Fixing Franchise: Player Power

Fixing Franchise: Player Power
Reading Time: 3 minutes.

As one Madden game comes to a close, speculation mounts regarding the next iteration of the NFL juggernaut. In this series, we will be looking at ways EA can improve the game, from gameplay to the different modes.

Antonio Brown’s trade to the Raiders from the Steelers brings up an interesting discussion to be had around Madden and the lack of player power/emotion/personality.

Brown isn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last, player to ask to leave his current team.

But you don’t see that in Madden’s CFM mode.

A player can stay with one franchise for the entirety of his career and will be as happy as Larry in a Madden save.

The truth is, players want to leave all the time for various reasons.

If CFM can somehow incorporate this into the next Madden game, franchise becomes exponentially harder.

Imagine your star QB asking to leave because he wants to be better paid elsewhere.

Perhaps your stud middle linebacker wants to go help his boyhood team after winning the Super Bowl for the 6th time in a row.

What if a few of your veteran players want to try and win a super-bowl before they retire and know it won’t happen this season under your management.

Or quite simply, you as a head coach are under-utilising your wide receiver and he wants to play more snaps elsewhere.

These are conversations that happen every season in the NFL and yet we don’t have them in Madden, it needs to be added as soon as possible.

As with everything, it would have to be balanced. 

You don’t want 2-3 players sitting out and asking to be traded every year – it would become instantly unsustainable. 

One way it could work would be to add a happiness rating and change how confidence works. Or perhaps introduce a few traits.

If a player is getting plenty of snaps, you are winning games and he is confident then you have a happy player in the locker room and he won’t want to leave. 

Lose loads of games, not target a player enough when you have the ball, basically don’t keep your star’s egos massaged, and they will be knocking on your door demanding answers.

Throw in a “prima donna” trait and all of a sudden, franchise building requires a bit more skill.

We already have something similar, where you low-ball a contract offer and the player says he’s leaving, but you can just tag him at the end of the season and the relationship is fine.

You can trade for a player who was on the field for 100% of the time, never ever play him and he will stay without kicking up a fuss.

That would never happen in the real world.

Change it so these interactions play a significant role in what happens next in your franchise career.

You short-changing a player when it comes to negotiation time should have negative ramifications.

Have it so disgruntled players will sit out pre-season or meaningful games, or at least threaten to.

Make players publicly ask for a trade, which then sees their value drop, and immediately the mode will feel more immersive and realistic.

We saw it with Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers this season, the running back sitting out the entirety of the 2018 season.

It would drive Madden players mental if they were to lose a player for a year for circumstances outside of their control, and I’m not talking domestic abuse or drug bans – although that would be a pretty interesting addition to the game if the shield ever gave the green light to it.

But isn’t that what we want, for the game to be as realistic as possible?

Being a head coach in the NFL is something Madden players, unfortunately, will never experience but the game is there to try and replicate it.

Having these kind of problems in the game will go someway to rectifying that.

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