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Playbook 3: Connected Franchise
By EA SPORTS May 19, 2013
Welcome to the latest and greatest career mode in Madden NFL 25, Connected Franchise. There are a lot of cool upgrades and new features this year, so let’s quickly hit the highlights.
BUILD YOUR EMPIRE
The biggest and most notable change in Connected Franchise is the introduction of Owner mode. Take control of your franchise and manage all aspects of the day-to-day operation of your team. Create yourself as an owner or take on the persona of one of the NFL’s 32 current head honchos. Hire and fire personnel, set prices on everything from parking to concessions, manage stadium upgrades or even build a new one if your current facility just isn’t cutting it. Or, if you’d prefer a truly fresh start for your team, you can relocate your franchise to a new city and try to build a new fanbase from scratch. This is the perfect mode for those who want ultimate control.
Owning a team and managing it well is going to be challenging, so check out Owner mode’s features in more detail. Learn more about managing your people, marketing your team, improving your cash flow and more, all in the name of creating a true juggernaut organization.
EXPEDITING THE PATH TO STARDOM
Last year in Connected Careers, Madden NFL 13 introduced the idea of XP and skill progression for players and coaches. This year, the logic has been tuned to help you upgrade faster and get on the field sooner. You’ll see a substantial boost in the amount of XP earned in both practice and during games, allowing you to upgrade your player or coach faster than ever. This year, if you enter a practice session but don’t achieve the set goal, you’ll still get a good chunk of XP just for completing the drill. The XP enhancements don’t apply to just your player, however. CPU players will also show bigger changes in progression or regression.
Another significant upgrade this year is that whenever you create a player or coach you’ll be able to see your overall rating and where you’ll factor into the depth chart (player only) before you commit to a team. This lets you put your created character in the ideal situation, either starting right off the bat or patiently sitting behind an established starter while you build up your ratings and try to earn your roster spot through old-fashioned hard work and practice. All the info is provided at a glance, and you can quickly scroll through all 32 teams and find your landing spot at each. On the first day of practice, you’ll know exactly where you are in the pecking order and how many other players stand between you and your shot at cracking the starting lineup.
EVERYTHING AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Connected Franchise sports a brand new user interface that makes navigation a breeze. Available actions are laid out in tiles on the home screen, making it simple to jump into a game, upgrade your player or coach, check out the league news and more. There are still separate tabs for the various actions for when you want to dig in at a bit more depth, but it’s nice to be able to take in everything at a glance.
Complementing the new menu is a revamped trade screen that allows players to easily see the trade block and the offers from other teams. The new interface makes it easy to see what’s on the table and allows for quick comparisons between offers.
On the topic of drafts and trades, Madden NFL 25 also features retuned logic for the draft, trades and free agency, which was another major topic of community discussion. The team has been able to account for fan feedback and adjust to ensure that all parties gain the greatest possible benefit from every transaction.
One of the best-received features of Madden NFL 13 was the ability to play as legendary players and coaches in Connected Career. This year, Randall Cunningham, Mike Ditka, William “Refrigerator” Perry and many more will be joining the ranks of the immortals. Cunningham was one of the first true running quarterbacks, a mantle he has passed down to the likes of Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III. Now fans can experience Cunningham’s blazing speed firsthand as an Eagle, Viking or on any other NFL team.
There’s a great deal of debate both within the EA SPORTS offices about whether Mike Ditka was a better player or coach, and Connected Franchise lets you decide for yourself. Madden NFL 25 includes both player and coach versions of Ditka, so you can have him lay the lumber on the field or demonstrate his prowess with a clipboard and a headset on the sidelines.
Also included this year is William “Refrigerator” Perry, a truly intimidating player. Football historians may know that not only did was The Fridge a fierce defensive end, but he actually also started his career at fullback. In Connected Franchise it’s up to you to decide if you want to utilize Perry’s brute strength coming out of the backfield or disrupting it.
In addition to the new players and coaches, there are also several new members of the media who will follow your progress and heap praise or scorn upon you via social media. Expect Peter Schrager to offer his unique insight into your performance, while Matthew Berry may chime in to encourage followers to pick up your player in their fantasy football leagues.
THE FEATURES YOU ASKED FOR
Madden NFL 25 also includes several fan-requested features, including full 32-team control, new commissioner tools, and a league transaction log. Also, fans of the NCAA Football franchise will be pleased to hear that they’ll be able to import their draft classes from NCAA Football 14 into Madden NFL 25.
We’ve just scratched the surface of what’s coming to Connected Franchise, and look forward to providing much more info in the coming days. Also, be sure to check out Part 2 of this extensive Playbook.
Madden NFL 25 will be available on Tuesday, August 27, for Xbox 360 and PS3, and fans can learn more at the Madden website. Pre-order today to receive exclusive Franchise Packs for your Connected Franchise and Madden Ultimate Team!