The Ultimate Team mode of Madden (as well as its incarnations in EA Sports' NHL, and FIFA franchises) hits a few different sweet spots with gamers and sports fans alike. It satisfies that collectible itch inherent in sports cards, challenges your GM abilities like Franchise mode, and draws from the appeal of Fantasy Football.

We talked to EA's associate producer Donny Moore, who walked us through some of the mode's additions.


Moore said that trades were the number-one-requested feature from fans, and 1-for-1 card swaps are now available for MUT 12. No multi-card trades, cards+coins trades, or gifting, however. Moore said the team considered multiple-card trades, but said it wasn't done for competitive reasons. "We really have to be sure there's a measure of dependability, and exploits are always something we have to be aware of." To filter out spam, users can set up perimeters, so you'll only get the offers for the cards (positions, players, ratings, etc.) you want.

Legendary Pack:

This is a new pack type for Madden 12 that consists of Ultimate Pack cards and the chance – not the guarantee – of getting your hands on 13 NFL legends:

  • Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice, Gale Sayers, Marcus Allen, Dan Marino, Rod Woodson, Lawrence Taylor, Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Shaun Alexander, Eric Dickerson, and Eddie George

There will be multiple versions of each legend that reflects them at various stages of their career with different teams. Moore wouldn't put a number as to what chance you'll have of getting your hands on one of these legends, but he did say they are the rarest in the mode. Also, because these legends are...legends, the overall value of all the other cards has been lowered slightly in deference.


The game will ship with approximately 50 on the disc, and they are of a similar ilk as last year, such as collecting all the cards of one team, all the AFC hed coaches, etc. However, to reflect the expanded rosters in the game, each team collection will now feature 45-50 players. Of course, there are also new reward cards given upon the completion of each collection. EA Tiburon will also continue to make new collections available post-launch.

Madden NFL 12 Hall of Fame Collector's Edition Platinum Pack:

Those of you who buy the Hall of Fame Collector's Edition will get an exclusive pack of 13 custom-designed Panini (formerly known as the Donruss Trading Card Company) Ultimate Team cards featuring former Madden cover athletes (sans Madden Curses, probably) and Hall of Fame Players:

  • Michael Vick, Larry Fitzgerald, Eddie George, Ray Lewis, Shaun Alexander, Vince Young, Marshall Faulk, Drew Brees, Donovan McNabb, Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice, Rod Woodson, and Troy Polamalu.


  • New pack odds and card weights. Plus, all pack types (bronze, silver, etc.) now have a chance at drawing a great player.
  • New user interface that replicates the tab system from Madden NFL 11.
  • No continuation of UT decks from last year, but you'll get a better starter pack than someone who didn't play as much as you, based on the number of coins you've earned. 
  • Moore says that EA Sports wants to tweak its promotions this year (like Ultimate weekends where the chances of getting a good card were increased) so they're not as strong so early. Moore says that last year too many people were instantly getting strong packs off of just a few weekends. In general, getting a supreme team will be harder.
  • No browser-based team management. Yet.
  • Moore says that the team is also looking into ways to get people to stop quitting games, but I get the feeling that there are no easy answers on this front.
  • The Madden NFL 12 demo will feature a way to win three Ultimate Team Cards, and there are also ways to get cards through various pre-order campaigns, including via GameStop (Game Informer's parent company) and EA's own download portal. Also look for other ways to get cards/packs after the game's release on August 30.

Here's a look at the trade option screen. Also be sure to check out the video below.