Madden NFL Articles RSS Feed | Madden NFL RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network How Will Madden NFL 18 Handle The San Diego Chargers' Relocation? Thu, 12 Jan 2017 07:24:42 -0500 JakeElman

Will the Los Angeles Chargers be in Madden NFL 17?

Unless you relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, the answer is no. You're not going to see EA add the Los Angeles Chargers as DLC, nor will there be a patch completely overhauling the team's look if the league announced new uniforms for the Bolts.


If you want to relocate the Chargers, feel free, but remember that you'll miss out on the new stadium (which some people who want to use one of the game's default stadiums won't mind) and you won't have the creativity to keep the name with new uniforms.


Come the spring, we should know more about the Los Angeles Chargers and GameSkinny will keep you updated with any additional news regarding LA's newest team in Madden NFL 18. But, for right now...



Are you excited to see the Chargers move to Los Angeles? Does that alone make you want to start a franchise with them? Make sure to let us know in the comment section below!

Can I relocate another team to San Diego?

If Madden NFL 18 does what they did this year by putting the city of St. Louis as a relocation option, then I don't see why they wouldn't also add San Diego -- unless they took relocation out, which I doubt. If anything, they'd revamp the mode to allow more customization, but that's a conversation for another day.


The only issue one might have with moving to San Diego -- and it's a glitch that happens in Madden 17 with St. Louis -- is that you're stuck keeping the current brand and logo. You want to bring back the St. Louis Hawks or create the St. Louis Storm? Good luck with that, unless the glitch is fixed.


Which stadiums will the Chargers have access to in Madden NFL 18?

One of the things EA does is right is coding new, unopened stadiums into the game. Even if the stadium isn't open yet, a team who is set to open a stadium within a few years (i.e. the Atlanta Falcons and Mercedes-Benz Stadium) will have access to it when the time comes during franchise mode.


In short, what this means is that the Chargers and Rams, come 2019 in your franchise mode, will both move into the City of Champions Stadium. Madden NFL 17 teased the move with a playable City of Champions Stadium that the Rams would move into once your franchise mode hits its fourth year.


Shortly after the game's release in August 2016, one YouTube user showed off what the virtual City of Champions will look like.


Will the Rams be sharing their stadium with the Chargers?

In the short-term, no. Later on, yes.


Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that as part of the immediate move to Los Angeles, the Chargers will play the 2017 and 2018 seasons in the StubHub Center. Located in Carson, California, the StubHub Center - which hosts the LA Galaxy soccer team - only holds about 30,000 people. 


But, the Chargers will be playing there and not sharing the Los Angeles Colosseum with the Rams, which is probably for the best. Come 2019, though, the two teams will be sharing the City of Champions Stadium in Inglewood. Which leads me to...

Will the Los Angeles Chargers be in Madden NFL 18?

This one is simple: yes. Unless there was an unprecedented lawsuit that resulted in EA Sports losing the rights to the likeness of the organization and their players, you will be able to play with the Los Angeles Chargers in Madden NFL 18 complete with their uniforms (if they make changes), stadium, and tendency to see players wind up on injured reserve.


A report came out Thursday morning from Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News that the Chargers may consider a rebrand; it likely wouldn't be immediate, but a change could happen in the next few years when the Chargers adopt new uniforms and a new logo. 


But, I wouldn't be worried about that just yet. As of right now, previous Chargers uniforms -- including the throwback blue and gold ones -- are most likely to be in the game.


The reason why I say most likely is because that comes down to rights and likeness issues, but given that Madden NFL 17 kept all of the Rams' throwbacks after moving to Los Angeles following last season, I wouldn't be worried.


Speaking of the Rams...


Stay classy, San Diego. 


What once was Ron Burgundy's sign-off at the end of every broadcast is now what the National Football League is likely telling America's Finest City.


