A+E: The downfall of the Madden franchise

by Joshua Blake

Micro-transactions are extremely controversial in the current gaming world, as games such as Fortnite and Madden thrive off these in-game purchases.

Madden ’19 is the newest installment for the franchise, and became available on all platforms August 10th. After spending countless hours on this game, I can confidently say that I am beyond disappointed in this years addition.

Electronic Arts’ (EA) lack of effort with this game is evident, as there is next to nothing different from last year’s installment. It looks and plays almost identically to last year’s Madden. The game is filled with countless bugs and glitches and an absurd amount of micro-transactions, which is not new for Madden.

Micro-transactions are extremely controversial in the current gaming world, as games such as Fortnite and Madden thrive off these in-game purchases.

The game lacks new, quality features that should’ve been added to the franchise and instead gives you the same game as last year, just with slightly improved graphics and a new roster. Madden ’19 overall is a low quality football game.

Madden’s biggest problem is it’s straight up price just to purchase the game. It costs $60 up front for the game or $80 if you chose to buy the Hall of Fame edition. After you pay the $60 the game is yours, but the game pursues you to spend extra cash on MUT coins and cash, which is in-game currency.

These coins are used in the Ultimate Team game mode – the most popular mode played by many – and with these coins you can purchase player packs that are essentially slot machines and you have to hope to get a good player for your ultimate team. Most likely, you won’t get a good player as it is highly unlikely because it’s all based on chance and computer programmed. You don’t have to spend money on MUT coins as they can be earned by playing the game, but this can be a slow and tedious process and is made faster by coughing up some money.

Another flaw I found in the game were the various bugs and glitches in my playthrough of Madden ’19. There were small glitches like players not having their helmets on and players not picking up the football while on the ground. There were also some more noticeable bugs such as the game crashing or earning a touchdown and it being called a safety by the refs. These kinds of game breaking glitches should not be present in a final game worth $60-80.

Some positive notes about this year’s Madden is the franchise is on it’s second year running on the high-tech Frostbite engine, and it shows. This is by far the best Madden game to date from an aesthetic point of view. Madden’s Ultimate Team mode is an enjoyable mode at times as it is probably the best game mode present despite the annoyance of the MUT coins.

The most shocking thing I found about Madden ’19 wasn’t the game itself, but the reviews it was getting from various gaming outlets. IGN gave the game an 8.9/10 and GameSpot gave it an 8/10. Once I saw this, I had to truly ask myself “did they play the same game I did?” This game isn’t more than a 5/10 with all of its flaws let alone an 8.9/10. This is absurd that a game that pretty much copies and pastes it’s previous game with little to no improvement and still charge $60 get almost a 9/10.

For the Madden franchise to improve in the future, I believe that the best thing to do is to make it a free-to-play game. Now, before you say anything, let me explain. Madden’s Ultimate Team game mode alone is worth $800 million annually, according to gameindustry.biz. $800 million seems like enough money for the company to make Madden a free-to-play gaming experience and then depend on micro-transactions.

To all the Madden fans out there who love to play the game, my advice to you is to just stick with Madden ’18 as it plays exactly like Madden ’19 and you can update the rosters to get the teams up-to-date. Most importantly, just updating your roster will definitely save you money.   

     

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