Madden 21 could be the year we see a host of extra parts of gameplay that fans have been asking for.
After 2K Sports did a deal with the NFL to also make Football games, EA Sports will be looking to keep their edge.
Add to this the fact that Madden 21 will live partially on the next-gen consoles. The PS5 and Xbox Series X have incredible engines that will open up new complexities in the gameplay.
One of the most immersive aspects of watching an NFL game is the TV coverage. NFL players didn't like the news that Tony Romo is being paid millions to commentate on games, but it just goes to show how much that can make a difference to the experience. And Madden is no different.
Previous examples in 2K show the way
QUICK WIN: NFL 2k5 showed us it was easy to implement
Putting real TV broadcasters into games is a great way of increasing realism. In Sport's games, the pursuit is about matching real life as much as possible but with fun elements.
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Having a pre-game and half-time show showing the stats and key players heading into the game is a great option that can really improve the playing experience.
Clearly, it requires thinking and some depth so that the same edits don't get boring through repetition, but it also opens the door to doing live updates through the season and even selling advertising space the way real TV shows do.
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EA Sports already has a rich history of doing deals with broadcasters. NBA Live has links with ESPN, and the NHL games have deals with NBC.
It's clearly in place, and maybe this is something to do with the NFL - but there's definitely an opportunity for everyone involved to win.
Key features requested
Fans have been very vocal about what they want to see added to Madden 21 with regards to in-game presentation. Let's take a look at the most common talking points.
This could involve a weekly round up in Franchise Mode showing highlights from all the other games and showing an ESPN Top 10 plays.
Then before the game, a focus on the top players with some plays they have made and some analysis of performance season to date. Sure Madden 20 shows these on the loading screen, but an immersive experience aligned to a broadcaster would take it to another level.
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EA Sports' biggest rival in 2K sports has managed to do this brilliantly with Shaq, Ernie Johnson, and Kenny Smith on NBA 2k.
This should definitely be optional, but when something amazing happens in the game and you blink, you miss it.
As a player, you find yourself watching a replay, behind the play call screen trying to see what happened. Having things clipped up by the game and then shared within a league and have it played back in the form of a Top 10 highlights package presented by ESPN would be amazing!
Real TV Broadcast Integration
As mentioned, this is in nearly every other EA Sports title. From FIFA to NBA Live and NHL.
There have been subtle hints to links in the game but there's so much more EA Sports could do to increase the depth of the experience. This was one of the reasons some fans still think the NFL 2k5 game (the last that 2k Sports made) was better.