Madden NFL 16 Primer: Why 'Draft Champions' Matters

Madden 15 Franchise Making it Easier to Groom Stars

Madden 15 is hoping to provide a better experience... system.
Madden 15 is hoping to provide a better experience... system.

Madden 15 Connected Franchise Mode has seen little news so far in the Madden NFL hype cycle, however a brief feature leak from GameStop has given us insight into one very important change.

If there was one big, core gameplay issue that franchise mode has struggled with in recent years, it’s the difficulty of backup players to gain enough experience to develop. Owners were often put in an extreme situation upon drafting a prospect, where they had to decide whether to start them right away, or watch them wither away on their bench in time.

The problem, it seems, was that experience was gained primarily through playing time and achieving certain statistical expectations in games. Of course, as everyone knows, even the best rookies don’t always have the best ratings, making it tough to play them right away while still achieving franchise success.

According to GameStop’s brief feature leak (see the bottom of the page), Madden 15 CFM will be tweaking the way experience is earned by letting owners develop players individually between games, with Game Prep. I’ve highlighted the primary point of GP in the feature description from GameStop below.

GameStop Leaks Madden NFL 15 CFM Feature

“Interact and build your team with more control in Game Prep all-new to CFM. Want to develop your backup QB? Between matchups, spend extra time on him each week to earn training points without having to force him into the real games before he is ready. Also new in CFM is the Confidence rating system. Build your teams’ confidence through performance and front office transactions. Balance keeping player’s confidence up, to increase abilities and build player XP.”

Lets put aside the interesting choice of the words “training points” for just a moment, and focus in on what we expect to be the core meaning of this feature.

EA’s Madden NFL franchise development team, headed up still (I believe) by Josh Looman, has been making tweaks to how experience points are awarded ever since the backup-vs-starter dilemma has emerged, however it’s clear an overhauled and more individualized approach to developing players was needed. In order to more accurately represent the progression of young stars that simply need extra grooming and attention in practice, something like Game Prep was probably inevitable.

It wasn’t an uncommon scenario in Madden 25 and previous editions to draft the “best available player” at a position, despite the fact that you were fairly strong at the position grouping, and end up wasting your pick just a few short years down the line as the player devolved into something much less than he otherwise could have been. Right when it would have been perfect for a young, developing star to step in and claim a role a few years down the line, previous Madden games made this an almost futile task that practically required you to draft a replacement and repeat the process all over again.

The Depth of ‘Game Prep’ Still Unclear

We already know that Skills Trainer will play a part in Madden 15’s practice mode for franchise, however it’s unclear whether or not the enhanced Skills Trainer is in itself being called Game Prep for franchise, or if there are actual individual drills apart from it that were hand-crafted for use in developing players in franchise.

I’ve also received recent questions about whether or not Gauntlet mode will be available from within franchise mode considering its connection to Skills Trainer, but that too is unclear as of this moment.

With all the Madden 15 ratings info flying around, as well as Madden Ultimate Team details finally emerging, it should only be a matter of time until we hear more about franchise mode. Whether or not we will learn about the Madden 15 demo or Madden 15 franchise first, however, is anyone’s guess at this point, but info surrounding both has been a hot issue in recent weeks.

What do you think of 'Game Prep' in Madden NFL 15?

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  • GoMadden

    This is one of those things that, depending on how it’s been done, probably won’t generate a ton of interest but it’s a very important fix in the game. This has been sorely needed. Whether or not people get hyped about it, though, will come down to how they built the feature.

  • P.T.

    personally,from a commish stand point , ive not really saw where this was even an issue that needed attention to be honest. I have seen NUMEROUS players drafted that wasnt all that great, but end up great players for their teams and very productive in madden.Honestly i already felt it was too easy to turn a player into a star from draft in about two season. Even if they didnt play in a game, if you just did your practice each week , you could get them 2k points each week. Thats 32 k in points per season , in two season they woulda racked up 64,000 points. Unless they just started off horrible like 50 overall, you coulda turn about any player into a star like that. Just pump that xp into the right attribute according to their position and need.
    I for one , and rather let down by this , that they wasted time working on something like this instead of other fixes. We need a friggin mobile app/website that has , at least for the commish , ALL the options of things he can do on the game , on the mobile app or website. I mean come on EA , its 2014, time to catch up with the times. I ,as a commish, should be able to do anything i can do on the game as a commish , on their website or a mobile app. I do not see a need to help dev rookies faster. The xp system to me is already over done IMO. To me its too easy to take about any player and make something out of him.
    As far as extra practice, i still make a call for this feature i want to see. Bring back communities, let us link our leagues ( along with league rosters ) to the communities we make ,and let us play games ( like lobby games , except in our communities) with the teams we have built and players we have built . To really be able to practice with them and see who fits best where.Not to mention just the fact of getting more time playing with my team. That to me , woulda been much more welcome over this “new “/rehashed old feature. They best have some really good stuff for CFM to be holding out this long on the info is all i know, or alot of guys are gonna be extremely pissed off! Online CFMs account for a huge portion of madden sales.If they only made a small stride like this feature that got leaked as its biggest “achievement” , all i can say for EA is , be ready for alot of backlash. Guys playing on next gen consoles gave them some slack on m25 ,but having a full year now on this madden , they wont be so kind . i hope that they really have some great news up their sleeve for CFM, or people will see them holding this info back so long as another bad sign of EA’s not willing to really change much .Which is the opposite thing they need to be doing. So i wont pass judgement till i hear all their CFM news, but im making the statement, its gonna be ugly if they dont have some great things to tell us that they have done for it .

