Upcoming Madden NFL 13 Patch a Big Step Forward for EA Sports

Posted October 8th, 2012 at 6:45 pm

An expansive mid-October patch has become the norm for the Madden NFL series but EA Sports generated a hugely positive reaction when details rolled out on the latest for Madden NFL 13. Due out on October 16 the patch will deliver numerous new features and address some issues that have been reported since the game released.

For Madden it is an extraordinary update and one that should bode well for the future. Going above and beyond puts pressure on themselves to continue to do so while also showing consumers that more can be done with their other products, as well as other companies with theirs, in the area of support and added value. 

Much of the uproar from a select vocal group of dissenters centered on particular features that had been left out of Connected Careers mode in the transition from standard Franchise mode to something much more intensive and creative. Fantasy Drafts, player editing, custom rosters, Coach mode, and offline co-op will have been added to Madden NFL 13 in the six weeks since release which is unprecedented. Generally features aren’t added through patches, with rare exceptions in the past, as they are more centered on fixing pressing issues rather than expanding on what is already available.

There will of course be some sentiment out there that these features should have been in the game at launch. Ultimately though not everything that is desired will ever make it into a sports title no matter how good it is. That EA decided to provide these features immediately, rather than hold them for next year, is admirable.

Regardless of the wave of positive response regarding the patch the vast majority will never identify such a drastic update as being noteworthy. Most consumers aren’t aware of patch details and even those that are would rarely be influenced to purchase a game because of one. While there will be plenty of people taking advantage of the new features very few would have been waiting for such an announcement just to buy the game.

This patch isn’t going to affect sales of Madden NFL 13 and it isn’t going to change any review scores. Typically those are the short term goals that a sports game publisher considers and here EA is taking a different approach. They’re hoping to improve consumer relations and build good word of mouth that will carry into next year and beyond. The company promised better post-release support and have fulfilled that so far and cementing some trust is a worthwhile goal that could pay dividends later.¬†Whether Madden NFL 13 met, exceeded, or failed to reach expectations there is reason to be encouraged by the way the series is now being handled.