Madden 20: Do recent server issues suggest the end of franchise mode?
Recent issues have created a rift between EA & their audience, one that is only likely to deepen.
Ultimate Team is the golden goose for EA.
It has been this way for a while now thanks to micro-transactions that keep the cash flowing to the EA coffers long after the release of their major sports franchises.
While FIFA 20 saw the introduction of VOLTA this year, Madden players that love the journey of building a team up have not seen truly fresh content for years.
There have been some small tweaks to the way player progression is done, but by and large franchise mode has been the same as it’s always been no matter how many suggestion threads are started on Reddit.
the server maintenance issues of the last week have crippled Connected Franchise Mode (CFM), where players can join the same league and compete directly with one another for the Super Bowl.
Some communities connect players from around the world to play and have filled out a full 32 users, and the portion of Madden players that primarily use some sort of Franchise Mode is not a small one.
However, EA have locked players out, off and on, from their franchises for nearly 2 weeks and given the lack of clarity or updates the community is once again feeling unwanted and uncared for.
A distraction from MUT and making money
The chaos of the last two weeks for players has not been met, at least publicly, with much care from EA. There have been a few public statements but no apology.
The seeming lack of interest from EA has let to anger from some of Madden’s most devoted players.
Given the rapid rate at which fresh cards, challenges, and seasons are rolled out across MUT and the remarkable server stability the games have it is not hard to see what EA’s Madden team prioritizes, and the speculation is that franchise mode players may only be experiencing the start of the pain.
Madden 20 was meant to be re-committing to Franchise Mode this year, but changes have been extremely superficial. Underneath it is still the same old mode that players are used to, while MUT sees endless updates and even has the new Superstar KO mode.
From a financial perspective, Madden makes nothing with Franchise Mode, while Ultimate Team has resulted in a massive boost to recent earnings.
If MUT was down or unstable for two weeks or more then you can bet heads would roll.
The lack of care and thought that goes into Franchise Mode, along with the lack of revenue it creates, suggests that the game mode is only there thanks to pre-MUT tradition.
What is a core mode for a lot of players is considered a minor one for the developers, and that is never a good place to be.
As the next gen consoles get closer we are unlikely to see any major changes for Madden 21, but by Madden 22 Franchise Mode, or at least CFM, could be dropped completely as EA’s micro-transaction business model takes further hold of the game’s resources.
It would be a massive blow to users, and almost certainly a major mistake for the publisher, but it is one that you sense is coming given the way November has played out so far for Franchise Mode users.