Thursday morning, the NFL and San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos confirmed a Wednesday night report that the Chargers, who had been in San Diego for over 50 years, would be relocating to Los Angeles for the 2017 season. He said:


"After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles, beginning with the 2017 NFL season. San Diego has been our home for 56 years. It will always be part of our identity, and my family and I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the support and passion our fans have shared with us over the years."


NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted out a link of the team's new logo following the official announcement. 


With the Chargers leaving San Diego, the time to reminisce on memories from LaDainian Tomlinson's MVP season in 2006 to those legendary powder blues. I think all NFL fans will agree that there's one single moment that was the greatest during the Chargers' tenure in San Diego.



What? Oh, this was the one single moment that was the greatest during the Chargers' tenure in San Diego.



I'm sure we'll see The Terminator back at some Chargers games in Los Angeles, but the Bolts' upcoming relocation is sure to raise more important questions for Madden players.


How will the relocation be handled by EA? Will we see the Los Angeles Chargers in Madden NFL 17? Can we move a team back to San Diego in Madden NFL 18?


Though we're months away from even the most basic Madden NFL 18 news, let's look at how EA has handled relocations in the past and what we do know about the Chargers' planned move. 

Why Aren't Game Studios and Companies Sponsoring More Esports Teams? Thu, 03 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Aaron Grincewicz

To the casual gamer/fan, eSports can seem like nothing more than playing games for money. That may have been the case a few years ago, with limited league play available. Now, eSports and competitive gaming have grown to rival some professional sports.

With growth often comes complexity. The world of eSports is beginning to emulate pro sports leagues in many ways. The most important similarity could be the way eSports teams and players are sponsored, and exactly who is sponsoring them. To understand the situation a bit better, I'm going to dive into a few sports management topics.

The League/Franchise Model also applies to eSports

Let's use the NFL as an example; all 32 teams are franchises. The owners are the franchisees. In short, each team is like its own business, and as long as they meet certain guidelines they can participate in the National Football League. The same thing applies to other companies like McDonald’s; Not every restaurant is owned directly by McDonald’s. A lot of them are owned by entrepreneurs called franchisees. The NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL follow this business model (Major League Soccer follows a different structure with many similarities). Now, the pro sports league conversation has grown to include eSports.

Completely Different Structure 

The current landscape of eSports is chaotic at first glance. There are several leagues around the world, some focusing on one game franchise, others on several games.  Along with those leagues, there are dozens upon dozens of eSports organizations.  Some groups stick with one league, like Major League Gaming, while others participate in several leagues simultaneously. This is mostly because the concept of a franchise differs significantly compared to a typical sports team.  One eSports franchise can have several teams with each focused on one game.

Let’s say my organization, ASG Gaming has a Team CoD, Team LoL, and Team GoW.  Team CoD just finished a season in MLG, and now wants to start a season in another league. Once qualified, nothing is stopping them from doing so.  While Team GoW has never competed in the MLG. This is because eSports does not have one ‘Super Bowl', or a mutual agreement between leagues to determine a world champion.  Major League Baseball technically has two separate leagues, each with some minor rules differences (National and American), who have reached an agreement to have their best teams play in a World Series. Right now there is an open competition between leagues to see who will become the NBA of eSports. 

Neutrality: The Golden Rule 

The relatively unorganized system for eSports has managed to keep one major similarity to pro sports, and that’s the independently owned teams. The reason that leagues like the NFL don't own teams is that it creates a conflict of interest. They might occasionally take financial control of a team if it’s current owners violate league terms (default on loans, severe capital loss) but they often sell it to a new owner as quickly as possible. This has happened in the NBA with the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets were eventually sold and rebranded as the Pelicans. Was the NBA to maintain control of the team, how would it look if the team started winning a lot of games, or getting referee calls in their favor? Rather than even think about the problems and scandals that could cause, it’s in the league's’ best interest to remain neutral.

