How to Truly Change Franchise in Madden

Discussion in 'Madden NFL Discussion' started by majesty95, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. majesty95

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    Last night on the Sim Standard Radio podcast, they were talking about what needs to change in Madden's franchise mode. The interview stemmed from DeuceDouglas' exceptionally well laid out wishlist for CFM on Operation Sports. I agree with just about every point made in Deuce's post and that Madden would be much better off should the vast majority of it happen. Franchise mode certainly needs an overhaul, especially in scouting, the draft and free agency. There needs to be more to keep those of us playing CFM engaged through more than one season.

    Unfortunately, it does not appear that EA feels the same way. For the third year in a row, CFM fans are largely disappointed. Going into Madden 18, there appears to be very little done with Madden's franchise mode outside of adding a custom draft board. While adding things like Play The Moment and improving game planning were nice, there just hasn't been a significant focus on franchise in some time. That doesn't appear to change any time soon.

    Many of Madden's franchise users are still remembering the heyday of franchise in the mid-2000's. They want to see Madden's CFM return to that level with new technology taking it even further. Unfortunately, that appears to be a pipe dream, at least for the foreseeable future. That's not a popular statement but you don't have to look hard to see the writing on the wall.

    Electronic Arts is clearly focused on attracting new users, and for good reason. The more new users that play the game, the more copies they sell and, in turn, the more people who try out Madden's money generating Ultimate Team mode. The more users in the mode, the more money that gets spent. That's the reality of the video game business these days, especially for a publicly traded company like EA. Regardless of what the consumer at home may think, profits are the predominate guiding factor in their game. And CFM just doesn't generate very much revenue (compared to MUT).

    So where does that leave CFM? Franchise mode in Madden is never going to grow significantly as it stands presently. There is way too much money to be made by focusing on modes like MUT and even modes like Longshot to bring in new users. EA clearly believes spending significant resources on CFM is not a way to increase sales or revenue so they keep doing just enough to keep those who enjoy it buying the game. And that's not going to change unless something drastic happens.

    The first, and most noticeable, way that CFM can change is if people quit buying the game. From a marketing and product standpoint, EA clearly thinks franchise players will continue to buy the game regardless.They're right. We buy the game every year and then complain that we didn't get enough added to the mode. It happens year after year and yet nothing changes.

    The second, and my preferred method, is to increase the revenue that CFM generates which would then allow (force depending on your perspective) EA to dedicate more resources to CFM. Unfortunately, this is a wildly unpopular topic with franchise players. They remember the good 'ol days of 10 years ago and want everything that the game had back then, now. It's a noble request but it's unrealistic.

    Ten years ago there was no MUT or even online gaming. The game was entirely based on offline franchise mode. There was also offline head-to-head and Superstar mode but franchise was king. Its largely what everyone bought the game for.

    Not anymore.

    Now Madden is dominated by MUT. Not just because EA makes money off of it, but also because that's largely what the new generation of Madden gamer wants to play. Just look at YouTube and Twitch. Madden content is dominated by MUT. That's what the consumer wants and will pay for so that's, largely, what Madden gives them. Conversely, that has moved franchise mode to the back of the line when it comes to priorities and upgrades.

    The only way that dynamic changes is to change the way that we consume franchise mode (or to quit buying it but that still may not get the intended results). Downloadable content, or DLC, is the most likely way for that to happen. Perhaps something else could come along that hasn't been considered yet but, until that does, DLC is the way to go if users want significant changes to the mode. So what kind of DLC are we talking about? That's the hard part. What kind of DLC can be added that will make a sizable enough change and also be consumed by the user?

    NCAA Football gave somewhat of a blueprint. However, its been suggested that even back then it wasn't a huge revenue boost. Going with that model though, there are things that could be added:
    • Commissioner of multiple leagues - NCAA did this. If a user wanted to run more than one league there was a small fee. It makes sense. Each league uses server space and some people create online leagues just to test things out or to run multiple small leagues with different teams. It's a waste of resources for Madden and recouping some revenue from it and/or limiting how much resources go to that could help.
    • Time savers - This was another NCAA feature that allowed users to develop their coaches more quickly or get more scouting points, etc. This could possibly be the biggest way to generate revenue in Madden. The great thing about it is that it could be set to turned off in online leagues (like NCAA) so leagues that don't want to use them don't have to but others who do can. Seems like a win-win for everyone.
    • Downloadable uniforms - This probably isn't a hugely viable option even though it did well in NCAA. The NFL's limit on throwback uniforms would probably limit this by itself. Madden users would also reject having to pay for anything already in the game so this would likely have to be additional throwback uniforms not already in the game. May be a small market for it if the NFL even approved it so may not be worth the hassle.
    • Downloadable teams - Theoretically throwback teams could be huge for Madden. However, they would need to license almost every player from each team and then sell enough of them to warrant the addition. The benefit is that this could be done in accordance with MUT which already uses throwback players. If allowed to be used in franchises (by choice) this could be a viable option that many players could get behind.
    • Downloadable stadiums - A feature like this is probably more common in a game like MLB The Show. However, there are people who would pay to use old stadiums like the Astrodome, Candlestick Park, the Metrodome, etc. Unfortunately, creating stadiums is a very long and intricate process so the juice is probably not worth the squeeze so to speak here.
    • Downloadable gear - Most Madden gamers expect all of the gear of their favorite players to be in the game by default and it should. They are representing the real world NFL. However, throwback neck rolls, spikes, helmets and facemasks, etc that you could use to deck out your created player or even use to change your existing team up could be huge as well. We've seen equipment like this work well in other games.
    Those are a start at least. This list isn't all encompassing of everything that could be done but the best part of it is, none of it is required. Users and leagues that did not want to purchase and use the DLC would not have to. Those that do could. And the benefit to franchise could be endless. There would be extra revenue added and incentive for EA to put more resources into Madden's franchise mode. Yes, they would come up with more ways to monetize CFM but, as long as it stayed optional, why not? CFM could only grow because of it. Without DLC, however, this endless cycle of minimal changes and constant disappointment will likely never change.

