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Only NFL Game This Year Gets Lukewarm Response

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the exclusivity-a-hail-mary-and-receiver-drops-the-ball dept.

Businesses 400

aendeuryu writes "The first reviews are in for Madden '06, and the reception is underwhelming -- it's scoring an average rating of 79% on (at the time of this submission). The reviewers on Gamespot (7.8) and (9.0) have different takes on the game, but the readership of both sites doesn't (7.4 and 7.8 respectively). Gamespot's criticisms put the game in a less-than-exciting light: the new QB-vision feature adds realism but takes away from basic fun, and (perhaps most damning) the graphics rate a 7 out of 10 on what was supposed to be a next-generation title. Normally, a mediocre game release isn't a big deal, except that, because of EA's negotiated exclusivity deal with the NFL, this is the only NFL title you'll get to play this year. So, what are the players to do?"

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Learn a real sport (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367157)

So, what are the players to do?
Learn how to play a real sport, like rugby?

Re:Learn a real sport (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367234)

Learn how to play a real sport, like rugby?

But what about those of us who AREN'T closeted homosexual frat boys?

Madden (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | about 9 years ago | (#13367159)

I happen to love football, the actual game, not really most of the video games (for a number of reasons). Before we get a slew of comments making fun of Madden's often repetitive commentary, I wanted to add my 2 cents. NFL football is a game that does not change every year... the rules are pretty much the same from one year to the next, and the real life games themselves were far more interesting in the seventies and mid-eighties than they are today, barring of course some of the big plays (and big win streaks) you see from time to time. New players and annual player turnover only makes the competition slightly more interesting, but the actual systemic variance between each year is minimal.

Systemic differences and improvements are what drive the typical gamer's series purchases. Video games, for the most part, try to deliver a REVOLUTION on each upgrade. About the only revolution you could get with a series like Madden is having the guy come up with something original to say (hasn't happened yet), improving the UI, and making the players look more realistic. But there is a time when this effort stalls, because the game of football itself doesn't change enough to keep fans as interested in purchasing an upgrade to a game that they already own.

Any football fan here would agree that there is very little difference between each new Madden release, except for possibly the player names, stats and some minor UI changes, and Madden saying something slightly different from time to time. But most of his old bricks stay in the game.

Someone could easily reskin and redevelop the game using Madden's engine to make it far more interesting. Like how about a game of medieval football where you have to slit the guy's tendons with your sock-knife, like they used to do back in the day? Seriously... there are a lot of different avenues game developers could be taking to add some spice to these types of games.

If you break it down and see Madden 04 and Madden 05 sitting in either the week rental or the 2 night rental, you'll pick 04 so you can have it a few more days... or at least I would.

My point is that they have to really do something different if they want to improve their ratings and this has to be one of the hardest challenges facing any game designer in the world right now. How do you take a regular sport and make a game out of it that will release a new title each year, without boring the hell out of your fans? It's hard.

Re:Madden (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about 9 years ago | (#13367204)

I don't know about you, but I will be playing:

Blitz: the League by Midway

Re:Madden (1, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 9 years ago | (#13367206)

I personally find pro sports to be completely retarded. I say this as a former jock.

However, I find sitting on a couch playing a videogame about sports and bitching about how it isn't very "realistic" is more retarded.

The last Madden I played was probably 2002. It just seemed like yet another lame football game to me, though.

Megaman Soccer (1)

GuitarNeophyte (636993) | about 9 years ago | (#13367214)

Ever hear of Megaman Soccer? Overall, I don't think the game fared very well, because people thought it was a badly made sports game, but as just a fun game, it was cool. I mean, you hit the guy with a ball and he bursts into flames? How cool is that! Or you can't quite get past their goalie? Chop him into little pieces. BUt wait, he's a big metal thing that can't be chopped up into pieces. Your loss. you just wasted your special ball. I mean, there was strategy, (although it's not quite a strategy game), there was sports (although there was enough changes to make it not quite a normal sports game), and there was super cool enhancements that you could get by defeating other teams. That's cool stuff. I'm not even a soccer fan and that game rocked.

Is your boss making dumb decisions because he doesn't understand computers? Send them to [] , the easy-to-understand computer encyclopedia

Re:Madden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367217)

Shit, dude, 56... that's quite the ePenis-enhancing UID you have, there.

Re:Madden (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | about 9 years ago | (#13367352)

Shit, dude, 56... that's quite the ePenis-enhancing UID you have, there.

Bought on eBay (100 dollars IIRC).

Re:Madden (4, Interesting)

Skim123 (3322) | about 9 years ago | (#13367225)

Any football fan here would agree that there is very little difference between each new Madden release, except for possibly the player names, stats and some minor UI changes, and Madden saying something slightly different from time to time. But most of his old bricks stay in the game.

Serious footbacll fans who dig their video games upgrade each year primarily because of the one item you didn't list - the evolving team roster. A player might have a favorite team or two and want to be able to have his video game playing mimic the real season in the sense that he can have the 'real' QB throw to the 'real' wide out and so on. Plus, usually the graphics do improve year after year.

