Madden 20 is just around the corner, and like all sports franchises there needs to be improvements from year to year. In Madden 19 we got an improved physics engine and post-touchdown celebrations as well as a reworked player development model in Franchise Mode and extra features in Ultimate Team.
EA Sports have announced that there will be “X-Factor” players in Madden 20, that can kick it up a notch when the pressure is on or their team is rolling, but outside of that fans will want to see more from the game. What would a perfect Madden 20 look like? These aren't options we expect EA Sports to put into this years game, but we can dream right?
Offensive & Defensive Coordinators
Madden playbooks are connected to head coaches, with the offensive and defensive coordinators ignored. We know that’s not how football really works. Offensive and defensive coordinators are vital to the scheme teams run as well as the playcalling on gameday. Introducing these coaches to Franchise Mode would add another level of realism to Madden 20. Imagine if the only way to change playbook or scheme was to fire a coordinator and hire a new one? What if certain coordinators gave your players a boost when they ran certain concepts or could give certain positions a permanent upgrade in certain stats? It would make Madden 20 a far more immersive, realistic, game.
While some head coaches like Sean Payton and Sean McVay act as their own offensive coordinators, there are plenty of talented and creative coordinators around the league that have an enormous impact on how their teams perform. Having those people in your ear helping with the gameplan and calling plays would make the "Coach Suggestions" plays far more useful in Franchise Mode.
Making this an option you can turn on or off would allow players freedom to call plays as they currently do, but for those that want a true NFL sim it would add a layer that has previously been missing from Madden games.
There was a time when your creativity wasn’t limited to what pre-set plays Madden had. All the way back in Madden 04 you could create a play, and even new formations, to truly unleash your own vision of what the NFL could be.
While creating completely new routes might be difficult for Madden's physics engine, there isn’t any reason why you couldn’t take a play and change one route, or keep the concept but change the formation. Why couldn't you run a bubble screen on one side of a spread formation but have deep posts on the back side? What about the beautiful play-action, TE wheel that the Patriots ran in Super Bowl LIII? While most players focus on offensive creativity and finding a handful of defensive plays that work, why couldn't you have players create a cover 6 with stunts up front?
The possibilities are endless when it comes to plays, so why not open the floor to players and allow them to become their own version of Kyle Shanahan or Vic Fangio. It used to be an option, but recent Madden's have only allowed you to add and subtract plays from the preset playbooks to create your own. Handing this power back to the players would turn Madden into true backyard football.
Improved Franchise Relocation
Franchise relocation has been ignored by Madden for a while now. The options to move, right down to the team names and uniform options, were lifted wholesale from Madden 18 and dropped into Madden 19 without change, which was extremely disappointing. The limit of a handful of cities is frustrating as Madden is played by gamers across the globe.
Why not allow players to relocate to Sydney, Tokyo, or Abu Dhabi? Why not allow their creativity to run wild with the uniform options or team names? The NFL is constantly looking for global expansion, so letting its wider fanbase feel more ownership of a team in Franchise Mode would be a great step forward.
One aspect of Franchise Mode that can frustrate more seasoned players and the armchair GM's is a lack of flexibility in contract negotiations. You can only start talking to players about a new deal when they are in their last year of their contract, which we know is not how the NFL really works.
More and more teams are making moves to lock players down to extensions when they have 18 months or more to go on their deals. Players are letting their intentions not to re-sign be known and forcing trades away from their current team.
Bringing in a more active contract renegotiation mechanic that allows you to front-load a deal to take advantage of cap space, back-load one when you have no space, or start negotiations early to give a superstar an immediate pay rise while locking him up for an extension would all be welcome to Madden players.
This would create more realism for those that crave it, but without making the game overly complicated if you simply keep the "normal" contract options available from Madden 19.
Madden 20 is coming out during the NFL's 100th season. This landmark was celebrated during the NFL Draft this year and will continue to be a key feature of the NFL's marketing this season. A tie-in with that which plays up the rich history of the NFL would be a fantastic new game mode that would be relatively easy to add into Madden 20.
Can you take over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI and stop the Patriots charge? Can you head up to Green Bay in December 1967 with the Cowboys and claim victory in the Ice Bowl? Can you recreate The Drive? The NFL has so many legendary moments, games, and situations to pick from that this could be a weekly challenge and they would still have plenty to put into Madden 21.
What is on your wishlist for Madden 20 and beyond? What would be in your perfect NFL game? Comment below and let us know!