The rule of neutrality applies to eSports teams, too. Activision Blizzard might own Major League Gaming, but it’s really nothing more than that. MLG allows players to compete in games from some of Activision’s publisher rivals like EA, Microsoft, and Take-Two. Now, that’s a smart business move on their part. MLG has a credit system where you pay real money to access tournaments for various games, no matter the publisher. This will most likely continue until publishers decide to institute a contract system. EA could easily limit it’s eSports participation to its own league, with a set number of teams that have agreed to a league franchise contract. Should that happen, and be successful for EA, others will follow. Some publishers could allow their games to be played in multiple leagues with the stipulation being they send their best teams to a mutual championship match at the end of the season.

Should a league organization or publisher take sides with one, or several teams by funding them, the notion that they're being favored comes into play. There is a similar comparison in pro sports leagues with a salary cap. Basically, salary caps exist so one team cannot be unfairly stacked with the best players. With no system of checks and balances in place for eSports, one league could lure every notable team to it’s stable by supplying them with gear and paying them. As it stands, the prize pools are what attract the best teams.

Maintaining Integrity

If eSports is to continue its success, the leagues and publishers must preserve their credibility by remaining a neutral authority.  Offering the same prizes and opportunities to all qualifying teams without directly sponsoring them will reinforce this integrity. Not only is this beneficial to the leagues and companies directly involved in making the games, but also the businesses that sponsor teams. 

A company like Microsoft could easily fund a team and be the only sponsor on all their gear (like the Seattle Sounders). Without direct sponsorship, other companies are given the opportunity to display their logos on team jerseys, and just about anything associated with the team. As any business owner will tell you, that can be the difference between success and failure. It’s because of this that I realized just how many companies are creating products aimed at gamers. All those brands would have a much harder time fighting through obscurity were the big companies taking up space.

Maybe someday soon there will be courses and degree programs offered in eSports Management. Until that day arrives, I can only hope that everyone involved in eSports takes a page from those textbooks to make it at least as successful an entity as the NFL or NBA. The responsibility also falls to the teams and the owners of those teams. As enticing as it sounds, if a developer or publisher tries to sponsor one team over many, it’s in the best interest of the team to decline. Many, many companies will jump at the chance to put their logo next to your teams.

Do you agree that the game companies should remain a neutral authority? Would you major in eSports Management if it were offered? Does the idea of an ‘NFL of eSports’ appeal to you? Let us know in the comments below.

The biggest Madden 17 change is one you haven't heard about yet Thu, 30 Jun 2016 07:49:24 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Yes, football fans, it's the offseason. But it won't be for long! Only 2 months and we'll all be enjoying the latest installment of EA's long-running Madden series. And despite all the nay-sayers claiming that it's "just a roster update", there is one gigantic Madden 17 change that has flown under the radar up until now.

The change doesn't have anything to do with physics, gang tackling, changes in QB mechanics, or really, anything that directly affects the on-field action. But you'll notice as soon as you boot up the game that two familiar voices will be absent. And if you're anything like me, you'll be pretty damn happy about it.

Phil Simms and Jim Nantz provide commentary for live CBS football games, but have also provided in-game commentary for the Madden NFL series of games since Madden 13. If you don't really follow football, you may not be aware, but the Nantz/Simms commentary duo... well...

They're not all that popular.

Many fans, myself included, find their commentary lackluster, failing both to entertain and to educate. When they were announced as the featured commentary duo for Madden 13, there was some well-deserved backlash.

Well, @WildWop, I'm happy to announce that your nightmare is finally over.

Yes, sports fans, finally, thankfully, the long-maligned commentary duo of Phil Simms and Jim Nantz will be replaced by two new Madden 17 commentators: Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis. Though Gaudin and Davis may not have the credentials of the men they are replacing, EA has gone to great lengths to make sure their commentary is dynamic, fresh, and full of life.