Personally I'm an NBA fan, never really into football. My purchases in the Sega basketball series (NBA2k2, 2k3, and then the ESPN line) were primarily driven by roster changes. Wanted to be able to play the Lakers when they had Shaq, Kobe, Malone, and Payton; then wanted to be able to play with Shaq and D-Wade, or a Nash-led run and gun Suns team.

Speaking of the basketball series of games, though, one thing they do seem to do a good job of is introduce some nuisance each year. For example, in early versions of 2kX the fast breaking was horrible, players would come to a dead stop to catch a pass rather than having one player lead the other with a pass - very frustrating when you have a 2 on 1 break and you pass it to the lead man who stops dead in his tracks and waits for the ball to arrive. So they fixed that with lead passes, but then they made the computer's point guard too good, always able to blow by you defending him. Even if you were a long, atheletic NBA guard who is well-known for his defensive prowress, and guarding an old, slow guy who is all thumbs in real life, you'd get taken to school every time. It would end up where the other team might score 50 points in a game w/their PG racking up 40 of those. So they improved that in the next year's game, but then went and made the post play too easy. Throw it down low, do the drop-step, and you're shooting like 90%, doesn't matter who you are or who's guarding you. Etc., etc.

The point is, there always seems to be a nagging reason to upgrade, and the developers always seem coy enough to always add some new, 'This sucks, can't wait til next year's release' "feature."

Re:Madden (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | about 9 years ago | (#13367321)

Serious footbacll fans who dig their video games upgrade each year primarily because of the one item you didn't list - the evolving team roster.

I understand that this is, in fact, the driving force behind sports game sales. I can't say I've ever really understood it.

I play sports games for the game, so when I find one I like I'm perfectly happy sticking with that edition until a truely superior simulation comes along.

. . .the developers always seem coy enough to always add some new, 'This sucks, can't wait til next year's release' "feature."

And I'm alergic to being treated like a hamster who is expected to keep dropping fifty dollar bills into the slot just to be allowed to run on a wheel that goes nowhere.


Re:Madden (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367355)

the evolving team roster

Updatable/Downloadable updates, and memory card drives like the dex drive should've put an end to that pathetic excuse for a selling point.

Re:Madden (1)

Tx (96709) | about 9 years ago | (#13367286)

Someone could easily reskin and redevelop the game using Madden's engine to make it far more interesting. Like how about a game of medieval football where you have to slit the guy's tendons with your sock-knife, like they used to do back in the day? Seriously... there are a lot of different avenues game developers could be taking to add some spice to these types of games.

Reminds me a little of Speedball 2 on the Amiga, or perhaps Brutal Sports Football - no knives, but lots of over-the-top violence. Speedball 2 is one of my favourite sports games ever, although I don't think a modern graphics engine would actually make it any more fun.

Re:Madden (1)

kjh1 (65671) | about 9 years ago | (#13367309)

Systemic differences and improvements are what drive the typical gamer's series purchases. Video games, for the most part, try to deliver a REVOLUTION on each upgrade. About the only revolution you could get with a series like Madden is having the guy come up with something original to say (hasn't happened yet), improving the UI, and making the players look more realistic. But there is a time when this effort stalls, because the game of football itself doesn't change enough to keep fans as interested in purchasing an upgrade to a game that they already own.

I agree. I don't really have much desire to spend $40/$50 on a game that really only updates the stats that it draws upon. However, I may be interested in buying a game that had updates that cost say around $10 per year. That way, I cut down on my expenses, get to play a game that has up to date stats and not have to re-learn a new game.

Re:Madden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367329)

I am actually very happy that 06 came out, and it's worth the money(to me). 2005 was lacking one major thing in my eyes, the ability to choose alternative button assignments(in Xbox, I'm not sure about other systems. You were stuck with one setup. So I played 2004 for the last two years. 2006 brings that ability back, in addition to adding a couple of cool features. I've been playing the Superstar mode and that is something that 2006 added. It's definately worth a rental, and possible purchase, to anybody who is a football fan.

Little Improvements that Matter (5, Interesting)

jtwJGuevara (749094) | about 9 years ago | (#13367353)

I agree with your argument for the most. However, I own Madden 2005 and have recently rented '06. In doing so, I have noticed small little improvements that go a long way with the more meticulous football fan, such as myself.

For example, the article's aforementioned QB vision light, which is based on the QB awareness rating and determines the field of vision for a QB. You can control this yourself with the right analog stick or focus in on different receivers. Make a pass to someone not in your field of vision and you will make a duck pass. This feature will need some tweaking, but it is one step closer to making the game realistic and prevents previously awseome madden players from exploiting passing the ball all game.

Another small improvement has been in line play. The animations that determine positioning of linemen during the play are improved. Defensive lineman in a 4-3 now finally line up as they are supposed to (in gaps instead of headup), and the ability to slide your offensive line protection, while not perfect, definitely lets you control logic for your lineman that never existed in previous games.

The last one I'll mention are smart routes. In older games. WR's were restricted to predetermined routes based on the play you call, or you could hot route them, but the distance they run in the route is always the same. Now you can make their curl routes and in/out routes go all the way to first down marker. Again, a small improvement, but one that makes the play in this game a bit better.

