying to make Madden a leading eSport. For a variety of reasons, I think it's never going to happen. It'll never be more than a niche audience, in my opinion, and they'd get a better return on their dollars investing elsewhere.

I think suits right now see how big some eSports are and want in on the perceived future gravy train in the same way Microsoft saw how much money Apple & others were making in the mobile space and wanted in on some of that money. They bought Nokia for over $7B, and shortly after that decision they (not coincidentally) had a new CEO, who recognized that it was a disastrous decision, cut their staggering losses and promptly got out of the phone business. You can't enter a space simply because others are making money in it. That's not a smart corporate strategy, and I don't believe the higher-ups really understand eSports.

Madden is a fundamentally terrible eSport and will never garner more than a very niche audience, and I do NOT say this as a 'sim/CFM Madden player' resenting the competitive scene--I say this as a huge fan of eSports.
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Old 05-04-2018, 04:55 PM   #138
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Re: Rex Dickson Leaves EA Tiburon and the Madden Team

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Originally Posted by 4thQtrStre5S

But football, as a sport, gives legitimacy to the video game..The strategy within football in real life can be transferred, in the viewers mind, to the game version; like an extension of real life.
Rhetorical question: Let's say one works under the assumption that any game being a real sport aids in its perceived legitimacy as a gaming competition. If the game is played (or otherwise animates/plays) unrealistically relative to the real thing, will that detract (in the viewers' minds) from that legitimacy?

Note: speaking more broadly here....not just Madden....
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:06 PM   #139
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Re: Rex Dickson Leaves EA Tiburon and the Madden Team

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aestis
I'm big into eSports, I watch hours & hours, probably more year-round hours than I watch NFL + NBA combined. And think EA is making a mistake to invest so heavily into trying to make Madden a leading eSport. For a variety of reasons, I think it's never going to happen. It'll never be more than a niche audience, in my opinion, and they'd get a better return on their dollars investing elsewhere.

[...]

Madden is a terrible eSport and will gain anything more than a very niche audience, and I do NOT say this as a 'sim/CFM Madden player'--I say this as a huge fan of eSports.
Can't say I agree that EA should abandon pursuing Madden as an e-sport fixture.

Though it is indeed niche, Madden is basically the singular established sports title in the e-sports scene. Long before games like Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, or whatever else passed it in mainstream appeal, Madden was getting television contracts on ESPN. The brand of competitive Madden has been built over a decade-plus, and distribution of that competitive brand is cheaper than ever with Twitch emerging as an easy-to-use streaming service anyone may access. Abandoning that investment for no reason is senseless, especially as other sports games are struggling mightily to even get their foot in the door in the world of e-sports.

Succeeding as an e-sport means more potential competitors stream your game to try to get better at it while capturing an audience for their individual brands. Anyone who streams your game is basically providing you free advertising. Free advertising is invaluable. It's how the battle royale games like PUBG and Fortnite got so massively popular, among countless other games in other genres.

I do agree that Madden the video game has a ways to go before Madden the e-sport can grow its audience beyond anything more than a niche following. The game doesn't ramp up potential new competitors very effectively (as I previously mentioned). More importantly, the game has a massive presentation problem from an e-sports perspective. The viewing experience of Madden e-sports doesn't effectively communicate to the audience how or why a competitor is succeeding or failing at the game, what advantages or disadvantages he has with the particular player lineups he set, the advantages and disadvantages of the plays he calls, and so on.

I know that someone named "Young Kiv" won the most recent Madden competitive event, but I couldn't tell you anything about why or how he's as good as he is at the game. That's the disconnect Tiburon needs to fix for Madden to gain traction as an e-sport.
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:14 PM   #140
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Re: Rex Dickson Leaves EA Tiburon and the Madden Team

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Originally Posted by CM Hooe
Can't say I agree that EA should abandon pursuing Madden as an e-sport fixture.

Though it is indeed niche, Madden is basically the singular established sports title in the e-sports scene. Long before games like Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, or whatever else passed it in mainstream appeal, Madden was getting television contracts on ESPN. The brand of competitive Madden has been built over a decade-plus, and distribution of that competitive brand is cheaper than ever with Twitch emerging as an easy-to-use streaming service anyone may access. Abandoning that investment for no reason is senseless, especially as other sports games are struggling mightily to even get their foot in the door in the world of e-sports.

Succeeding as an e-sport means more potential competitors stream your game to try to get better at it while capturing an audience for their individual brands. Anyone who streams your game is basically providing you free advertising. Free advertising is invaluable. It's how the battle royale games like PUBG and Fortnite got so massively popular, among countless other games in other genres.

I do agree that Madden the video game has a ways to go before Madden the e-sport can grow its audience beyond anything more than a niche following. The game doesn't ramp up potential new competitors very effectively (as I previously mentioned). More importantly, the game has a massive presentation problem from an e-sports perspective. The viewing experience of Madden e-sports doesn't effectively communicate to the audience how or why a competitor is succeeding or failing at the game, what advantages or disadvantages he has with the particular player lineups he set, the advantages and disadvantages of the plays he calls, and so on.

I know that someone named "Young Kiv" won the most recent Madden competitive event, but I couldn't tell you anything about why or how he's as good as he is at the game. That's the disconnect Tiburon needs to fix for Madden to gain traction as an e-sport.

