When online co-op was delivered last year, with two users able to connect together and face the CPU, that was intended somewhat as a bridge to an Online Team Play mode that was to come. That will be delivered in Madden 11 as Gamestop has posted a listing of features which includes the mention of 3v3 Online Team Play. This is likely what is being referred to in the trailer as what will “reinvent the way you play football online”.
With Madden 10 I posted impressions on the online co-op mode where I predicted this very development for Madden 11 and went over issues with the mode that hopefully will have been ironed out for this year. 3-on-3 Team Play makes the most sense for a football game. On defense everyone tends to have a different position they enjoy controlling, or can adapt to several, but on offense most users will want to control the skill positions. This leaves the QB, RB, and WR as the most likely to be taken over. I could see 4-on-4 working well down the line also.
As opposed to other games where Team Play has been successful with every individual user controlled like FIFA, NHL, and NBA Live, it is good to see it capped at this number for now. What you don’t want are games filling up and then people dropping out in the middle of them. The more users to get involved also leads to more difficult arranging games and ultimately more potential for trouble in terms of disconnects and lag or those who could look to ruin the experience for others.
There does need to be something that will attach users to the mode and keep them coming back to it, whether that be on an individual level like tracking of lifetime stats even down to particular positions and lifetime game results or a more team based solution like the EA Sports Hockey League. If the Online Team Play in Madden ends up being just one-off games the mode won’t have lasting appeal.
What are your thoughts on the addition of 3v3 Online Team Play? Leave them in the comments and make sure to follow all the Madden 11 news from the last 24 hours at the Madden Draft Day News Tracker.