In all honesty, I think people expect too much of this football game series. There are only so many things you can add each year and each year everyone wants something revolutionary. All I want is steady improvement so that when I play this game in 2015 (assuming it is still being produced) it should be much closer to the real thing. Just look at at how far it has advanced in 1995 to see what I mean.

What are the players to do? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367161)

Buy another game? Oh, no, it's NFL with the latest roster. BOO FRIKKIN HOO. You want to show the NFL/the game maker you don't like the monopoly on the NFL? Don't give them your money. Sheesh.

That's what you get! (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | about 9 years ago | (#13367166)

Looks like the NFL is outta luck. Or EA is. Fortunately, most people who'd buy this, still have the very playable (I suppose) Madden 2005.

If there's that little difference, what's the point of upgrading?

Re:That's what you get! (1)

Mathonwy (160184) | about 9 years ago | (#13367202)

I think the point is, EA is doing it's usual thing: Secure a license, and then slowly degrade quality, counting on the momentum of all the people who have bought the previous versions (that may have actually been somewhat good) until the franchise is driven into the ground.

(This trend has particularly evident on EA's handling of the James Bond license)

Of course, the twist on this one is they've managed to completely shut out any competitors from having an NFL-branded game through legal shenanigans. So they're counting not only on all the people who liked previous Madden, but also all the people who played other NFL games who want a new one, and have no other place to get one.

Why with that kind of base they can count on, they barely have to ship a game at all. They can just put poo in a box and sell it!

My prediction? EA will continue to milk this advantage as long as it can, and people will keep buying it, until someone just says "fine, we'll make a NON-NFL themed football game" and releases a superior product. And then all is well. Until EA uses it's monolithic buying power to acquire the company, and repeat the cycle.


Re:That's there answer then! (1)

saskboy (600063) | about 9 years ago | (#13367223)

" most people who'd buy this, still have the very playable (I suppose) Madden 2005."

I guess you answered what the gaming companies have to do. They have to provide an RIAA like solution, and DRM the game so that it can only be played during the year it is purchased for and after that it will come up with a message that you need to purchase an upgrade for it to maintain its game-like authenticity in both players and stats.

Re:That's there answer then! (1)

pete6677 (681676) | about 9 years ago | (#13367289)

This will, of course, be presented to the consumer as a benefit. "With our new LiveUpdate feature, you'll never again have an outdated player roster! Each year you'll be automatically connected to our website to update your software for the latest and greatest in player info." They'll leave it up to the user to figure out that what it really means is that they aren't really buying a game, but renting it year at a time.

Re:That's there answer then! (1)

kirun (658684) | about 9 years ago | (#13367342)

...With our new LiveUpdate feature...

Then Symantec will sue them for trademark [] infringement, and two wrongs will make a right! Or something.

Suggestion (5, Funny)

swordgeek (112599) | about 9 years ago | (#13367169)

"So, what are the players to do?" a football perhaps?

Re:Suggestion (1, Funny)

peculiarmethod (301094) | about 9 years ago | (#13367193)

just got one. what type of port does it plug into? I can't seems to find USB or firewire.. HELP!

Re:Suggestion (5, Funny)

Mathonwy (160184) | about 9 years ago | (#13367222)

It's not a peripheral, silly!

It's a boot device!


Re:Suggestion (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | about 9 years ago | (#13367324)


orrr..... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367175)

or they could just charge you a subscription fee to add new rosters and occasionan texture/model updates. Then you only buy it once, and assuming the fee is reasonable, it would make more sense.

But that's not nearly as moneymaking as having 10 million people just rebuy a small update every year...

Oh, what a tragedy... (1)

Kosmon (891156) | about 9 years ago | (#13367177)

"So, what are the players to do?"

Play one of the hundreds of other NFL games already released?

Re:Oh, what a tragedy... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 9 years ago | (#13367212)

Or alternatively, a football game that doesn't use the official license?

Easter Egg (5, Funny)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about 9 years ago | (#13367178)

Word has it there's a "hot cocoa" mod available showing hidden footage of a naked John Madden being dragged onto an airplane, lashed into a jumpseat and flown city-to-city over the course of the season. Decency advocates, NFL officials and Hillary Clinton are already threatening to sue . . . :-P

noooooo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367192)

Man, I was thinking about having lunch sometime today.

Naked John Madden.


Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367180)

no one cares

Don't Buy It (5, Interesting)

BobPaul (710574) | about 9 years ago | (#13367181)

If sales drop, maybe the NFL will look to renegotiate their deal
Downloading in Firefox got you down? Cheer up []

Re:Don't Buy It (2)

Brandon K (888791) | about 9 years ago | (#13367196)

No way.

The mindless drones who bought an Xbox solely to buy the newest sports games every year will gobble this up as soon as it comes out.

Crazy Talk (2)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 9 years ago | (#13367263)

That's just crazy talk. It must be purchased. It has the NFL logo on it! Who cares about quality or gameplay, that's clearly only secondary. This game must be purchased, after all, it's the only officail NFL game this year!!!!

