Madden 21: First Franchise mode update slated for mid-November

EA Sports
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The first of three planned updates for Madden 21’s franchise mode will focus on four big features.

EA is making good on their promise to improve franchise mode in Madden 21. In the latest Gridiron Notes, the developer revealed there will be three post-launch updates focused on franchise, the first of which is being targeted for a mid-November release.

As previously detailed, the updates will address community requests for the long-ignored franchise mode, including things like improved player progression and regression, better AI personnel management and trade logic, authentic playoff brackets, and more. The first update will focus on four key features: X-Factor/Superstar Ability Customization, player card career stats UI, dev trait regression tuning, and the playoff bracket.

"X-Factor/Superstar Ability Customization: This highly requested feature by the community allows commissioners to assign X-Factors to any player via the edit player feature. Once a player has met the criteria to unlock an X-Factor ability, commissioners will be able to edit their player’s Superstar abilities and Superstar X-Factor ability by selecting from those available within his position group. Users will have control over this functionality in both offline and online Franchises."

X-Factor/Superstar abilities are relatively new in the Madden franchise. They were introduced in Madden 20 as a way to help set the league’s most elite players apart from the rest. But only a handful of select players possess these special abilities. Giving commissioners the ability to assign these abilities to any player in the game not only allows a more creative aspect for franchise but can also help leagues stay more up-to-date with what’s going on in the real world. For instance, if a player is having a really good year, commissioners will now be able to edit him to reflect his elite performance.

The Player Card Career Stats User Interface is also getting a much-needed update. The goal is to provide more context for the stats, broken down by week, opponent and outcome. The UI will also show what team the player was on for every year of their career. Franchise players love their stats — it’s part of the fun of playing multi-year seasons. This has been long overdue.

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Player development and tuning in franchise mode have always been out of whack. The first update will “ensure a proper balance of Superstar and X-Factor players when progressing multiple years in a Franchise.”

The fourth and final update planned is a visual playoff bracket that will reflect the new Wild Card format that was formalized this offseason. This offseason, NFL owners voted to expand the playoff field to 14 teams. Each conference will now have seven playoff teams, three of which are wild card teams. Only the No. 1 seed gets a first-round bye with the other six wild card teams playing during the wild card weekend.

Next. Madden 21: Best HB, WR and TE to trade for in Franchise Mode. dark

Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg for what EA has planned for Madden‘s franchise mode. EA didn’t go into detail as to what the remaining two updates planned for Madden 21 will focus on but they’ve got a whole list of community-requested features.

Of course, not all of these will make it into Madden 21 as there’s only so much the developer can do now that the game has released. It sounds like the bulk of the changes and improvements will really be felt in Madden 21, including coaching and staff management, scouting improvements, team chemistry systems, scenario engine enhancements, relocation/rebranding assets, and more.