As you know by now, Madden NFL 12 launches on Tuesday, August 30. The massive roll-out will include the biggest Madden NFL release on mobile platforms to date. So, with all the excitement building around this EA SPORTS powerhouse, we sat down with the mobile game’s producer, Jeremy Gross, in our EA LA offices for an in-depth look at the biggest football game franchise on the App Store.
Fans are pretty excited about this title, what can you tell us about the newest Madden NFL experience?
There are several great new features. First off, the game looks fantastic. We’ve done a ton of work on animations and collisions so that they’re much better than they’ve ever been before – especially in areas like tackling. We have the biggest rosters we’ve ever had in the game, over 2,500 players. We also have the biggest playbooks we’ve ever had, unique to every team.
There are more players, more plays and more authenticity. If you’re a fan of the NFL, and you have a mobile device, this game’s for you.
How does the mobile experience differ from console?
Ultimately we are still making a Madden NFL game, so the most important thing is authenticity. We deliver on this for mobile – just like we do on every other platform.
The big thing for us was tailoring that Madden NFL experience for the mobile platform where we have touch screens and more casual fans. Some gamers want to just pick up and play. They might not have the chance to sit down for as long of a session. We save your game after every play, so even if you want to just hop in for a few minutes, and hop back out, you can continue wherever you left off and keep playing.
From a gameplay perspective, we have things like Action Control Time and Total Defensive Control, which allow you to play at your own pace and slow it down the action. This allows players to time their jukes or spin moves exactly how they want. We also make great use of the touchscreen with “Hot Routes Everywhere”. Simply use your finger on the screen to draw the passing route you want. This lets you draw plays on the fly – the way only a touchscreen can deliver.
Will hardcore Madden NFL fans be satisfied?
We’ve made sure to tailor the game for both the hardcore and the casual Madden NFL fan. You can call all your plays, draw up routes and manage the game the way you want. But, if you’re a fan of the NFL who’s more of a casual gamer, or one who might not know the difference between a 3-4, 4-3, or a nickel – we still have a game you can play. We have GameFlow, which will handle the play calling for you, using appropriate football AI logic. You can change it up yourself, and use things like Action Control Time to slow down the game. Or if you’d rather make all your moves in real-time, you can do that too.
The Origin integration in Madden NFL 12 offers some great features, want to talk more about that?
Origin is EA’s newest community feature, and it allows you to find other friends on Madden NFL 12. From there you can compete against them on the Leaderboards, and see each other’s achievements on the newsfeed.
Tell us more about Leaderboards and Achievements.
The NFL is all about fandom, right? Everyone has their team they support. So one of the ways we’ve let that play into the Madden NFL mobile community is through our team based leaderboards. Whoever your favorite team is, every time you play a game and win, you’ll earn some points on that leaderboard. So if you’re a big Packers fan, or a big Steelers fan, you can make sure that your team is the top team out there. It’s just another way to compete with other players in the community and to make sure that whoever your team is – they’re doing the best.
We have around 40 achievements in the game. Some are what you might expect, like “win the super bowl” or “have an undefeated season” but there are also some funny ones like “throw a 90 yard pass without scoring a TD” and some very involved ones like beating every single NFL team.Kind of a nice variety of things to keep you entertained. There’s even a GPS based achievement awarded for being geographically close to an NFL stadium. [NOTE: Origin will not be a launch feature on Android.]
We’ve heard great things about the gameplay on Android smartphones like the Motorola Droid X2. What can you tell us about that?
We’re really excited to bring Madden NFL 12 to the Android. It’s a great platform, it’s got a lot of users, and we’re delivering an extremely high quality Madden NFL game to the Android Market. People should be very excited about that. I think everyone will be pretty blown away when they see what we’ve done here.
Thanks for speaking with us, Jeremy.