NFL | NCAA Football

EA Pulls A Fast One With Kurt Warner

Kurt Warner Madden 10 Madden gamers woke up to an unexpected new EA Madden roster update this weekend. EA has been more diligent than ever this year in providing updated rosters and player attributes on a regular basis. While none of these Madden 10 updates are ever perfect, never in the history of Madden has this update sparked more controversy. The controversy revolves around the removal of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner.

After being eliminated in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, Kurt Warner announced his retirement. 12-year, three Super Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl win, and one Super Bowl MVP were enough. Over the last two years in particular, Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals have turned into one of the most teams to play in Madden. Madden does a great job of transitioning high-powered offensive teams like the Cards and Saints into the game with relevant plays and player attributes. The Cards and Warner in particular have been one of the most popular teams to play online against opponents or just at home against the CPU. Well without warning, the party is over!

EA Sports released their final Madden update over the year this weekend. The final roster update is more or less a report card for the players in the game. For example, Ray Lewis’ overall play decreased from a 94 to a 94. L.T. decreased from an 89 to an 86, while DeSean Jackson and Sidney Rice saw increases. The idea of this is to represent the game and its players as real as possible to the NFL 2009-2010 season. Well EA may have gone a bit overboard this time because they have completely removed Kurt Warner from the game. Warner is now listed as retired and he is unusable with the new update. The move is shocking to longtime Madden gamers and came without Kurt Warning (couldn’t help it.)

I didn’t notice this until today. I try to stay on top of the updates, but I haven’t played Madden all week. I signed online this morning to play and was told of the new roster update. I downloaded it and was shocked when I didn’t see Warner. I started to do a little investigating online and thus I discovered he is completely removed. The roster move has the entire EA community and Madden fan base outraged and rightfully so. The move goes against anything that Madden has done in previous years and hurts the integrity of the game. The entire idea of behind these roster updates is to give Madden gamers rosters and a game that is as real to the 2009-2010 NFL season as possible. Kurt Warner not only played a full season, but also played in the post season. This is isn’t like taking a third-string offensive lineman who announces his retirement out of the game. The fact that one of the elite starting NFL quarterbacks was removed from the game in which a season he participated and without warning for loyal gamers is beyond preposterous!

The removal of Warner also discredits EA’s DLC they sold earlier in the year to Madden gamers. There are several DLC components you can purchase for Madden. These DLC add-ons give Madden gamers a little more flexibility with the game. Two of the DLC options sold allowed gamers to un-retire two players who retire during a franchise season. The idea behind this was to give gamers a chance to keep Brett Favre (who auto retires after every season) or someone like Warner who sometimes does or doesn’t. A lot of DLC were sold specifically for this feature. Now, if gamers were to start a new franchise mode with the new update than they won’t even have a shot at using this with Warner since he has been removed entirely from the game.

The move is stunning considering how liberal EA has been over the years when it comes to unavailable players. Even with Michael Vick’s troubles, he was still available in the out-of-box Madden 07 game (removed in roster updates since he didn’t play the season), Plaxico Burress was left in last year as a free agent even after he was suspended and likely wouldn’t play this year because the game was supposed to represent the 2008-09 season which saw him play and then cut. Even the year after Brett Favre retired with the Packers, Favre was featured on the cover of the game! Pulling Warner out of the season he just played after he retires for next season is one of the most unusual and unnecessary moves I have ever seen in a Madden roster update since EA began doing roster updates years ago.

Do you have to grab the roster update? No. But the problem is that this came all without warning. With warning, would could just go play online, use the Warner-less update, and continue their games with Warner. The downside there is that you get none of the other hundreds of roster updates included in the newest update which, once again include increases and decreases to hundreds to NFL players. Not too mention, gamers grab the roster update and save it to their hard drive without thinking twice about it. Now those games are wondering where the heck Kurt Warner went? Not only was removing Warner from a 2009-10 roster ridiculous, what is even more ridiculous is the lack of warning that came with the update. It’s not like we are talking about the removal of a third-string defensive back. We are talking about the removal of one of the most popular players of the game!

My gut tells me that with all of the outrage that EA will correct this. I will give them credit and they have done a fairly good job of satisfying their communities and fan base within reason. Obviously they aren’t going to go back in and make changes based on every fan who wants their favorite player to go from a 90-91 rating. However, something like this transcends fans of one particular team or player. I would think that a change like this would be something that can be simply done as EA was able to include Michael Vick and Brett Favre in their rosters just a few days after they came back this season. So the issue isn’t whether this is something that can be done, but it is something that should be done. If not that, offer the previous update with Warner which again hurts the other hundred players that were updated, but it is a quick fix. The bottom line here is that EA really pulled a fast one on their most loyal customers this weekend and should do the right thing and fix it as soon as possible.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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