Saturday, 25 May 2024

Breaking Ground in Madden’s Franchise Mode


Fans of Madden’s franchise mode have long been anticipating improvements to their beloved game feature. While the latest updates do bring some enhancements, it is clear that the mode’s core structure remains largely untouched. In order to truly make progress, EA must consider revamping the simulation engine that lies at the heart of Madden’s franchise mode.

The Significance of the Sim Engine

A franchise mode is all about the behind-the-scenes intricacies of the NFL teams’ front offices. As such, the simulation engine plays a crucial role in generating everything from free agency and the draft to the league’s statistics. Regrettably, this is an area where the series has consistently fallen short.

The AI governing the actions of other teams often makes questionable decisions, making even underperforming teams seem like strategic geniuses. Here are a few examples:

  • The AI can be easily tricked into making unwise trades, being easily swayed by players in positions of need.
  • It struggles with drafting correctly since it fails to project growth or develop current players. This often results in unnecessary quarterback selections in subsequent drafts.
  • The AI tends to select players in positions not typically prioritized in the early and middle rounds of the draft. This flawed decision-making perpetuates itself as the AI mistakenly believes there is a scarcity of these players.
  • Negotiating contracts with AI-controlled players is straightforward due to their lack of market value awareness.
  • The simulation engine often fails to accurately track player stats throughout the season, leading to skewed narratives and league-wide inconsistencies.

These examples showcase how the game falls short in delivering a realistic and evolving franchise mode experience. What is the point of introducing new features like the Scenario Engine, which provides players’ opinions, if the game cannot handle the subsequent consequences? There have been instances where players complain about their lack of involvement, despite impressive performances in the following games.

Struggles of the Draft

EA Tiburon, the developer behind Madden, could opt to completely overhaul the draft process, introducing flashy videos and player narratives. However, if the AI fails to initiate trades in the first round, which is a common occurrence, the drama and significance of the entire event are lost. This fundamental disconnect between the mode’s design and its execution has frustrated fans year after year. It is not merely a matter of untapped potential or unfulfilled promises, but rather the active hindrance of progress.

Looking Towards the Future

Perhaps the next generation of Madden games will bring about a new era for the franchise mode, offering improved simulation logic. Until then, this mode will remain plagued by its own shortcomings, unable to break free from the shackles of its mistakes.


Q: Will future updates fix the issues with Madden’s franchise mode?
A: The hope is that future updates and the next generation of Madden games will address the shortcomings of the franchise mode. However, it remains to be seen whether these changes will live up to fans’ expectations.

Q: Are there any other game modes in Madden that offer a more immersive experience?
A: While the franchise mode may have its limitations, other modes such as Ultimate Team and Face of the Franchise offer unique and engaging gameplay experiences.

Q: Can I still enjoy Madden’s franchise mode despite its flaws?
A: Absolutely! Despite its imperfections, the franchise mode still provides hours of entertainment and the opportunity to build your own NFL dynasty. The key is to approach it with an understanding of its limitations.


Madden’s franchise mode has long been a fan-favorite, offering an immersive experience of managing an NFL team. However, the mode’s potential for greatness has been hindered by the persistent flaws in its simulation engine. By addressing these shortcomings and delivering on the promises of a realistic and evolving franchise mode, EA can truly elevate the Madden experience for fans. Until then, players will have to navigate the mode’s imperfections while enjoying the game’s unique charm and excitement.