EA Sports has taken a lot of criticism recently for the failure to address Online Franchise in Madden NFL 12. Instead what they have done is introduce “Online Communities”. That feature was finally detailed today.
Madden NFL 12 will allow you and up to 2000 other like-minded gamers to create or join a Community where you can play head-to-head games against each other. All games will be ranked on your Community Leaderboard, individual stats will all be tracked and ranked, and recent game results will be displayed for your entire Community to see. What makes Communities different is that the creator of the Community will be able to create Community “house rules”. Every single game option and slider in Madden NFL 12 will be editable and will apply to all head-to-head games within your Community.
The idea of creating a new environment for ranked games to be played within is actually a welcome one. Over the years I’ve shied away from playing ranked games against random people and always hoped for record and stats to be tracked in unranked so this in a way takes care of that request. The lack of improvements to Online Franchise is going to direct some negativity at this feature from many regardless of its value.
In Madden NFL 12, you’ll be able to play Ranked Team Play from within your Community for the very first time. Instead of playing against members of your Community, you will be able to team up with members of your Community to play three vs. three games against other Communities. Since Communities can potentially have up to 2000 members, we gave each Community its own private lobby room where you can chat with your fellow members and of course gather your favorite Community teammates to take on other Communities.
Many have mentioned the addition of “Communities” a few weeks ago and the response was of overwhelming disinterest – at least compared to the idea of using the resources to improve Online Franchise. While EASHL is a raging success in NHL the ‘Team Play’ aspect of Madden hasn’t been as good a fit though maybe with the rankings and return to the traditional camera angle that could start to change.