    What do you think about DLC in Madden's franchise mode? What other ways could they add DLC or other revenue generating options to CFM?
     
    #1 majesty95, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  2. Duv49ers

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    Create Head Coach game that bridges with Madden.
    For example, Head Coach would have all the off-season, draft, FA, franchise stuff. Create an game plan and download to Madden to play that game for the week.
    Could generate more $$$. And perhaps only need to update Head Coach game every 2 to 4 years?
     
  3. majesty95

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    Or update coach glass will that kind of stuff and charge for that! They can definitely do stuff to add revenue to CFM. They just got commit to it and do it.
     
  4. majesty95

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    The Sim Standard guys brought this up again on Thursday. To be clear, I am NOT saying add DLC to do anything to CFM at all. I'm talking about supplementing CFM with optional DLC. Those who choose to use it, cool, they bring new revenue to CFM that will hopefully speed up development of other things. Those who don't get to benefit from the added revenue with no detriment to their user experience.

    As far as the worry that CFM will then become 100% about driving revenue and everything will become an add on. FALSE. Those who think that about MUT haven't played the mode. You can 100% build up a 95+ OVR team with ZERO money spent. You can play solos and play online for free. In that regard, EA has done a good job of balancing their core users who want a depper experience for $60 and those who are willing to pay more to get more and to get ti faster.

    I think DLC in CFM is a win for everyone and a detriment to nobody. We all win and we all get a better, more fully featured CFM by adding revenue that can be used for development. As I mentioned, the previous three years have shown us we're not going to be super excited about CFM most years otherwise.
     
  5. georgiafan

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    Adding the option to Spend $ to improve Cfm is Better then nothing
     
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  6. RichFire956

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    I watched Sims podcast along with many others. The present/future of CFM has obviously been a hot topic. I wish I had the answers to fix the issues with CFM being pushed aside but as many have stated, the cash cow also known as MUT takes precedence over every other mode in the eyes of EA. Until the head honchos at EA can see a financial advantage/opportunity to be made in CFM it'll never change and will progressively get worse each year. The funny thing is most die-hard Madden players got their start by playing in CFM and continue playing in leagues to this day.
     
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  7. RichFire956

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    I'm one of those die-hard Madden gamers who got away from CFM because of MUT. I haven't hardly touched CFM in the last two years. However, with MUT I never got the interaction with other gamers like I did when playing in leagues. I miss that. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be playing MUT on 18 but I'm dedicating myself to CFM this year.
     
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  8. wyrmreaver

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    People whine and say they should have it all for $60..... then they play madden for literally hundreds of hours. This is entertainment, we pay $10 for a 2 hour movie in the theater, I think paying more for CFM features is smart for EA. It would motivate them to come up with new features that could earn them $$.

    Things I think they could monetize, even if only commissioners bought them and they applied to the whole league.

    Story players in drafts - When the story players first came out it was awesome, but the results of every story were predetermined. A DLC that added story players into random drafts at a rate of a few per season from a library of 100s or 1000s would be pretty awesome.

    Advanced Assistant Coaches - how about the assistant coaches make a greater impact on the development of players and on field performance. Keep the vanilla coach, scout trainer or pay more for the ability to hire OCs and DCs or the premium version with OCs, DCs, and position coaches.

    CFM companion app - they could charge a couple bucks, especially if the app had a corresponding website like in NCAA where you could complete everything except playing an actual game from your phone or computer, imagine being able to participate in the league draft from your phone when you are out of town or otherwise unable to be on console.

    Advanced Commissioner Controls - pay a fee for a hardcore league where the commissioner can suspend users or players for games, strip/award draft picks, negate trades, and throw out game results.

    Expanded relocation options - throwback uniforms are cool, but majesty95 outlined some hurdles there. How about paying a few bucks for a relocation enhancement that game you more options. More cities, more stadium designs, and more uniform designs in a partnership with one of the major apparel companies, including alternate uniform options for every team. Maybe even an online uniform creation tool like they had for NCAA so players could design their own uniform. Want to be the Bayou Gators from Shreveport with scale textured uniforms in green with black and red trim, this DLC makes it possible.

    I'm sure a room full of people would be able to come up with more of these options..... EA could offer more 'ultimate edition' packages at launch with expanded CFM features like they do now and even more expensive versions with the MUT and CFM enhancements.
     
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