Monopoly and Inovation (4, Insightful)

ilyaaohell (866922) | about 9 years ago | (#13367182)

I'm sure there'll be a lot of comments here about the whole monopoly not causing innovation thing, except for one thing. EA is currently in the same position as Microsoft is regarding their Office suite. They may be a monopoly, but if they don't offer significant upgrades on a regular basis (once a year for EA, maybe some extra time for Microsoft), nobody will buy their product.

Nobody will buy these games just to upgrade the rosters now, since you can download this information online. If EA wants to keep selling titles (monopoly or no monopoly, they still cost millions to produce each year) they better offer something good with each new upgrade.

Re:Monopoly and Inovation (1)

MBraynard (653724) | about 9 years ago | (#13367256)

Your logical fallicy is typical of /. nutjobs. You don't see a difference between MS's supposed 'monopoly' and the US Postal Services' 'monopoly.'

EA has no competition for NFL games because it owns the exclusive contract.

MS has a lot of competition because there is no exclusive liscence for office software - even for running on their own OS (which you would think they would be capable of creating). There are about four other office suites out there - one or two are free -and if I felt like it, I could create one, too.

Re:Monopoly and Inovation (1)

ilyaaohell (866922) | about 9 years ago | (#13367306)

You're assuming that people are stupid enough to buy the $50 inferior product with the current year printed on the cover than the bargain bin $20 copy that takes very little effort to bring up to date through an online roster upgrade.

Well, ok, maybe they're stupid by and large, and the sales will probably reflect this for the current release when people go and buy it like sheep. However, I'm assuming that after 2 years more and more people will start to wisen up and simply not get the new Madden title for that year. That is, UNLESS EA puts in a significant upgrade. They seem to have done it this year with the whole quarterback passing thing, regardless of how fun it is. If they keep adding things, the monopoly issue won't be as bad as people think. Sure, it's still bad for innovation, as will be proven the year the license deal drops and all these other companies bring out games that are LIGHTYEARS ahead of that year's Madden, but for now, this isn't noticably a bad thing.

Re:Monopoly and Inovation (1)

MBraynard (653724) | about 9 years ago | (#13367328)

I somewhat agree with all of this - but it doesn't compare at all to Office. I've used every version since 95 (or the version prior to that) and each one brings new and better features.

I was very sad that EA got the exclusive franchise because I owned the 2kX series by Visual Concepts and it was easily the better game / series.

Re:Monopoly and Inovation (1)

Decessus (835669) | about 9 years ago | (#13367260)

Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be happening. According to an article at Gamespot [] which can be found here [] , the game sold 1.7 million copies the week it was released. According to EA (so I suppose this can be taken with a grain of salt), it is their best since they started the Madden franchise.

Hot from the press! (2, Insightful)

Xoknit (181837) | about 9 years ago | (#13367183)

This is just in.. a game got a bad user review. What will happen next? Will hollywood produce mediocre movies? Will someone write a book that is only mildly entertaining? The world is coming to an end!!!

CFL (1)

saskboy (600063) | about 9 years ago | (#13367184)

Instead of making NFL games, the gaming companies should focus on unheralded games like the Canadian Football League, and Aussie Rules football. Then people can learn a new sport, have a good time in front of their TV, and be a little more worldly than just another Joe that talks about Monday Night.

Re:CFL (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 9 years ago | (#13367224)

Since almost nobody cares about those leagues you can just as well omit the license and make up your own teams.

Re:CFL (1)

saskboy (600063) | about 9 years ago | (#13367243)

Almost nobody in America maybe, but that's only because they haven't been made to think they can understand the games. Most video games are a mystery when you first start playing that, but that's part of the fun is learning something new and following either a story or a competition of which you don't know the outcome. And who says they have to make the rules authentic, they can spice things up, or simplify however they want, and aren't dragged down by the rules baggage that would come with the NFL. You'd have some football geek complaining that you can't do a chop block if they allowed that as a legal play, for instance, but where the "fan" doesn't know the rules, anything can go.

Re:CFL (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | about 9 years ago | (#13367293)

EA has soccer, cricket (not contact but kind of a niche sport), arena league football, and rugby titles. Yeah I'd like to see Aussie rules and 12 man/100 meter Cannuckistan football titles as well, but why stop there, how 'bout 8-man football which is played at smaller US high schools.

Re:CFL 100 yards (1)

saskboy (600063) | about 9 years ago | (#13367358)

I just had to correct you that the CFL uses yards just like American football. Essentially the differences are there are 110 yards in the length between endzones, there are 3 downs, the ball is a bit bigger, the endzones are bigger, the field wider, goalposts at the front of the endzones, and the salaries are a lot smaller.

But since a game designer can do whatever they want, they could invent their own style football game to make things more interesting.

Another misleading Slashdot summary... (4, Informative)

aixou (756713) | about 9 years ago | (#13367191)

If you'll notice, it's the PC version of Madden 2006 that has a collective 79% rating. The Xbox and PS2 versions (presumably more popular than the PC game) are at 87.4 and 88.2 respectively, only 1 or 2 points behind the score of Madden 05.

Re:Another misleading Slashdot summary... (1, Troll)

roche (135922) | about 9 years ago | (#13367292)

Shhhh.... Your going to ruin it.

Remeber, Slashdot hates the evil EA. Who cares if they they have to spin the numbers to make their point.

