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Madden NFL 11 Adds Online Scouting

by Matt Bertz on Jun 01, 2010 at 12:15 PM

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One of the many features hardcore football fans loved NFL 2K5 was the VIP system, which tracked player tendencies and gave you a quick scouting report on your opponent before an online match. According to ESPN, EA Tiburon is adding a similar feature in Madden NFL 11.

If you need an edge during an online match, you can purchase a scouting report that breaks down your opponent's run vs. pass tendencies, which direction he or she prefers to run, favored passing zones, and his or her top receiving targets.

"Online scouting tracks all of your play-calling and what you like to do in different situations," producer Donny Moore told ESPN. "We're tracking every online game that you play: online ranked, unranked, and Madden Ultimate Team head-to-head."

This will be a welcome addition for hardcore gamers looking for a deeper online experience. But unlike the VIP system in NFL 2K5, it may cost you money.

"Scouting is a consumable, so you earn coins in every online game that you play as long as you don't quit or disconnect." said producer Phil Frazier. "You can then spend these coins on scouting reports or other things within the game (gamers will also be able to use real money to buy coin packs or scouting packs, but the prices are not final). It's the same economy that drives Madden Ultimate Team. So you can literally be playing Madden Ultimate Team online, earn some coins, then turn around and either buy a pack of cards or a scouting pack."

Perhaps anticipating blowback for tying the scouting reports to the game's economy, Frazier also pointed out this isn't meant to be a money-making operation for EA.

You're earning these coins by playing Madden online, so this isn't a money-grab for us, he said. "This is about building up your online skills. We're trying to provide a competitive advantage and we're presenting it to you in a way that's authentic to the sport of football."

If you're being scouted, the game will notify you with a red banner across the top of the scoreboard banner. Players can also scout themselves to understand what information an opponent is likely basing his or her decision on. Given the array of information the system gives you to peruse, the scouting seems to philosophically oppose the new GameFlow system, which EA claims cuts down the time players spend navigating playbooks and greatly speeds up the game. It will be interesting to see if to average time spent per game will come down, stay the same, or go up.

Does this sound like a feature you plan on using?

[via ESPN]