The lights are on
Ten years ago, in Madden NFL 04 (with Michael Vick on the
cover!), the series introduced an Owner's option to its Franchise mode. This
let you adjust ticket prices, relocate your team if necessary, and get into
other down-and-dirty aspects of your franchise. Unfortunately, the mode has not
appeared in the current-gen versions of the series – until now. Madden NFL 25
re-introduces the owner concept and integrates it into last year's Connected
Being an owner is now part of the player and coach
backstories in the newly named Connected Franchises mode (and is therefore tied
to online play, milestones, a Legacy score, and all the other aspects of the
mode). Although you won't spend XP on yourself as an owner, you'll play the
games like normal and you can spend XP on your players and the coach as if you
were a hands-on Jerry Jones or Al Davis type (XP can also be applied automatically
like last year). Owners will spend money on hiring a coach, scouts, and a
trainer. Coaches' levels have been stretched out to 40, and both your coach and
scouts will have an impact on how much XP you earn and make different skill packages
easier to buy. Trainers will naturally prevent injuries and reduce down time.
Owners make money via their stadiums, the product on the
field, and fans' expectations and happiness surrounding both the team and its
Away from the dollars and cents part of being an owner,
managing expectations is key. The game contains a fan happiness system that
takes into account the team, the staff, the stadium, merchandise, and overall
expectations. This system feeds into your revenue. Thus, there won't be a hard
line where you fail if you don't make the playoffs if you're trying to rebound
from a 4-12 season. You can do your part in managing or hyping expectations
through media statements that feed into the game's front page media section. Talking
about your QB, for example, won't affect that person's performance, but it
could eventually make a difference to your bottom line if your statements turn
out to be true of false.
Owner's mode isn't the only new thing going for this year's
franchise mode. Also included are a handful of changes designed to restore some
of the functionality of previous games.
Elsewhere in the game, a variety of aspects have been
tweaked, including the XP and overall progression of players in Connected
Franchise, your Legacy score, the Milestones, and the logic for trades and free
agents. The latter is particularly good to hear given that last year's game
assigned specific schemes that players played in. While it was cool to know
that a particular player was better suited to zone coverage, for instance, it
didn't always seem to jive with how free agency shook out.
Overall, the mode's UI will be reworked in order to avoid
the confusion and randomness of last year's interface, which threw everything
together somewhat haphazardly. Now you'll actually go to the Transaction Log to
see if you've signed a player in free agency, and the front page news center
will acknowledge which stage of the offseason your in. As far as particular
weeks in the offseason, developer EA Tiburon hasn't added anything new, such as
specifically calling out college pro days or the scouting combine.
Check out the gameplay details on Madden 25, including its
new movement system, in our previous preview.
Also be sure to see more Owner's mode details in the screenshot gallery below.
Madden NFL 25 hits the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on August
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Finally owner mode is back in Franchise mode.