Madden 23 may be one of the biggest steps forward for the franchise in years, and they've pulled a page from WWE 2K22 to do that.
Gameplay appears to have been the primary focus this year, and that's a strategy that could pay off for Madden 23 just like it did for WWE 2K22.
Madden 23 is taking a page from WWE 2K22 by going back to basics
We're just a few weeks out from the global release of Madden 23, and for many fans it undeniably feels like just another year and just another Madden.
The games have become formulaic to some fans, and many complain each year that consistent gameplay bugs and flaws remain through multiple installments.
PRE ORDER NOW: Secure your copy of Madden 23 before it arrives
When WWE 2K20 bombed due to a mass amount of bugs and glitches at launch, the company was forced to take a step back and cancel WWE 2K21.
During that extra time, developers at 2K Games used the opportunity to break their gameplay system down and present a completely rebuilt version in WWE 2K22.
That focus on core gameplay became the biggest driving factor in the success of WWE 2K22, though it was certainly supplemented by improvements in MyRISE and MyGM (Career & Franchise Modes).
While the game wasn't perfect, it was a massive step forward in terms of pure quality and polish than the previous installment had been.
It bought the WWE 2K franchise goodwill from critical fans for the first time in years largely because the gameplay held up, and Madden 23 has a chance to do the same.
'Polished' gameplay promised, but Madden 23 must deliver
In a recent interview, Senior Producer Clint Oldenburg and fellow producer Mike Mahar talked about the efforts they've put forth to deliver a cleaner product than fans have seen in years.
All of that started with actually listening to fans, but also knowing how to filter through both review and fan comments to see what the real problems actually are.
They admitted in the interview that some fans believed the franchise had become "too animation-based," something we took a closer look at here.
EA Tiburon has revamped much of that system for the introduction of FieldSENSE, and developers explained they believe the new system will be more "emergent, organic, and natural" for players.
As for cleaning things up, Oldenburg said that releasing a polished game was the "top priority" for them "especially from a gameplay perspective."
"We are very confident that our game for Madden 23 is going to be the most polished version of Madden that we've had in a long time," Oldenburg said. "What I'm not going to say is it's going to be perfect, but I am going to say that the team is still striving to reach perfection, as hard as that may be to reach. That is what our goal is. Polish is our top priority, and we know that we cannot reach our goals if our players believe that our game is a buggy experience."
As we've seen with other titles in the past like WWE 2K20, no amount of other fun content is going to matter of the core gameplay doesn't deliver.