Not only has the lifeless and vanilla Nantz/Simms commentary duo been ousted, but it appears as if commentary itself is a new focus for EA Sports. Gaudin and Davis will be in the booth weekly, recording new lines of commentary based on what happened in the previous week's real NFL games

This means that weekly changes to Madden 17 will not only include roster updates, but will also include additions and changes to the game's commentary, further immersing players in their sports fantasy.

And it's not like Gaudin and Davis lack experience either. Brandon Gaudin has years of football broadcasting experience under his belt at the college level, and Charles Davis himself, in addition to being an All-SEC defensive back in college, is a current football analyst for Fox Sports.

A commentary team just for Madden

"What really attracted us to Brandon [Gaudin] was... he just sounds like sports." Christian McLeod, Associate Producer

The addition of an all-new commentary team is a big change not just for Madden 17, but for the entire Madden series of games. EA Sports has always relied on established on-air talent to record commentary for the Madden series. This has, more often than not, resulted in lackluster and cookie-cutter commentary.

The fact that the team behind Madden is now choosing to foster their own on-air talent is a good sign (albeit a late one) that EA Sports recognizes that just because somebody can call a live NFL game doesn't mean that they'll be good voice talent for Madden.

Ideally, this commentary duo will stick around for future generations of the game, building camaraderie like any other broadcasting team while becoming more and more familiar with the specific needs of the video game format.

Is EA Sports Listening?

For fans both of Madden and of, you know, real football, Phil Simms and Jim Nantz are a divisive group. Many are fans of their commentary, but most are not, finding the two boring, uninformative, and generally sloppy with the way they call games.

Is it a stretch to say that the Madden 17 commentary change was a direct reaction to fan backlash? Probably. That said, the team behind Madden is a savvy one and it would be naive to think that the decision to create an in-house commentary duo was not based, at least in part, on the public perception of current on-air commentary teams.

This really does bode well for the future of Madden games, if EA is truly listening to their audience. It shows that they aren't assuming that all Madden fans are die-hard football fans, and that all die-hard football fans play Madden

At the end of the day, Madden will never be a perfect simulation, so at some level it's nonsensical for EA to stay beholden to things that actively hinder Madden's success. Ousting a terrible-but-well-known commentary duo in favor of some new blood is a great start.

So, in short, goodbye to Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. We'll reluctantly see you on CBS football broadcasts, but for now we can be free of you in the world of video games. You won't be missed. Well, at least, not by me or by this guy.

Good freaking riddance.

Games for Grandparents and Grandchildren: Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks Tue, 03 May 2016 06:16:58 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

“I just don’t understand those, whatchamacallit? Damgummed vidja games you play. They don’t make any blasted sense to me.”

One of my grandparents once told me something not too far removed from that sentence. My cousin and I were sitting down playing my brand-new copy of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker on my still shiny, purple Gamecube. (Oh yeah, I am going wayyyy back to 2002.) My cousin and I did our best to explain video games to the bewildered, older person, but our eleven-year-old selves couldn’t convince the grandparent that games were anything other than the preconceptions they held.

You tell those young whippersnappers!

You tell those young whippersnappers!

Just fourteen years later, I have met several grandparents and older adults who either play video games with their younger family members or have expressed an interest in the idea. With that in mind, here's a list of somewhat recent titles that might be starting points for grandparents who want to play games with their grandchildren. Who knows? Maybe you will be playing one of these games and it will catch your grandparent’s eye like no Bingo game ever could.

This is a varied list. Some of these games will be more difficult to play than others, and some of these games are aimed more at mature players than others. I've included descriptions with each entry so you have an idea of what the game is before scurrying off to entice your victim loved one to play.

Let’s get started!



Available on Steam, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360.

Can two players play at the same time?  Yes 

Control complexity?  Minimal

Juju is an extremely cute platformer ( a game where you navigate obstacles and collect floating, shiny things) starring a pink panda bear and his best friend Peyo, who just so happens to be an anthropomorphic snake. (Because video games okay?) Juju and Peyo get into some trouble and wind up releasing an evil bat that kidnaps Juju’s dad and places some dark magic on Juju’s home forest. It’s up to Juju and Peyo to save the day!

