Madden 24's Franchise Deep Dive MUST Deliver Or Risk Losing Players

The hype season for Madden 24 has begun, and things are looking remarkably positive. Last week's gameplay deep dive looked at a lot of player movement changes as well as some AI improvements that were heavily focused on the offense.

However, franchise mode players have been at odds with EA Sports for years now, and look set to have another pitched battle with the developers over Madden 24. With the core single-player mode going under the spotlight in the next deep dive that EA will give us, it's do-or-die time for EA if they want to retain a large part of their player base.

Franchsie mode frustrations

The community sentiment toward the Franchise mode has been negative for a long time now. The core experience of taking over an NFL team and leading them to glory through season after season of practice, drafting, cutting, and re-signing used to be the very centre of the Madden series.

Jalen Hurts throws a pass from a clean pocket in Madden 24
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Then along came Ultimate Team and its cash cow of pack purchases and the improvement and innovation for franchise mode ended. Small changes may come in every three or four years to placate the non-MUT players, but after nearly a decade of neglect these players are starting to bite back.

The mode's stagnant features, lack of depth, and repetitive gameplay experiences have led to repeated calls for players to stop buying Madden. The issue is that it's the only NFL game available, so in the end players have broken and bought the game to play the sport they love.

But that monopoly over the sport is about to end...

Rivals on the horizon

While EA holds exclusive rights to a simulation NFL game, there is some competition coming in the shape of Maximum Football and an NFL 2K title.

The NFL 2K title is going to be a licensed arcade game, while it could contain a career mode that uses no NFL licensing. Maximum Football is an indie title that is set to deliver a lot of the simulation-style football experience that Madden is lacking.

The 49ers defense makes a stop against the Dallas Cowboys in Madden 24
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sure, as a non-AAA game, Maximum Football won't have the graphics of Madden or any NFL teams and players. NFL 2K will have to take a step back from the real NFL season in some way to avoid legal issues with EA. But competition is coming. Both these games will get an audience from fans that have been frustrated with Madden and left behind by the Ultimate Team focus of that franchise.

Why Madden 24 matters

All of this makes Madden 24 vital. It's likely to be the last Madden game before the competition arrives. We're also getting into renewal territory for EA's license with the NFL.

We are halfway through the current license deal, which runs to May 2026, so both sides will already be thinking of numbers for the next deal. The NFL is likely to drastically raise their asking price, and if 2K is serious about getting back into the football world then the bidding war will only jack up the price.

Myles Garrett turns the corner in Madden 24 to attack Joe Burrow
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EA needs every player it can get for the next few Madden games to show strong sales numbers to the NFL. Any decline in sales could give the NFL motivation to move on from EA.

To make sure that happens they need to not only wow players in their upcoming franchise mode deep dive, but win back the trust of a group of players who they have long ignored and could lose to the impending rivals.

It's a big task but as one of those frustrated franchise mode players, I really hope they can do it.

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