EA announced a “new” mode for the upcoming Madden 25, Connected Franchise. Its not really new though. It’s actually the old “owner mode” franchise that the game had for over a decade before it was removed a year ago.
The basics of the this mode are what they’ve always been:
- Be in charge of the team’s finances; keep it profitable by selecting the team’s marketing, ticket and concession prices, sponsors, etc.
- Hire and fire staff, including the GM, coaches, scouts, and trainers.
- Upgrade your stadium, build a new one, or even move your entire franchise to a new city and start over.
- Fan expectations; loyalty, apathy, or anger included, and the fans adapt to changing situations.
- Weekly press statements from the owner that can influence fan expectations, and put a coach on the “hot seat.”
- Advisors to help you make all these decisions, giving you an idea of what the possible outcomes might be for the choices you make.
Overall, the returning owner mode to the game was a smart choice by the guys at EA Tiberon. This is the mode that always consumed most of time in the game. Having this mode connected to the other 2, so my franchise can exist in the same “world” with my friend’s franchises is also a serious plus.
All of this is great, and I’m excited for the new game, but no new modes and features will matter if the core game is as flawed as it was a year ago. EA has a lot of work left to do, but an absolute minimum needs include fixing these serious problems:
- The online game stability issues that caused disconnections in over half the games played.
- Game lock-ups that were common, like every time you tried to edit your depth chart after year 3.
- Hours required re-doing the same scenarios over and over under the guise of “practice”
- Tedious hours spent doing tasks that are simply not fun, like anything to do with college scouting in last year’s game.
As long as they manage to fix those things, all of the new modes and features will likely be well received. Fail to do so, and EA is going to lose a large number of their core fans who buy their flagship game.
One way or another, this is going to be a big year for the Madden Franchise.