Madden 22 is nearing a release date in the coming months, and anticipation is higher than ever to see how EA Sports addresses Franchise Mode this year.
With the first teaser in the books and reveal season finally underway, expectations are sky high to see if Madden 22 Franchise Mode will finally #FixMaddenFranchise.
#FixMaddenFranchise is about to be tested
The #FixMaddenFranchise movement was one of the most powerful in gaming, as evidenced by the fact that EA Sports actually listened and was willing to respond.
Not only did EA Sports acknowledge the movement, but they actually responded to the fan outcry and have expressed a commitment to improving Franchise Mode moving forward.
Madden 21 already made upgrades post-launch to trade logic and added League History, but that was far from enough to truly move fan sentiment about Franchise Mode.
More and more, fans are willing to grab copies of old Madden and NCAA Football video games in order to enjoy things like the Franchise Modes of old, and this may be the last shot for Madden 22 to win some of those fans back to the current installments of the series.
Custom Create-A-Team options are an absolute must
As of now, you can technically customize your team in Madden 21 Franchise Mode, but it's only doable through a team relocation process that has to be played out within the game mode.
Even if you succeed in relocating your team, you're stuck picking from pre-determined cities, team names, and logos, with the only truly customizable choices being uniforms and stadium.
Even those customization options are still limited, and Madden 22 is in desperate need of making things properly customizable at the start of a new Franchise.
Being able to choose your team name, location, colors, and logo feels like a bare minimum request, and even including that with a batch of pre-determined logos to choose from would be a major improvement.
Most importantly, those customization options need to be available the moment you start a Franchise, rather than having to pick a team to play as temporarily as you try and force the game to let you customize things.
Coordinators are a good sign, but there needs to be more
So far, the biggest piece of information we've gotten about Madden 22 has been through an intentional leak where they left a screen up during a Madden 21 Franchise Update.
The screen clearly seen behind Sean Graddy in the video shows a Staff Management screen with both offensive and defensive coordinators, confirming the return of this feature to Madden 22.
However, more needs to be done, with a particular focus needed to update the scouting system and improve that aspect of Franchise Mode.
Fans have also requested lots of presentation and quality of life improvements over the years, or even something groundbreaking like an online co-op Franchise Mode where each gamers plays as a different player on the field.
Promises made for Madden 22 need to be kept
Part of the reason expectations are so high right now is that EA Sports has acknowledged and directly addressed this issue.
In an update regarding Franchise Mode that went live before Madden 21 had even been released, they made the following promises for Madden 22:
"For Madden NFL 22 it is still very early. We are at the very beginning of the planning and pre-production of next year’s product. That said, we’ve been actively discussing some of the areas we’d like to focus on, stemming from your feedback and player engagement. Here are few of the areas, while not fully committed yet, we are exploring creatively:
- Coaching and staff management
- Scouting improvements
- New scenario engine enhancements
- New team chemistry system
- Commissioner Tools improvements
- MORE CONTENT - Examples: Relocation/Branding Assets for Franchise - New uniforms, names, and logos to relocation options for more variety and depth in deeper careers.
Plus other key additions that we’ll reveal as we get deeper into the year for Madden NFL 22 development season."
The good news is that some of the things we've mentioned here were on their agenda, but only the final product will show us whether they actually delivered on each.
Franchise Mode doesn't need to be perfect in Madden 22, and fans could be persuaded to see how they continue to upgrade things post-launch with updates and eventually with Madden 23 and future games.
However, that trust needs to be earned by significant upgrades when Madden 22 launches, and it'll be clear fairly quickly whether fans deem their improvements to be good enough.