Re:Another misleading Slashdot summary... (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 9 years ago | (#13367327)

Is 79% really "underwhelming"? It's not superlative, but on the face of it sounds pretty good. Maybe they should revise their scoring method if 79% is lousy.

Scores #'s are over inflated (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 9 years ago | (#13367334)

What matters is the review text, which wasn't exactly glowing. Seriously, does anyone pay attention to scores these days?

I'm actually pretty happy about the poor reviews (2, Insightful)

angst7 (62954) | about 9 years ago | (#13367195)

Maybe this will mean less people buy the game. I was thrilled with ESPN NFL2k5 last year. It was arguably as much fun as Madden '05, and only cost $20. When I heard about the EA exclusivity with the NFL I decided not to buy another Madden title until there was competition again. This flop serves two purposes. It will hopefully diminish the number of people who buy the title, ultimately leading to a lower revenue to both EA and the NFL, and secondly it shows that a lack of competition leads to a lack in quality.

That said, EA has been turning out some great titles lately. Burnout 3 for Xbox, and Battlefield 2 for the PC are just great.

Re:I'm actually pretty happy about the poor review (2, Informative)

fractalus (322043) | about 9 years ago | (#13367281)

Burnout 3 is a great game, but it wasn't developed in-house at EA, it was created by Criterion in the UK before EA bought them (a deal that went through partway through development of the title). I remember working with the Criterion guys before I left EA last year. BO3 does have some really fun bits, I remember being impressed with it even at the early stages.

Re:I'm actually pretty happy about the poor review (1)

FinalCut (555823) | about 9 years ago | (#13367322)

I really don't know if you can say an 80-90% rating a FLOP. If it doesn't sell well then sure it will be a flop. But they will probably still sell their 10 million copies.

Only 79% ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367200)

Considering that this score is based on only 2 reviews, I'll still wait for more reviews.

You have no choice(?) (1)

TastelessGarbage (598415) | about 9 years ago | (#13367203)

Seems like the business plan for EA and the NFL are to assume that customers will take what they can get with updated rosters and incremental changes in gameplay. The real effect on sales may not be evident until next year, when players burned by this year's release look at other options.

This could even open things up for competition from another company that may not have NFL players, but better graphics and gameplay.

Re:You have no choice(?) (1)

pete6677 (681676) | about 9 years ago | (#13367248)

The idea of charging mindless consumers a lot of money for a subpar product has worked pretty well so far for the NFL (look up the price of Chicago Bears tickets and then look up their record for last season), so they probably assumed it would work just fine for video games. I predict things will go on as usual, with sports fans paying more money for less in return. Who knows what it will take to stop the madness.

So this is news...? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 9 years ago | (#13367205)


Avg Ratio: 79%
Based On 2 Media Outlets

I.e. this may change wildly later on.

Second, I don't see why this story didn't get on just the Games section. A game is "pretty good" but not "excellent" and it's big time news? Keep in mind that ~80% is nowhere near "bad" especially for a fan of the genre.

So, what are the players to do?

If I were a fan of this genre, I'd pirate this game to see if it was worth the money (unless they release a demo).
If it wasn't, I'd just play the former / my current favorite NFL game...?

Hold the press! (0, Troll)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | about 9 years ago | (#13367207)

You're trying to tell me any sport-based game was ever fun?

yes (2, Informative)

rebug (520669) | about 9 years ago | (#13367259)

Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl.

QB VIsion sounds aweful (1)

bogie (31020) | about 9 years ago | (#13367216)

"When you first snap the ball, you'll be locked on to a primary receiver. But by moving the right control stick around, you can move your view to another receiver, should you need to"

"The whole song and dance you have to go through to get the cone to switch to a receiver post-snap lends itself to you taking a whole lot more sacks than you might be used to, and even just trying to move the stick around manually is a clunky affair in the early goings. "

Gee, great job morons. Way to fumble on trying to improve the passing game. What's next? You have to remember to wipe you hands on your towel with a series of movements on your right analog or the ball will get sweaty and you'll lose accuracy?

Re:QB VIsion sounds aweful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367277)

Turn off the feature if you don't like it, moron.

Do you own any of the Madden NFL games?

Re:QB VIsion sounds aweful (1)

Qui-Gon (62090) | about 9 years ago | (#13367295)

If QB Vision is too hard for you... then just turn it off.

Re:QB VIsion sounds aweful (1)

Solidsnot (169219) | about 9 years ago | (#13367297)

Uhm...turn it off. QB vision is an option that is defaulted to be on but is quite simple to turn off.

might be big next year (1)

amrust (686727) | about 9 years ago | (#13367218)

I don't even understand why these games come out with misleading names.

It's 2005... why is there a game called "Madden '06", out now?

Re:might be big next year (1)

DeionXxX (261398) | about 9 years ago | (#13367290)

Since the NFL season ends in 06... I think.