The gameplay is almost as simple as the plot for this one. Players control their choice of the two characters, and their partner controls the other. Players navigate levels filled with obstacles, enemies, and tons of floating, shiny objects to collect! The game goes out of its way to entice newcomers to play. The character of Peyo has skills Juju does not, and he is also less targeted by enemies, allowing his player to simply enjoy the game.

The controls in Juju are also simple. You control your character and have buttons to jump and perform an attack. There are five buttons used at most, making this ideal for all newcomers.

Juju’s novice-friendly design makes it a great choice for either enticing grandparents or younger grandchildren. If you want more information about the game, I actually wrote a review about it here! (Shameless self-promotion for the win!)


Yoshi’s Woolly World  

Available on the WiiU.

Can two players play at the same time?  Yes

Control complexity?  Minimal

Much like the aforementioned Juju, Yoshi’s Woolly World is a platformer where you navigate obstacles, defeat enemies, and collect shiny objects. What separates the two is the degree of difficulty and art style. The world of Woolly (the full title is a mouthful) is presented as living yarn, and yes, it is as adorable as it sounds. The art style makes the game appealing to players of all ages and can bring a smile to the face of the most cynical of players, such as myself.

The cute is strong with this one.

Players have the options of four different controllers for playing this one. You have the option of the Wii U Gamepad, the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wiimote, and the Classic Controller. As with Juju, there are essentially five buttons used in gameplay. When playing with another person, both people can also use different controllers, depending on their preference.  


Woolly is also more difficult than Juju. If Juju’s difficulty was rated at a 1 on a scale from 0-10, Wooly would fall somewhere between a 2 or a 3. Just something to keep in mind for newer players. The game allows two people to play simultaneously, so grandma can help you snag all of those collectibles!


Katamari series

Available on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Can two players play at the same time? Depends on the game from what I can gather. 

Control complexity? Moderate

The Katamari series is an example of simplicity done beautifully. The objective of the game is to roll around large environments and collecting everything into a large ball of, well, everything. There is some story about replacing the stars, but all you need to know is you can collect virtually anything into your giant roving ball of objects. It’s a game that is simple to grasp and enjoy.

Here’s the game in action.


The controls are slightly more demanding than the previous titles mentioned, but they don't take long to become comfortable. The controls are similar to controlling the treads on a tank. If you want to go forward, you move both sticks forward. If you want to turn, you push the stick forward on the side you wish to turn. It's slightly more complicated, but not enough to completely alienate people. You can see more of the controls here.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band  

Available on Playstation 3&4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Depends on your difficulty and instrument, but minimal to difficult.

The Guitar Hero and Rock Band series are unique as they can provide an enjoyable experience for newcomers and experts alike. The Rock Band games have modes where you cannot fail, and instead, can simply enjoy the music and your attempts to play it. If your grandparents don’t have the dexterity for the guitar, let them beat the drums to death. If drums aren’t their thing, give them a mic and have them wail to the classics they know and love!

The controls complexity depends on the difficulty you decide to play. Each difficulty adds a new button for the guitar and drums. For singing, it makes some notes harder to hit and adds more difficult pitches and sections. There's a reason these games have become hit party games though. There is a difficulty level for all players to enjoy!

With a large library of songs included with the base game and a huge selection of songs available to download, there’s bound to be some songs your grandparents enjoy. These games can provide an evening of fun for the whole family to enjoy. Before you know it, you’ll have a garage band and participate in the local battle of the bands.

 It may or may not make your grandmother a badass metalhead.


Mario series

Available on the WiiU

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Minimal

Gaming’s most iconic mascot has been the star of countless games that have entranced beginners and veterans alike for years. His newest games are no different. The newest titles on the WiiU are a step up in difficulty from the prior entries on this list, but they also have various modes for beginners and support for more than two players. Now grandma and grandpa both can get in on quashing Bowser’s plans!

