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Madden 13 Franchise Mode Fallacy

madden 13 connected careersMillions of new Madden 13 owners opened up their games ready to start a brand new franchise. Those excited gamers spent hours endlessly searching through screens for their favorite mode until they were confronted with the brutal truth. The Franchise mode is history!

It didn’t take long for the news to spread like wildfire on the Internet. By midday of the Maddenoliday, social media was flooded with thousands of rants from angry Madden gamers who lost their best friend. Within 24 hours of the release of Madden, the game had received more negative reviews from owners than any Madden game in history once it became apparent that their franchise mode was gone and it wasn’t coming.

[adinserter block=”2″]I have been a loyal Madden gamer since I opened up my first Madden game decades ago. Like many of you, I spent more time playing in the Franchise mode than any other. I loved the idea of building a dynasty and having something to play for every time I fired up my Genesis, PC, Playstation, or 360. Why waste time playing an exhibition or online game when I can play a game that counts against my record now and the rest of the life of the franchise?

I picked up my game on my lunch break and the cashiers at Game Stop told me how great the game was. They went over all of the new features and quite frankly it went in one ear and out the other. I didn’t care. I just wanted to jump into a new franchise mode. I planned my night for my franchise draft and counted the hours until I could get home and begin my road to the Super Bowl. Then all of the sudden my hopes for another year in the new franchise mode were shattered before I even had the chance to play.

I sent out a tweet asking for early Madden reviews. I started getting complaints and negative reviews with everyone complaining about the missing Franchise mode. Missing Franchise mode? It had to be there. Not that I read game blogs daily but I didn’t see a word about the removal of the mode in any blogs or articles about the game. Missing Franchise mode? What in the world are you talking about was my response to those tweets. It didn’t take long for my excitement to turn to anger.

But how could this be? I continued to wonder how the most critical element of the game could be removed, yet nobody mentioned this in any review of the game? Every review I read gave the game as close to a perfect rating or a flat out perfect rating that the game could get. Every reviewer wrote endlessly about how it was the best Madden ever. Best Madden ever? How could that be with no Franchise mode?

Once I got home and poked around I figured out that the Franchise mode was replaced with Connected Careers. I don’t know what Connected Careers and from the millions of complaints online, neither did most gamers. Connected Careers allows you to play as a player or a coach. The head coach is as close to the Franchise mode as you will get.

But guess what? It is still not the Franchise mode that I played last year that many of us loved about the game. For starters, there is no fantasy franchise draft and according to EA Sports it is impossible to bring that to the game with any kind of update this year. Two, you can only control one team at a time as opposed to last year.

Playing Connected Careers as a player was a whole other ball of wax. You can create a player, play as a current player, or play as a legend. I tried playing as Barry Sanders. I got access to Sanders as part of the Game Stop preorder promotion. For some reason or another I had to go into the mode a few times to get him to unlock, after I had already entered the code. When I finally unlocked Barry and started playing I quickly realized that this was a complete waste of time. I called the offensive plays and could only control Barry Sanders. If I called a pass, I had to sit there and watch. When the team went on defense, I was a spectator. Who in the world wants to sit there and play a game where you are watching a simulation 75% of the time? It was boring, dumb, and just flat out a big waste of time.

Speaking of the legends, what a crock this promotion was. I was ecstatic when I read that Madden would be including legends this year. The only reason I bought the game at Game Stop was to have access to my favorite NFL player of all-time, Barry Sanders. Here is the brutal truth about the legends. They are another waste of time. You can play as a legend in either the player mode in Connected Careers or using the Canton team in exhibition. You cannot include the legends on the rosters if you play as a head coach in Connected Careers or as Madden likes to tell you the new Franchise mode. You can’t even play with the legends on other teams, such as moving Barry over to the Lions for an exhibition game. To me, this is a huge waste of time and a real misleading campaign. Why have these guys included if you can’t play with them in other modes? I would have just bought the game at Amazon.com and gotten the $15 gift card if I knew that.

It still makes me wonder how millions of fans and dozens of professional reviewers can have such different opinions of the game. Just check out the user reviews on Amazon.com to see what the actual customers who paid to own this game think about it. As of this writing the game has 2 ½ stars with 119 customers giving it a 1 or 2 on Amazon.com. EA Sports’ own Facebook Fan page is flooded with complaints. It is amazing how different you will feel about a game that you passionately paid $60 for as opposed to getting a free copy on your desk for a paid review isn’t it?

EA Sports did a terrible job explaining the transformation from Franchise to Connected Careers before and after the release of the game. Just horrible! Maybe there wouldn’t be such a backlash if people knew what they were buying before they opened up a game that they can’t return? It is bad enough where a huge message now pops up at the open of Madden trying to best explain the situation. Their lack of clarity regarding the Franchise mode and the legends is unacceptable!

[adinserter block=”1″]The Madden defenders and EA Sports will tell you that the Franchise mode is still there, it’s just called something different. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Quite honestly it is an insult to their customers every time someone from EA Sports says this with a straight face. This is a completely different mode with critical elements of the old mode missing. I won’t tell you not to buy Madden but I will tell you that if you are looking for the Franchise mode, you are better off keeping your old copy, and picking up an updated roster on Ebay.com. Otherwise you are in for some major disappointment.