Re:might be big next year (2, Insightful)

damiangerous (218679) | about 9 years ago | (#13367291)

Why can you buy a 2006 car right now? Why does the 2006 fiscal year start in October 2005? Because years/seasons/whatever that extend across calendar years need to be called something and it's easier to pick (arbitrarily or not) one of the two years and get everyone used to it. The football season runs from Sep 2005 to Jan 2006. Since the Superbowl is in 2006 and the winner will be referred to as the "2006 Champions" it makes sense to refer to the season as the 2006 season. You would logically refer to the game modeling the 2006 season as the "Madden 2006". Not doing so would be misleading.

Business only learns by losing money (1)

RoterheadPro (909161) | about 9 years ago | (#13367219)

Unfortunately, most business only learns by losing money. In this case EA paid handsomely for the rights to NFL, so the winner will be.... The NFL. EA will lose a lot of money, which will hit their share price. EA will then whip the designers even harder and tell them that the whippings will stop when the products get better. Great for morale!

Cyberball... (2, Insightful)

eunos94 (254614) | about 9 years ago | (#13367220)

If the NFL titles suck, then support other titles that don't need NFL endorsement. Cyberball [] rocked in the day. No NFL needed. Support great games, don't support big name trademarks and monopolistic organizations.

"So, what are the players to do?" (1)

drummie zeb (903364) | about 9 years ago | (#13367227)

go out and buy sega's espn nfl2k5. it rips madden apart.

So, what are the players to do? (2, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 9 years ago | (#13367231)

"... this is the only NFL title you'll get to play this year. "So, what are the players to do?"

Oh My God! The tragedy! How awful to only be able to play other football titles that don't have the sacred NFL trademark, but may be much better games. Such games might even cost less besause a few bucks didn't have to flow to the NFL, or play better because dollars that would have gone to the NFL can be spent on coders or testing, how can players accept that??? How horriable it would be to play completely different games and have to stretch one's mind beyond the limits of NFL football! And lets not even think of actually putting the console down and actually going outside and throwing around a football or playing other sports. What in the world are players to do when they have been deprived of the sacred NFL logo by the evil forces of EA????

Doing anything except just playing the official NFL labeled game is completely unthinkable. Players must accept what they are given. It will be good.

Which "other football titles" are those? (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 9 years ago | (#13367276)

How awful to only be able to play other football titles that don't have the sacred NFL trademark, but may be much better games.

One problem is that all the well-known American football leagues (NFL, CFL, AFL/af2) are belong to EA. Is there a CFL video game on one of the consoles? What about Gaelic football, Australian Rules football, Rugby Union, or association football?

Re:Which "other football titles" are those? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367307)

all the well-known American football leagues (NFL, CFL, AFL/af2)

You meant "(NFL, NCAA, AFL/af2)" right?

I Don't like '06 myself. (1)

generalleoff (760847) | about 9 years ago | (#13367238)

I dont much see myself as a football fan overall and especily an NFL fan. I do like NCAA football cuz they put on a better show then the money hungry NFL. I do like football video games alot though but Madden 2006 is really lacking from last year and even this years NCAA football (It usuely is the other way around with NCAA lagging behind NFL video games). That QB Vision thing is what really hurts it for me. It is sapposed to make the game more relistic but I play 2 player and never aganst the computer and all QB vision does is tell yer opponent exactly where the ball is going and the result for was as interception after interception and the game eventualy just turned into a running game so somone could score. I'll stick with NCAA '06 and good old classic Tecmo Bowl on the NES (A true fun football video game).

HEY CORKY, STFU! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367267)

Holy shit! You sound like you're mentally retarded with this post. Numerous spelling mistakes and an overall poor structure to your thoughts give away the fact that you're either a teenager who has been coddled too much and doesn't pay attention in school or you're an adult who is actually mentally retarded. Either way you slice it, you should put a bullet in your fucking head you piece of trash.

You really are stupid. Stop posting your "thoughts" on the Internet, dumbass.


generalleoff (760847) | about 9 years ago | (#13367279)

Posting as anonymous pussy dosen't help you any ya know.

NFL+NCAA+AFL != football (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 years ago | (#13367241)

True, the video game rights to NFL, NCAA, and AFL teams, stadiums, and players have been gobbled up by Electronic Arse, but that's not all the football there is. What about the CFL? And if you'll allow me to think outside the box, are FIFA and MLS under exclusive contracts? What about folk football [] , which could be partly standardized [] ?

Multi-year development cycles? (1)

zcollier (583927) | about 9 years ago | (#13367247)

Frankly, if I were EA, I would have negotiated the NFL license so that I could make a new release every few years.

Attempting to have "earthshattering" new features with only a yearlong development cycle, especially with the way games are coming out today, tends to mean that

- You're not going to be able to build a new code base from stratch with all the new wonderful and marvelous features

- You're going to overpromise and underdeliver

- You're going to saturate your market

Football doesn't change. If there were new rules every year, sure, it might be a compelling value proposition to put out a new game every year.

Seems it would be better to release a new version every few years. Get the features you want done right while at the same time not oversaturating your market.

Seems the mantra of "but that's what we've always done" has a far firmer grip on people and business than we might otherwise suppose.

The solution is simple: (1)

knappz (856470) | about 9 years ago | (#13367249)

Stop forking over your hard-earned money to EA and play Tecmo Bowl for the NES (it was more fun anyways.) I refuse to play any Madden until they have that neat little song that plays during the kickoff.