 The Mario series is one of the longest-running and most iconic game franchises of all time, yet has managed to retain its charming simplicity throughout all of the years. The controls are simple to learn and easy to master, using six buttons at the most. The challenge comes not from the controls but being precise. However, the series has always been friendly for newcomers and remains welcoming to all.


Super Smash Bros

Available on the Wii U

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Moderate

Now this might be a confusing entry. The Smash series is known for its depth, and the skill displayed by pros at tournaments is mindboggling. The game still remains inviting for newcomers. I have hooked several unbelieving friends with a few rounds of Smash. The game is more complicated and has more controls than some entries here, but it remains a simple one to learn and enjoy.

This is easily the most complex game mentioned here in regards to controls. The game only uses about eight buttons (no matter which of the four controllers you choose to use), but there are multiple uses for many moves tied to these few buttons. Despite that, the game remains a frantic and enjoyable experience, even if you aren't sure exactly what is going on onscreen (which is me when playing most fighting games).

With all of the sheer chaos occurring onscreen, you may not be exactly sure what just happened, but you know it looked awesome and can’t wait to continue playing. The game allows up to eight people to play, and players can customize the amount of zaniness in matches and adjust things accordingly as needed. Just don’t complain when Great-grandma Anita wipes the floor with you.


Madden games

Available on anything. These games are literally available everywhere on every platform.

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Moderate 

Now before you question this choice, hear me out. During some summers, I would visit my cousin, and we generally ending up playing video games. One day my uncle expressed interest in playing. Giddy with excitement, we naturally started him with the worst possible choice, Mass Effect. He called defeat with a few short, but oh so hilarious, minutes.

Next, we tried Call of Duty, he fared a little better, but he could not grasp the concept of operating two joysticks simultaneously. After my cousin met many a death at the hands of his dad’s grenades, we admitted defeat. My uncle then laid his eyes on Madden and being the football fanatic he is, asked to give it a whirl. My cousin and I decided it couldn’t be any worse than the other games, so we gave it a shot. We have regretted it ever since.

My uncle’s knowledge of football outweighed his lack of gaming skills, and he managed to defeat us over and over again. Things got to the point where he was asking us to play him because he wanted to try more advanced tactics.

I mention this story because you never know which games newcomers will do well when first introduced to gaming. If your grandparent has any interest in football, give Madden a shot. The controls are relatively simple, and the commands are usually posted on the screen for quick reference. Plays are assigned to a button so you know which play you are picking. Actions such as running, stiff-arm, and juking are all tied to individual buttons which are usually displayed before the ball is snapped. Each receiver is also assigned a button, so you know which receiver you are throwing the ball to with every play. 

You can also play the game together on the same team to help ease newcomers into the game. It’s a great idea for those who love sports, and an excellent starting point for the world of games.


There are plenty of games grandparents can play with their grandchildren, or can be used to entice your grandparent to give the world of gaming a shot. Star Fox Zero for the WiiU has an invincibility mode for newcomers. Pikmin 3 for the WiiU allows two captains to cooperate and attempt to salvage their spaceship to escape a hostile planet. Rocket League is a more advanced title, but for those who want a challenging and entertaining cooperative experience, look no further. For the truly awesome grandparents, look into Portal 2 for some cooperative, puzzle-solving goodness!

All of these titles I’ve mentioned are barely a drop in the ocean of family/grandparent-friendly games available.  Give these titles a shot, and see what happens. You never know. Maybe your grandparents have mad player skills waiting to be unleashed! After all, I can count the number of times I have beaten my uncle in Madden on one hand. Do not underestimate your opponent!

Do you have any games you play with your grandparents or grandchildren? Let us know in the comments below!