Order Madden 13 for all consoles on Amazon.com

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10 COMMENTS

  1. And people Connected Careers is not the Franchise mode if u actually think that than u have no.idea what ur talking about!!!! U can’t do.have the stuff that u could last year and it is so frustrating

  2. finally someone who understands how i feel..this was a huge slap in the face..i loved Franchise mode i mean absolutley loved it. they totally are going backwards. You cant even hire coaches anymore and own a team. thats the part i enjoyed. the downfall started a couple years ago when the assistant coaches had no picture and most of them were made up names. ive been an avid fan and purchaser of madden since 95 and if the franchisd mode doesnt return i dont think i will buy it. and did anyone else have their game freeze on them all thr time and have to reboot? i have it for ps3

  3. I'm not an "Madden Defender", and in fact – I still consider NFL 2k5 to be the greatest football game ever released – but Connected Careers is the franchise mode. You run through multiple seasons – I won 3 straight super bowls with the Colts – and added and lost many players over the course of that time. No fantasy draft…Damn, what a shame. I typically only ran a fantasy draft once I was sick of using the default rosters. In the case of the aforementioned 2k5 – I dont think I started running the fantasy draft on that game until around 2009, once the rosters were so outdated that it no longer mattered.

    In regards to not being able to use the legends where you want, I dont even have them unlocked as of yet. I'll be downloading the updates as soon as our internet install gets here today, so no comment on that.

  4. payed $60 and "overall" this is the best madden experience since playstation 2 days….
    cons- this game has a flaw in connected careers offline – it freezes allot and randomly and in most cases you are not able to save after it freezes … i hope the patch this soon i hear some similar happened in the ncaa 2013 game .. online connected careers is more stable but it has frozen too but its not a big deal because it auto saves seamlessly after every change

    this person obviously jumped the gun and didn't actually try playing the connected careers

    you do all the owner mode functions as coach if you turn own coach firing the team will fire the coach and then you can chose a available coach or create a coach ..

    things i love
    overall ratings of a players depend more on the "scheme" and the "type" of the player and what you choose to run this maters really only if you simulate games you do what you want if your playing i.e a 3-4 pass rush olb will not have good stats in a cover 2 scheme

    player re-signing is revamped you now get prompted to extend player contracts during the season … after the season you only get on shot to sign a player so its better to sign them during the year because if they don't like your offer bam free agent with new blind bidding system

    scouting is now more of a challenge with lots of good players the catch is the progression system that only rewards progression points based on in game stats and practice, so no more potential grades i picked up a undrafted rb that fit my scheme at 70 overall and got him up to a 81 just using him in practice and preseason and garbage time in blowouts also they have a fake twitter in the game where nfl personalty comment on various decisions and some times even point out players in the draft to scout players who dropped because of field issue etc and players to avoid not all just some.. and even player back stories i.e. they mentioned a guard who was the younger brother a great looking saftey who went round 1 in the previous draft hinting that the guard is probably athletic

    biggest improvement is the logic of the computer controlled teams no more drafting a qb back to back years in the top 10 computer team wheel and players …draft picks everything just like real life

  5. YES I COMPLETLY AGREE I WAS UPSET AT 1ST ALSO TO LEARN THERE WAS NO FRANCHISE MODE AND IT TOOK ME ABOUT HALF AN HR TO FINELLY FIND CAREER MODE. WHICH IS THE CLOSEST YOU R GOING TO GET TO MADDEN12 FRANCHISE MODE. THERE ARE A FEW DIFFERENCES BUT AT LEAST U CAN STILL CREATE UR DYNASTY U JUST HAVE TO CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE TEAM THERE ARE NO FANTASY DRAFTS (WHICH I WASN'T A BIG FAN OF ANYWAY.) SO THIS MADDEN TO ME REALLY ISNT S BAD AS PEOPLE R SAYING. THE DRAFT PROSPECTS ARE MUCH MORE TALENTED AND REALISTIC THAN ANY OTHER MADDEN. IF U DO UR SCOUTING U CAN FIND THOSE DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH. YANO THOSE 4TH-7TH RD PICKS THAT TURN OUT TO BE STARTERS/PRO-BOWLERS. EVERYBODY WHO HAS THE GAME ENJOY IT AND JUST HOPE THAT NEXT YEAR FRANCHISE MODE COMES BACK ALONG WITH THE LEGENDS AND MAYBE THEY WILL PUT THEIR HEADS 2GETHER 2 GIVE THE CUSTOMERS WAT THEY WANT AND ALLOW U TO INTEGRATE THE LEGENDS INTO YOUR FRANCHISE LEAGUE. NOW WOULD BE VERY COOL AND ALOT OF FUN DRAFTING HALL-OF-FAMERS ONTO UR FAVORITE TEAM. NOW THATS A REAL FANTASY DRAFT IF YOU ASK ME. FINGERS CROSSED THAT MADDEN 2014 LISTENS TO ITS CONSUMERS FOR ONCE. #PHILLYEAGLES

  6. Luckily I didnt buy it….I would have been livid to see NO FRANCHISE mode. I do all kinds of stuff with it….play it out…then play it as a coach…then just watch a simulated season etc.Franchise mode is the reason I buy any sports game,what good is one season only to have the rosters go back the next year? Terrible decision and hard to swallow from what was my favorite game franchise ever!

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