This is sad even if you don't care about it (1)

donscarletti (569232) | about 9 years ago | (#13367250)

Don't get me wrong about this, I've only ever actually watched a quater of a game of American Football before at it didn't really interest me in the slightest. I won't suffer from this personally, but there are three things about it that make me feel kinda sad:

* If this resulted in lower interest in the sport itself and the NFL was really harmed as a result, it would probably just be attributed to some other factor and nobody would come close to learning their lesson. Any amount they suffer will be needless.

* The demographic this game appeals to doesn't tend to care if a game is good or not, only if it is "cool". How could this not be cool if it is the only option available? Chances are EA won't be burned by this at all.

* Sports Legues are systems that work best as a monopoly. At various times competing legues have rose up in some sports and it very rarely has created any good results. This monopoly is there to be in the best interest of cooperation between players, clubs and supporters. Clearly the NFL has abused this privalage.

It's unfortunate that the NFL doesn't seem to be embodying the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play that I would personally expect from a institution built around a game.

I broke my promise... (2, Interesting)

DeionXxX (261398) | about 9 years ago | (#13367257)

I promised myself that I wouldn't buy the game when I heard about the exclusive deal with the NFL. I really got turned on to the football games starting with NFL2k for the DC and continued to buy the NFL2k line until this year, when they didn't produce a game.

I was pretty close to not giving in but as the season got closer and I saw the preseason game, I gave in and bought it. I agree with the reviewers that the game isn't that special. It's basically a less fun version of 2k5.

Ohh well, I guess EA knew what they were doing. Even though everyone bad-mouthed them and swore not to buy their games, EA knew people would still buy their game because it was the only one available. :-( for capitalism.

I've never understood computer games.... (0, Flamebait)

Coyote65 (831666) | about 9 years ago | (#13367262)

Where what you play on the screen is what you COULD do in real life. There's no reason people who play Madden NFL Football can't go out and toss a pigskin around. And no, I see no point in buying a comp game that only marginally expands on a previous version. ESPECIALLY at what they're charging for games. Computer games are supposed to allow you to do things you couldn't do ordinarily, like fly a chopper or drive a tank, or infiltrate a Martian base. What's next? 3d Badminton? Or maybe 3d Ping-Pong?

Re:I've never understood computer games.... (1)

Decessus (835669) | about 9 years ago | (#13367305)

I can understand what you're trying to say, it's not really the same thing though. If the game was just tossing a football, you would have a valid point. However, there is no way that I could put on pads, play 60 minutes of tackle football, and live to tell about it. I'm not in terrible shape, but I'm also not in great shape either. Most of the people who play these games are probably like that. It's a way for them to play in professional sports leagues without actually having to have the talent and drive required to play in the professional sport leagues.

What *are* players to do? (3, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | about 9 years ago | (#13367268)

What are players to do, you ask? Isn't it obvious? If someone comes to the conclusion that the game isn't worth the purchase, be it based on reviews, word of mouth, test-playing it or whatever, then simply don't buy it. There's lots of other games that you can choose from - or you could even go outside for a change instead of just playing computer games all the time.

If you're an absolute die-hard fan that wants a great new NFL game every year (and who thinks that this isn't it), then write to them and tell them what you think about their "exclusive license" deal. Send a snail mail letter, too - these are taken far more seriously than angry emails, who're probably just deleted without anyone really reading them.

That's what I would do - if I cared about football or football games.

What are players to do? (1)

midifarm (666278) | about 9 years ago | (#13367269)

They're supposed to break out the 8-bit Nintendo and fire up Tecmo Super Bowl, the BEST football game EVER (gameplay wise). Graphics only wow me so much. I like to have fun while playing a game and Madden has never done that for me.


Actually, oddly enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367271)

Despite having heard terrible things about this year's EA Madden NFL football, I've heard really good things about this year's EA NCAA football game. Go figure.

Don't worry about the end of competition, folks. We'll be getting you the illusion of competition real quick now. Just like that row of many and varied laundry detergents at the store, all of which are technically, if you go and look it up, manufactured by subsidiaries of Proctor and Gamble...

Nice scam if you can run it.... (1)

tktk (540564) | about 9 years ago | (#13367283)

Ok, scam might be too harsh a word, but as a no-sports gamer, I don't see the point of buying a new version of the game every year. And it's amazing that once the new verion comes out Fry's will start selling the previous years game for about $10.

Sure, you get upgraded stats and some new gameplay features. What I really wonder is how much testing EA's put into the new features. I'd hope that every new feature got over a year of development, playbalancing and testing.

To me, it sounds like getting Zelda 04, and then a year later getting Zelda 05 with two extra dungeons, new outfits and a new item.

Oh wait, I get it now.

learn from Microsoft (1)

digitalderbs (718388) | about 9 years ago | (#13367284)

Madden '06 has evolved. Have you?

Arcade Football Game (2, Insightful)

richman555 (675100) | about 9 years ago | (#13367294)

I think it would be cool to avoid this whole mess and create a better arcade style football game. A game like this could take some cues from Sega Soccer Slam as an example. Or someone could develop a great football game for the Nintendo DS. Drawing up you own plays would be fun to do with a stylus. I think the possibilities are out there, its just no developers want to take the risk.