EA Sports UFC 2: Ultimate Team announced with trailer Tue, 02 Feb 2016 04:18:08 -0500 Alex Chin

Ultimate Team, a mode featured in EA's Madden, NHL, and FIFA, will now be available in UFC 2. And the announcement came with a brand new trailer (see above). 

This mode was introduced several years ago in FIFA 09. It let users create and manage their own team. Players could buy, sell, trade, or auction off stars with thousands of other users. They earned money by playing matches offline or online, and could use it to buy card packs containing items, such as players or stadiums. 

UFC 2 will follow a similar formula. Players can create a team of up to five custom fighters. Participating in fights earns coins, which can be used to open up fight packs containing four different items--moves, attributes, perks, and consumables.

Moves are inspired by fighters' signature moves. Want Rousey's Judo Flip? Fighters' attributes include disciplines like muy tai, kickboxing, or judo. Perks are special abilities, and include things like Marathoner or Submission Specialist. And lastly, consumables boosts your fighter's individual skill in areas like health, toughness, and stamina.   

Use these four items to build your team and achieve glory in the UFC.

UFC 2 hits stores hard on March 15. For more on UFC 2 and its features, visit the official site here

Will you be playing UFC 2's Ultimate Team? Let us know in the comments below!

22-Player Madden would change everything Tue, 15 Sep 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Anthony Jondreau

Full team play has become popular recently, with FIFA supporting the feature and EASHL one of the more popular features of the NHL series. Over on Kotaku, the idea of a Madden full team play came up, a natural progression, given how much of a team sport football is. It’s a good idea, it’s probably inevitable, it’s one I’d welcome. And it would complete change the way the way we play virtual football.

Position Controls Would Change Entirely 

As of now, offense and defense are fairly simple. Offense is a matter of throwing, catching, and running (and you don’t even have to do the catching on your own), and defense is a matter of stopping the guy with the ball, although Madden 16 has made strides on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive line play now involves button presses and this year saw the inclusion of several new defensive back controls. Still, it’s all about who has the ball.

Football is about so much more than that. Twenty-one of the twenty-two players on the field don’t have the ball, but it doesn’t mean they’re irrelevant. The offensive and defensive lines have their own battle, which changes depending on the type of play. Linebackers do everything from cover receivers to rush the quarterback, and cornerbacks and safeties have to keep guys from getting open, which, under the current controls, is extremely difficult. Meanwhile, offensive linemen have to block, wide receivers have to get open, and tight ends have to do both. All of these aspects are complex and multi-layered, and need to be turned into an engaging, playable part of the game.

The Skills Valued Would Change Entirely

At this point, everyone can play quarterback and everyone can play running back. Those are the key positions on offense and have been since the invention of the game. Defense is a little more varied, but linebacker and safety seem to be the more popular positions. However, the overhaul of the positions would leave them looking very different. Essentially, you’d reset which players are valued. 

Quarterback and running back would remain important, as you have to have the ball to score. You also have to be upright to throw the ball and you need holes to run through. Good blockers become valued. So do receivers who can get open. In response, players who can shut down the other side of the ball are valued as well. It’s not just about the fancy footwork you can do from the backfield. The trick for EA would be to make all those other positions worth playing.

It Would Change The Actual Game Completely

Are you sensing the trend here? Madden itself would fundamentally change with 11 players on each side. When only one player is controlling each side of the ball, the other ten players have to be automated. This leaves the offensive and defensive lines blocking for themselves, receivers running routes against CPU cornerbacks, you get the idea. When all of these position battles are determined by people, how does the outlook change? It increases the variables, and thus increases the potential for chaos. Multiply that by 22 players, and you might end up with a game that doesn’t look like Madden football anymore. 

None of this is necessarily bad. In fact, I think it’s probably inevitable, and if EA can get it right (not going to touch this one), I’ll be shelling out all my disposable income to get my hands on 22-player Madden so I can start practicing to be the best left tackle on the internet.