After breaking the significant news last Sunday that several high-level development team members are leaving the Madden NFL team a few days were given out of courtesy to see if any of the individuals would make their own personal announcements. When that didn’t happen it was important to reveal that creative director Ian Cummings, who had essentially become the face of the franchise over the last three years, was one of those on the way out.
Today was Ian Cummings’ last day at EA Sports and he has posted a quick blog announcing the move. It includes mentions of Madden 12 having improved Franchise and Superstar modes and that presentation has received an “overhaul”.
Though certainly Cummings has received a lot of flack from the community for a product that hasn’t lived up to expectations those frustrations have often been misdirected. He deserves credit for pushing the game to become more authentic and more of a sim despite some levels of resistance and restraints being faced. He will also be remembered for his level of interaction and accessibility (which the company discouraged years ago) and implementing ideas and improvements from the community that ultimately improved the game. There still is no dev team that comes even close to that level of interaction.
EA hasn’t really done much since the news broke to quell the uncertainty and negativity that has been running rampant as of late towards Madden 12 and the future. A few off-screen images haven’t changed the discussion and the company appears content just waiting it out and hoping that the final rounds of the cover tournament and release of info and media (expected the week of the NFL Draft) will put the story behind them and the concerns to rest.