You summed up nicely why EA & others want a piece of that pie. I get why they want it--as I said, I'm a huge fan of eSports. But I personally think Madden as an eSport has some fundamental issues that they will never, ever be able to overcome. Calling it "niche" right now is even an overstatement: it's less than that.

I'm aware of the ESPN exposure--for all its shortcomings, ESPN was early on recognizing the potential of eSports and giving it snippets of exposure when that seemed very weird. But 10 years ago is when people were still testing the waters, nobody really knew what would catch on or why or even whether it would be a reliable revenue stream, much less actually profitable. Can't compare then & now, it's an entirely different ecosystem.

Time will tell if I'm right, and obviously a handful of very highly-paid and probably very smart people at EA disagree with me.
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:39 PM   #141
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Re: Rex Dickson Leaves EA Tiburon and the Madden Team

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I have always tried to stress that the CFM crowd is actually a loyal repeat customer that EA wants to convert to MUT. In order to keep them as a potential MUT customer they have to continue to provide them with content to keep them purchasing and continuing EA's chance to convert them to MUT. I expect at some point you will see MUT rewards for Franchise achievement, as in win a SB for instance in CFM and get a MUT pack. By having that base of packs to start from some CFM guys could be tempted later in the release to cross over and therefor opening up the chance they could eventually purchase additional packs.

People need to realize that EA sees value in CFM as a potential revenue source which bodes well for it's continued sustainability.
CFM heads have traditionally been pretty loyal, but that will cease to be the case if the mode has another year like 18 where it was given minimal resources/improvements. We know all the reasons why that happened, and many of us gave them a pass primarily due to Rex's transparency on the issue.

We know that CFM may be a means to an end for many of the executives in the company, but if they mess around and have another year with limited improvements in CFM they can forget about those players as a potential revenue source because many of us will be done with the series.
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:30 PM   #142
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Re: Rex Dickson Leaves EA Tiburon and the Madden Team

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshC1977
Rhetorical question: Let's say one works under the assumption that any game being a real sport aids in its perceived legitimacy as a gaming competition. If the game is played (or otherwise animates/plays) unrealistically relative to the real thing, will that detract (in the viewers' minds) from that legitimacy?

Note: speaking more broadly here....not just Madden....
I don't think it has to be exact.. I feel it has to fulfill the illusion.

The game does need to play smoothly..As humans we tend to catch abnormalities rather quickly. Like driving down a road with a white picket fence along side; we are aware of its presence and all is normal, until for example, a piece of the fence is missing..Then we turn to look at the fence to examine what is wrong.

Madden, most importantly, needs to run smooth. Minimal hiccups for the TV viewer. This lends to the value of time spent fixing game play, animations and their logic.

Last edited by 4thQtrStre5S; 05-04-2018 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:39 PM   #143
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Re: Rex Dickson Leaves EA Tiburon and the Madden Team

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Originally Posted by CM Hooe
Can't say I agree that EA should abandon pursuing Madden as an e-sport fixture.

Though it is indeed niche, Madden is basically the singular established sports title in the e-sports scene. Long before games like Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, or whatever else passed it in mainstream appeal, Madden was getting television contracts on ESPN. The brand of competitive Madden has been built over a decade-plus, and distribution of that competitive brand is cheaper than ever with Twitch emerging as an easy-to-use streaming service anyone may access. Abandoning that investment for no reason is senseless, especially as other sports games are struggling mightily to even get their foot in the door in the world of e-sports.

Succeeding as an e-sport means more potential competitors stream your game to try to get better at it while capturing an audience for their individual brands. Anyone who streams your game is basically providing you free advertising. Free advertising is invaluable. It's how the battle royale games like PUBG and Fortnite got so massively popular, among countless other games in other genres.

I do agree that Madden the video game has a ways to go before Madden the e-sport can grow its audience beyond anything more than a niche following. The game doesn't ramp up potential new competitors very effectively (as I previously mentioned). More importantly, the game has a massive presentation problem from an e-sports perspective. The viewing experience of Madden e-sports doesn't effectively communicate to the audience how or why a competitor is succeeding or failing at the game, what advantages or disadvantages he has with the particular player lineups he set, the advantages and disadvantages of the plays he calls, and so on.

I know that someone named "Young Kiv" won the most recent Madden competitive event, but I couldn't tell you anything about why or how he's as good as he is at the game. That's the disconnect Tiburon needs to fix for Madden to gain traction as an e-sport.
What you're bringing up within this post is why I would suggest color commentators. The John Madden with the magic marker to highlight what is going on during the game. Explain that what appears to be a single formation/play, is actually being adjusted on the fly from a base formation to hide the play itself, and so on.

There definitely needs to be time spent teaching the audience the game of Madden. Knowledgeable viewers become consistent viewers.

And other games have similar issues. Watching Counter-Strike tournaments are rather confusing if you haven't played the game or a similar game and understand what capture the flag is about, for example. But the potential moving forward is tremendous, because technology is making it easier to access and follow.

Anyway - just a few more opinions.
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:31 PM   #144
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Re: Rex Dickson Leaves EA Tiburon and the Madden Team

I think this will result in a step back for the series, but its not all unexpected. I remember watching Rex's interviews this past cycle and he wasn't exactly hiding the fact that he wasn't thrilled with certain decisions or mandates that were passed down (e.g. Longshot).

He just didn't seem to have the same level of excitement and pride in the game as he had in years past.
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