I have only been casually reading Madden 10 news. What I have seen does have me cautiously optimistic about the game. Last week IGN posted another interesting article about the game. Of particular interests: the game will run slower and there is a new premium DLC called Elite.
To kick things off, let’s talk about gameplay. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, this is the slowest moving Madden in quite a long time. I’m not talking about framerates, nor is this a knock of any kind on the game. Rather the overall speed has been reduced by 5% so it’s more in line with what we see from actual NFL players. This – believe it or not – has a huge impact on what happens on the field. I found that holes in the offensive line are easier to spot and hit, tacklers easier to juke, and the finite movements in animations that might have been lost in the frenetic pace of past games can now be seen in detail.
This is actually encouraging. Now for the cash cow …
It costs five bucks (400 points on XBL) and it unlocks what is essentially a VIP online world.
This exclusive club of sorts gets you into the Elite online community and you’ll get your own private lobbies and private leaderboards. Beyond that, EA Sports is planning on allowing for some sort of avenue for these hardcore fans to easily communicate with the Madden development team. Beyond that, Elite players will also be the only ones in the Madden online world that will be able to play a ranked match on the All-Madden difficulty setting. The standard ranked match difficulty setting of All-Pro will still be available, but these hardcore fans can take the game to the next level. As an added bonus, the players who pay for the DLC will have their online name colored in gold so everyone in the lobby will know when an elitist enters the room.
I wonder what percentage of Madden 10 owners will sign up for Elite status. What sort of badge of honor will this give online users? The dynamics of watching this play out will be a ton of fun. EA just found a cash cow and I bet we see this thing milked to no end in their other popular franchises.