79% is still playable. (1)

Thatto (258697) | about 9 years ago | (#13367296)

maybe I'm too forgiving, but I dont play a game when its rated at 60% or lower.

79% just doesnt sound bad...

Expect to see this for years to come (1)

harborpirate (267124) | about 9 years ago | (#13367300)

As soon as the exclusivity deal was signed, innovation ended. I expect EA to release the exact same game for every year of the contract, with the exception of updated rosters and some new "feature" like the QB vision. Each new feature will be half-assed and poorly implemented.

Football games haven't exactly been known for innovation, but what little did exist is dead now.

The only hope is that the exclusivity contract will cause game developers at other companies to branch out and build truly interesting sports games, ones like Base Wars [] or Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 [] perhaps, though obviously football instead of baseball.

Maybe we can get a Blood Bowl game (on a console)?

Re:Expect to see this for years to come (1)

Decessus (835669) | about 9 years ago | (#13367338)

Do you remember the Mutant League games for Sega? I was kind of hoping something like that would come out once EA bought the NFL license.

Hmmm, what to do? What to do? (5, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 years ago | (#13367308)

> because of EA's negotiated exclusivity deal
> with the NFL, this is the only NFL title
> you'll get to play this year. So, what are the
> players to do?"

Have a little pride and refuse to buy it? And thus punish both EA and the NFL?

Next-gen (1)

devinoni (13244) | about 9 years ago | (#13367318)

Madden 06 is not a next-gen game for the PS2 and XBox. It still runs on the same game engine that they have been using since the game came to the PS2. Madden 06 (if it actually is released) for the 360 will be on a new engine and of course look much better than what appears on the XBox. Madden 07 will still be available with the same game engine for the PS2 (and probably XBox too). I still remember seeing Madden 2005 for the PS1 at the store. It's still the same Madden for the PS1 that you got in the late 90s. Just update rosters.

A non-NFL endorsed game (2, Insightful)

NNland (110498) | about 9 years ago | (#13367319)

As was suggested by some friends last night during a random gaming discussion: Sega should put out a good "Mutant League Football" game.

Make it as good or better than Madden (which doesn't look to be a challenge according to the reviews), and they can print their own money.

I miss the Coaching Simulations. (1)

neo (4625) | about 9 years ago | (#13367336)

Madden certain fills the genre for those who want a twitch game. You get to be the QB or the Running Back, on defense you can be a Middle Linebacker or Corner...

But I miss the Coaching Simulations. We used to play leagues were everyone was a coach and we drafted the (NFL) players, made our own offensive and defensive plays, worried about salary caps and made play calls. The game would show you what happened just like you would see it from a coach's perspective.

I don't want to Throw the ball... I don't want to press the spin move button... I want to build a team using my own philosophies of what makes a great team and I want to make plays that out-think my opposing coachs.

Gridiron (Bethesda Soft) was a great example of a game where you could make your own plays and the physics worked. It was just a bunch of X's and O's but I had more fun playing that game than I've ever had playing Madden.

turn qb vision off! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367339)

I didnt like QB vision either, so i turned it off, which pretty much makes it the same game as '05. (I didn't buy '06, my roomate did, however, so thats what we play now, though i would have been just as happy sticking with '05)

Inflated (3, Insightful)

Psionicist (561330) | about 9 years ago | (#13367343)

79% is considered bad? Game reviews have always been inflated, why not do anything about it? 79% is practically the same as 8/10 or 4/5, and that's considered really good in, say, book or movie reviews. Look at IMDB, the best movie there, The Godfather, has a score of 9/10.

Really, a score of 40-60% should be an avarage game, but it appears the game reviewers give this score to games that suck completely.

Oh well.

I'm shocked! (3, Insightful)

Cyberllama (113628) | about 9 years ago | (#13367346)

The quality of a product dropped after it became a monopoly? Surely this must be some sort of oversight . . .

Then Don't Buy It (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | about 9 years ago | (#13367349)

I bought ESPN 2k5 last year mainly because people kept bugging me to play it online, but I had a blast (and still do when I'm bored and need to feed football fever) with it in single player. I knew it would suck for consumers when EA got the NFL exclusive. But what can I say other than "don't buy it"? Honestly, I've never been impressed by an EA sports game.

Dave Swanson visted my class once (5, Interesting)

DesiVideoGamer (863325) | about 9 years ago | (#13367350)

For computer graphics class [] , Dave Swanson, the Director of Madden, gave us a lecture about the "process" of making a new Madden game. I decided to joke around and ask him "Why do you need to do anything? Don't you have a monopoly?". He replied saying that he actually still works as hard as he did before the monopoly; and that his current aim is to get people who were not intrested in the Madden series before-hand into the game.
He also said that all the stories [] in the press are mostly an exaggeration of what is really going on.

Largest Opening ever for a Madden game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13367356)

I highly doubt that 79% rating on the PC version of Madden is going to assist in the rethinking of the exclusive NFL contract the Commision made with EA considering the game just had the largest opening weekend in franchise history. []
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