The Reason Why Madden Isn't On PC
The last Madden to appear on PC was Madden 08, which was quite some time ago. Given the popularity of the sport and the number of PCs out there, it's surprising that the franchise has been AWOL on the platform. We asked Cam Weber and Matt Bilbey, both vice presidents and general managers at EA Tiburon (Madden's developer) and EA Canada, respectively on the topic in a recent Sports Desk interview.
Are we going to see more EA Sports titles on PC?
Bilbey: PC is literally based on demand. There's still the high demand for FIFA on the PC globally because of the global appetite for the game. I think that's less so with Madden, but I think if that changes and an opportunity presents itself, I think we would definitely leverage the opportunity.
Weber: Yeah, I think with Madden in particular, it used to be a good business, and then it declined and the economics just didn't make sense anymore. Then the compounding problem is that I guess in the last four or five years...as we get away from PC development, it becomes more and more difficult to get back to it. We're open to it; it's just a matter of when's the right time and when does the opportunity make sense.
Bilbey: I think part of the vision you've heard about aligning on [the Frostbite engine] as a company makes that a lot easier going forward, because Frostbite is a very core PC engine that has the ability to move across consoles, up and down.
With Madden set to use the Frostbite engine in the future (FIFA is making the jump this year) hopefully we'll see the franchise re-emerge on the platform. Having said that, it's disappointing that this hasn't happened already given that titles for this generation of home consoles are developed on PCs in the first place and this uniformity is a hallmark of this round of systems.
For more from Bilbey and Weber on a range of topics, including more on Frostbite, bringing back NCAA and Fight Night, and other questions, check out the full interview at the latest installment of The Sports Desk.
Back when Electronic Arts unveiled the Ignite engine at the beginning of this console generation, the company told us it developed Ignite on PCs first, so it's curious that EA thinks there's been so little value in releasing Madden titles on PC. I wonder if EA's use of its own PC platform, Origin, over the more popular Steam, is hampering the company's perspective.