Madden Next-Gen to be Fully Featured; EA Didn’t Push DRM to Console Manufacturers

Posted June 12th, 2013 at 9:15 am


Time to clean up on some of the other news to break since the start of E3 which includes word from Cam Weber that Madden NFL 25 on Xbox One and PS4 will be fully featured and EA denying having placed any pressure on Microsoft or Sony to institute severe DRM restrictions and reiterating they got rid of the Online Pass for unrelated reasons. 

It was confirmed to me yesterday that the next-gen version of Madden NFL 25 would be fully featured unlike the attempt made at the last console transition with Madden 06. Weber later talked about that being the case in an IGN video showcasing the next-gen version.

This doesn’t come as a surprise – EA has essentially promised the same in the past – but hearing it now and in definitive fashion is reassuring. It’s unclear whether One/PS4 will have identical basic feature sets (next-gen obviously has extra stuff related to the Ignite engine) however it’s safe to now expect the big things like the complete Connected Franchise across all the systems. A tweet to a fan from Anthony Stevenson even suggests that the new Owner mode will make its way over.

In an interview with Polygon, EA COO Peter Moore discussed the concept of console DRM and the scrapping of the Online Pass.

“As the guy who is the chief operating officer of Electronic Arts I can tell you that EA did not aggressively lobby for the platform holders to put some gating function in there to allow or disallow used games. I am on record as being a proponent of used games. I like the ecosystem. I like the fact that it’s kept pricing at a good level for eight years. I like the fact that someone can buy a physical game and see some equity in that game.”

In an interview with Eurogamer, executive vice president of EA Games Patrick Soderlund was even more direct on the topic stating “we don’t have a problem with second-hand sales as they are today. We clearly articulated our stance when we abandoned Online Pass.”

It’s important to monitor statements from EA in the coming months to see if they plan to put something in place (new form of an Online Pass?) on the PS4 in order to try and reduce the value of second hand copies to make them comparable to what will be locked in for the Xbox One.

EA would have serious trouble instituting something restrictive on the PS4 along the lines of an Online Pass after dropping it back in May with their explanation that it wasn’t working for consumers and how they listened to their feedback. Moore and others in the company are now going on record that the plan on their end has not been to limit consumer rights so changing course on that would damage credibility for a company that can’t afford any more of that.

The potential problem then becomes consumer confusion as the company (and other third parties) will have two versions of the same game that could be handled completely differently. In the case of EA Sports the Xbox One titles will get some exclusive content but the PS4 will provide the ability to buy used copies and/or freely sell the games later and won’t require consistent online check-ins to function.

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  • renaissance247

    New Owner Mode? Don’t they mean the old yet epic Owner Mode? Or is it different? Which would suck, because the previous Owner Mode was perfect the way it was.

  • Tazdevil20

    If you believe one word out of Peter Moore’s mouth I’ll gladly let you know that I have a spectacular bridge to sell you.

  • Chiryder

    After spending the last three years with the XBOX 360. I am soooooo looking forward to the PS4!

    • MoneyMayweather

      PS4 is garbo only hipsters get it. xbox one is for hardcore sports gamers

      • Hardcore sports gamers don’t want MLB? And they don’t want freedom over owning their copies of games and the ability to buy them used if they decide to do so?

  • Arrowe76

    There’s something important to note here: the new restrictions only automatically applies to games published by Microsoft. Third party publishers (like EA Sports) pretty much gets to decide what restrictions they want to apply to their used games. If a publisher doesn’t have any DRM on Sony, they’re extremely unlikely to install one on Microsoft.

    • That’s not exactly right. You’ll still be required to do an online check-in on the Xbox One regardless. You also wouldn’t have full freedom to sell games regardless – you’d only be able to “trade” them in at authorized retailers and they’ll control the credit you get for them. And there is no ability to buy used games either you’d have to buy new.

      • Arrowe76

        I’m basing myself on that quote: “Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers. Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends.”
        It seems to me that 3rd party publishers have a lot of freedom, or am I misreading this?

        • Weekend Roady

          I think in general, whether a third party allows it or not, the game must go through an authorized re-seller. Also, this quote doesn’t specify what is a “friend” under these rules. Is it a 30-day friend… Can publishers waive the “only one share” requirement for 30-day friends? I’m having a tough time forming sentences with all the ridiculous policies. Why anyone would want to bother with all this confusion and limitation for $100 more is beyond me.

  • HeatFan93

    Should I buy Madden 25 or NBA 2k14 on the PS4?

  • TurdalPower

    This company has done nothing but make mediocre (at best) products during this past generation of consoles. I don’t really even know what more needs to be said. They should write the book on nickel and diming customers while putting out inferior products.

    • Skihawks

      FIFA, NHL and Battlefield are far from mediocre.

      • TurdalPower

        NHL has been sub-par for a few years now

  • Keith.

    There are a LOT of people who buy NCAA each year knowing they can play it for a month and then trade it in for $30 towards Madden. For me, I’ll usually buy NBA2k in October and trade it in for $20-$25 towards The Show in March, since I’m not a huge NBA fan. I’ll typically hold onto my copy of The Show until the next one is coming out, but even then, $3-$8 is better than the nothing I’d get for it sitting in my entertainment cabinet. Just my 2 cents.

  • Jack

    Isn’t too systems a bit excessive? It might be better for you to go outside and play some real sports every once in a while…


  • Weekend Roady

    I like how Microsoft tried to defend the DRM stance today by basically admitting that they feel they can reel in the average consumer that doesn’t pay attention to gaming news. Read it – it sounds very much like that.

    Microsoft wants to force you into an age of digital gaming and take away the freedoms we’ve enjoyed for most of the 40-year history of gaming. Borrowing, Renting, Re-Selling, Collecting – heck, the console even working 10-20 years in the future, whatever – that’s all put at risk if consumers give into the Microsoft strategy.

    I wasn’t even that tempted to jump right into the next-gen right away, but I preordered a PS4 just to take a stand against this crap. I won’t even touch the Xbox One now.

    • Iown You

      New name:

      XBOX Done.

  • Chiryder

    …such as? Now keep in mind you said improvements. Meaning not improvements over Madden ’13 where they took the traditional Franchise Mode out. But, improvements on the original Owner Mode.
    I want to hear what improvements they made…not just that they took it out…and put it back in.

  • Keith.

    Don’t forget that Don Mattrick was formerly with EA, and that Peter Moore was formerly with Microsoft. I’ve seen speculation of both being named the next CEO at EA. Just my opinion, but I believe those connections have EA and MS in bed together a lot more than they’d have you believe.

  • OldSchoolgamer

    I’ll b curious to see the reaction from hard core Madden fans when they play this title. It was obvious at E3, and admitted by a developer there, that most thought it played like 2k football, I certainly did, and don’t think that’s a bad thing.
    It really looked like a slightly polished version of 2k8 with pro teams, and real HD graphics. While its clearly progress, it felt like we could of seen this level of improvement years ago, on current gen hardwear .

    • Mark Britten

      I’d rather it play like 2k5 than 2k8 personally, but some people did prefer 2k8

  • Chuck

    There is talk of special codes for active duty military.

  • DMeehan

    Am I the only one for some reason that just doesn’t like playstation? Even though they are allowing used games I just can’t see myself buying the system. Which could very well just mean I’m a prime example of a fanboy

    • What is it you don’t like? I mean, I’m advocating for PS4, and I’ve always been an Xbox guy and wish I could continue to support them. All things being equal I would have.

      • DMeehan

        I really don’t know, mostly because all my friends have xbox, it originally was bevause of the whole hacked network but that was years ago. However I really do like the multimedia features on the one