Madden 21 might be the last Madden their fans buy. This is due to their lack of vision, neglect of, and lack of creativeness with their franchise mode. We plan on doing a Madden 21 franchise mode review right when we obtain it via early access, so make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel here for all the Madden content. We will be dabbling into a bit of Madden franchise history and how they are trying to take the focus away from Madden franchise mode. They know they are in trouble with their fan base in regards to franchise mode, so they're adding (finally) a new game mode similar to NFL Street and an arcade-style game to bring back the one's who weren't coming back. This is a genius cash-grab move.
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In a tweet posted by EA Madden NFL 21, they give an update for what the executive producer is doing with franchise mode. EA has been talking about the new things they are bringing to Madden 21 franchise mode. Exciting, right? Year after year they market something "brand new" to franchise. They're great at that. However, it is usually something they have had in a previous Madden. But do not get your hopes up this year. They plan on doing "updates" to Madden 21 franchise mode since Madden is a "Live service". So, in their gridiron notes article update, they just put forth the same updates they do every year.
You can tell EA does not put a lot of effort into their game. At least for franchise mode. One reason is that they force you to look at a cheaply done slideshow at the end of every game. They couldn't even have the CPU take those photos right.
However, one company you can tell puts a lot of effort into their games is 2K. Their games may not be perfect but they own all aspects of sports games - franchise mode, arcade-style, etc. NBA 2K has the most enjoyable franchise experience out there. The open-world aspect of NBA 2K is a genius idea that will be expanded upon in the future. Hyper Scape actually stole a page out of 2K's book by creating their main menu as an open-world.
The Great Distraction
When greed is a factor, it affects the fans in a negative way. You don't want to fork out tons of money to enjoy a game with microtransactions. However, microtransactions can be a good thing if implemented smartly. And EA is the king of micro-transactions, turning games that are free-to-play into pay-to-win. MUT is a great example of pay-to-win. Dead Space 3 is a great example of the micro-transaction aspect. Dead Space 3 could not meet their sales quota and created a lot of frustration in relation to their fan base who loved that saga but couldn't play it because of the micro-transactions. However, micro-transactions are great and work out just fine if done correctly.
Moreover, EA has a bad reputation for ruining games and other game developers since 1987, such as Mass Effect: Andromeda, Anthem, and Star Wars: Battlefront, just to name a few. Now, the Madden development team may be added to that list here soon especially since we hear all the time from people that they are done with Madden and they are not purchasing a future Madden game just for a roster update. This is especially true if 2K can get into the simulation game. The roles would switch between 2K and EA; EA will be doing arcade-style football and 2K would do the simulation-style football.
The Game we May Have Been Waiting For
But wait, there's something that might bring them back this year...The Yard. Or it's just the greatest distraction. This new game mode is playable right now on the Madden 21 Mobile app if you want to dabble into it and see what it is like. A few things will be different when playing on PC and console, such as graphics. The cool thing that EA did is the ability to link your EA account so that everything is synced for The Yard between console, PC, and mobile. It is a mode us Madden fans have been wanting since they got rid of NFL Street. Many might not know that The Yard is similar to NBA 2K's MyPlayer; 2K seems to have set the bar for arcade-style sports game modes. Nonetheless, we here at T4G are happy EA has finally added an interesting game mode.
Since it seems that EA does not have any plans to really make our franchise experience more like a 2K franchise experience right away - or ever - they came out with The Yard. Now we are faced with an ultimatum. Do we let them slide just to get a taste of a long-awaited arcade-style game, The Yard, and hope they really commit to franchise-changing updates in the future? Or do we stick with not purchasing Madden 21 until they actually make franchise mode more enjoyable?
Maybe EA created The Yard out of panic of 2K getting into the arcade-style aspect of the football gaming industry next year? EA has MUT - a very successful mode - but they do not have another arcade-style game until now. Coincidence? Would EA have created The Yard if 2K wasn't getting into this industry? Was it the fact that fans are upset about franchise mode being neglected AND 2K is getting their feet wet that drove them to create this new game mode? Is it the great distraction I have been talking about?
The creation of The Yard is a smart move nonetheless. It may be a last-ditch effort to meet or exceed their sales quota for Madden 21. It's a distraction from all of the franchise frustrations we fans have been fed up with for a while now. A year after year roster update and no creativity is unacceptable. Let me know what you think about this in the comments below. I would love to hear any agreements or disagreements you may have about this article!