When EA released info about Madden NFL 21's Franchise Mode yesterday, the backlash on social media was swift. Fans and journalists criticized what they perceived to be merely patch notes, quickly following with a "fixmaddenfranchise" tag on Twitter.
The wave of criticism seems to have caught the attention of Madden 21's development team, as it is swiftly moving to address the accusations that EA no longer cares about Franchise Mode. Earlier today, executive producer Seann Graddy appeared in what looked like a hastily produced video designed to assuage fan frustrations.
Graddy says that the team has seen the "Fix Franchise" hashtag, and that EA understands fan frustration. He reiterated that the Franchise community is "criticially important" to EA, and pledged further communication going forward.
Graddy also promised that the team was working to improve Franchise Mode in Madden 21 and beyond. "We've seen your request for details around what the Franchise community can expect moving forward," he says, "and while I don't have a lot of details I can share with you right now, I can tell you that, today, our team is actively working on bolstering plans to support Franchise in Madden 21 and beyond."
Graddy didn't elaborate on whether "bolstering" meant fast tracking features that previously hadn't been planned for Madden 21. USgamer reached out to clarification and will provide updates accordingly.
Fan frustration over Madden's Franchise Mode has been building for several years now. I've written more than once about the need to improve on elements like Owner Mode, which has been a sore spot going back to Madden 25. Fans have also commented on the somewhat sterile nature of the presentation and the lack of realistic contract mechanics, among other issues.
This isn't the first time EA has promised to recommit to Franchise Mode amid fan complaints, but previous pledges have generally resulted in cosmetic fixes rather than large-scale overhauls. Instead, the bulk of Tiburon's efforts seem to be going to Face of the Franchise, a mode dedicated to replicating the experience of being a fresh draft pick in the NFL.
Tiburon is currently in the process of rolling out the feature set for the current version of Madden 21, but has remained largely quite about the next-gen update due later. A beta is slated to kick off this weekend, and I'll be playing it, so I'll have more thoughts on Monday.
Madden 21 is set to release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on August 28.