Over the past two decades it has been a fixture in sports gaming. On occasion it has even been hailed as one of the best games of the year in that genre. However, the Madden Franchise has fallen on hard times as of late and it looks more like Tiki Barber trying to make a comeback rather than Brett Favre making a Super Bowl run after his 2nd retirement. Either way it goes and however you view the analogy - Madden is getting worse every year. Only a few weeks ago we were looking at Madden 13 as the rebirth of a franchise after a long drought. Now it seems as if it has lost its luster and even its marketing steam.
The NFL season is set to start in just over two months and Madden is slated to come out in the middle of Pre-Season games. How on earth can it be that this game doesn’t have a single commercial in wide circulation or even some sort of hypemobile rolling through forums drumming up blind support?
While it isn’t terribly surprising to see a sports title come out and grab the core audience, it is rather shocking to see the publisher pretty much throw in the marketing towel this early/ late in the game’s development cycle. With high profile titles such as Halo 4 and Call of Duty coming out within a few months of Madden, it is going to be interesting to see how EA’s sales for their football games perform without any real concerted effort at this point.
Madden has its core of fanboys out there that live up to the stereotypes of sports gamers with false bravado and a sharp case of ego-stroking football knowledge that should place them at the sidelines of any local youth football game screaming at children as they try to live out dreams they never should have had in the first place. These gamers tend to ruin the online experience as they exploit the poor animation and AI system in order to rank up the leaderboards or win some sort of digital league.
The rest of the Madden fans out there don’t even play online. They want a game that focuses on Franchise Mode/Connected Careers and some sort of longevity to keep them coming back. Sadly, it looked like a promising year for this group of fans until EA dropped bombshell after bombshell crushing the dreams of franchise fanantics (yours truly, included). It seems that the time has come to call EA on their bluff. They have been bluffing for almost seven years now and there are still people out there folding under the pressure to buy this game on release day.
Are you buying Madden this year? Are you avoiding it like the plague?… Or, are you simply going to wait it out a little while and see what the reviews look like?