  • Yungin2blessed

    Really they need to add the way you play as a player. The camera and new controls are fine but rather you are a high draft late draft or undrafted free agent could use some change. Maybe you can add the combine back like the old maddens and let their workouts do the talking for their ratings. I don’t like the fact that I can pick some get to a 90 Ovr in one season if you don’t good at the position all the time. For example I would pick a QB and sometimes I just abuse the fact that the game doesn’t care that I throw interceptions trying to get an unreal 1,000+ passing yards. Although they made it harder to score on the defense in madden 15, I just feel like it is too easy to become the best at your position even though I intentionally throw the deep ball hoping my best receiver gets one on one coverage. I like where they are going with this years madden but P.T. is right. If we waited so long for a little tweak in the xp side of CFM this is going to be another disappointing year. Last year on next Gen we could not import NCAA 14 draft classes, I don’t know about anyone else but NCAA football was bought for the simple fact that I can play with a team that has my prospects on there that I created to be up for grabs in a draft online or in a solo Connected Franchise. Also I am going to iterate that they need to bring back the EA Gameface, I been waiting to see what Gameface looks like on Madden. I seen it on UFC but I haven’t bought it yet because of the things they still remain unfixed in the game. EA I been ripped off by you so many times, from the lawsuit claim they put out a couple years ago until the point where we were unable to get a $9.99 upgrade to next gen madden if you already purchased Madden 25 on the PS3. So I am really hoping yaw live up to expectations this year.

    • P.T.

      i agree with u bro, i want to not only see Gameface come back , but also make it useful, the reason more peps didnt use it was , it wasnt useful in an online league, the ONLY person who could see you gameface in the game , was you . None of your friends in your league could see your face on the coach on the sidelines, heck it wouldnt even show a person on the online website for leagues ,it was just a black shadow figure. I want to see that brought back and put in the game the right way. I want to see my friends face on the coach on the sideline when i play him in our online leagues. They best really have some good news for CFM, holding out this long, you better come with a royal flush , or peps gonna look at you like, i have lost ALL faith in you.

  • Alex Toupal

    The only thing I wanted from Madden if is CUSTOM DRAFT CLASSES!!!!

    • GoMadden

      I think that would be a lot harder for people to create than it seems. I mean you’re talking about hundreds of players you have to individually create, right? I can only imagine a handful of people doing that.

      Unless you mean the ability to customize draft classes, as in insert your own players, make changes to existing players, etc. That would be pretty neat!

      • Alex Toupal

        The same as NBA 2k. It gives you that years draft class at the beggining of the year, but then you go in and edit all the players you want. Granted it makes scouting pointless, but I would much rather have real draft classes, that deal with that dreadful scouting system they have in madden.

  • Daniel Dunbar

    I need to know if Superstar mode is going to be better than what they gave us on Madden 25…

  • Legacy Harrison

    I jus want ea to fix draft classes,and make offseason tasks and upgrades shorter!

  • Legacy Harrison

    Actually,when i think about madden 13 and then 25 I can honestly ignore these unguru like ratings,and ea milking 3 weeks out of ratings!What I’m most interested in is ea’s notorious new game 2-4 months of glitches and waiting on patches,etc to fully enjoy what I buy from them.battlefield,madden 25,etc consistently glitches,froze,reset or cut off in the middle of games,erased my data,etc,etc..I’m hoping and praying that ea has its shit together and puts out a quality,smooth running product this year!Also I hope that’s there’s no dumb ideas like on madden 13 where ea decided that it’s best to attempt to make everyone an online gamer in order to enjoy the Essense and true value of madden(the offline multiplayer franchise with fam and friends!just like Saturday and Sunday night football games you don’t attend the fellas,wife,kids,In laws come over and we get it In.i don’t want to play online but once in a blue moon,I hate online franchise and that one game a week nonsense and waiting on others,quiting games,etc etc..I like madden my way,the way it’s always been since madden first dropped “offline multiplayer franchise”!thats why me and the other 10 friends skipped madden 13 and were please they returned the most important feature and disappoints that it still remained that if you buy an Ea game you’re in for months of glitches and problems before you can enjoy it!!!so damn the ratings that’s already turned me off,I hope they have then true product in order and what they’ve announced as features that it’s delivered!