No Demo Coming for Madden NFL 15

Posted August 11th, 2014 at 10:00 am


EA Sports today finally addressed the topic of an upcoming demo for Madden NFL 15 by telling Polygon there will be no demo at all. This is another in a line of traditional promotional steps that the company has deviated from with Madden 15 but certainly the one that will stand out above them all. 

The demo has become a staple for annual sports games as a way to demonstrate improvements year-to-year that can be difficult to communicate particularly as consumers have become more skeptical about marketing claims. The idea that a company wouldn’t want their game played early creates suspicion – just like how movies that don’t screen to reviewers are usually being hidden for a reason – that they’re preventing it to avoid poor word of mouth.

While MLB: The Show was the first to really start skipping demos (MLB 10 and 12-14 have not had one) that series had a level of credibility with the hardcore crowd that most other sports games lack. The only others that have bypassed them have been the likes of MLB 2K13, games that respective companies knew were bad and hoped to steal some sales by preventing as many people from discovering that until after buying.

In recent years Madden demos have gone out two or even three weeks in advance of release. That has projected a certain confidence in the product which will be lacking this year due to this news. It doesn’t mean that the improvements to the game won’t be valuable and justify another purchase for many. However it will be absolutely fair for people to question why they aren’t allowed to determine that for themselves.

It would seem unlikely a coincidence that the decision to pass on producing a demo follows on the heels of the recently announced EA Access program. With that they don’t have to use resources to create a separate demo and they can essentially have consumers pay to try a game early. That’s if they’re on Xbox One of course. PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PS3 owners are out of luck completely. It’s especially scary for those on the last-generation who may not even get to see a single video or screenshot or have any idea on the feature set before release but it’s less than ideal for everyone.

Unfortunately this could be the start of a shift away from demos and to EA Access for all of the company’s games. The demand for the subscription service could increase due to this news and put additional pressure on Sony to offer it as well. They claim to have nixed it due to a misplaced and hypocritical stance that it doesn’t offer proper value to consumers. EA still refuses to clarify exactly when Madden will go up on Access and what if any time limit there will be on playing it.

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  • ninnyjams

    No demo = no confidence in the product. We can talk about All Access all damn day if we want, but the fact is that people buy this slop regardless of the actual quality of the product. Not making an actual demo probably saves them quite a bit of money and the number of people who will cancel as a result of this news is probably less than the number of people who will cancel as a result of the next game being shitty.

  • angry nfl fan

    another reason to not buy.

    i hope ea goes bankrupt soon.

    • Khadeem

      This really disappointed me man.

  • Jason Lewon

    completely stupid decision

  • ninnyjams

    No, that logic doesn’t assume that. Because I’m not talking about MLB The Show. I’m talking about Madden. They’re totally different games in different situations with different release and demo release patterns.

    It’s absolutely hilarious that you think they’ve added too much for a demo to be conceivable. Every year they change the name of a few things, take out and put other things back in seemingly at random. This year literally looks no different.

    • Khadeem

      2 steps forward and 3 steps backward

    • Skihawks

      I am seeing fewer and fewer demos released especially on the new consoles. I think what EA is doing is going to become a norm. Video games cost tons of money to develop. If this means I have the OPTION to pay for a subscription to get access to the game early (the full game, not some fragment that I will be bored with after several play throughs because of no options or lack of team choices) then I believe that service has value.

      To assume EA doesn’t have confidence in Madden then you are disconnected. They have been live streaming this years Madden way more than I remember in years past. They have shared a ton if detail as well. When a developer or publisher lacks confidence just look at NBA Live 14. That game had zero love pre-release.

      • Jackson

        Agreed. Plus, people will post their observations on the game when they get it early through EA Access. I am optimistic about this year’s Madden, and already have it pre-ordered through the Best Buy deal where you get $35 off plus a $10 gift card if you trade in Madden 25 for X1 or PS4. Even if it really sucks, people will hear about it before August 26.

      • Keith.

        “To assume EA doesn’t have confidence in Madden then you are disconnected.”

        We can agree to disagree about how good (or mediocre) Madden looks on PS4/XBone. But to my knowledge none of us have seen anything for the PS3/360 versions of the game. That means there are a LOT of people out there who EA’s asking to buy Madden sight unseen. Hopefully a lot of ’em pass on that.

        • Iown You

          Exactly, Keith. It’s messed up that they haven’t even said ONE word, showed ONE video, or ONE screenshot of the PS3/360 versions.

          You and I are on new gen systems, but the majority of the public isn’t yet. What a disrespect by EA/Tiburon to the consumer base that put up with their horseshit for a damn decade.

        • bltzkrieg666

          If you haven’t made the jump to next gen consoles, then why would one follow your obviously biased advise. Madden is what Madden is. Love it Hate its never going to just blow anyone away. This is a franchise that has to release every year so you will never get all of what you want in a single year. Basically the game is a marginal improvement from year to year.

    • Jimmy Kraft

      I don’t think no demo means no confidence, that’s very black or white. I truly believe and I am by NO MEANS a fan of EA or Madden, that too much went into this cycle for them to put out a demo.

      Please don’t think I’m naive in thinking that just because they added stuff to the game, means they’ll be additions that work and are any good. The Madden team definitely need to make up for many years where we were misled, but this year gives me a smidgen of hope that they at least have it going in the right direction by focusing on defense, line play and QB inaccuracies.

      • ninnyjams

        It’s naive to think that the game has increased in scope in such a way as to make a demo unrealistic. Whether or not it’s as black and white as them having no confidence is a point that I admit can be argued.

  • MCJedi1

    Like it or not, it is what it is! Pasta, does this also mean that m15 won’t be available for digital download on the playstation network? I’ve already invested the money to buy it from PSN like I’ve done the past 2 seasons (including NCAA 14) because there’s very little lag when playing online. No matter, I’ll buy other games & movies. Looks like Madden’s 13/25 & NCAA 14 is it 4 me. I just don’t see the logic in upgrading consoles, if it ain’t broke….

    • M15 is already up for pre-order on PSN. It’ll also be downloadable days prior to release but won’t be activated until midnight of release day.

      • MCJedi1

        Not for the PS3….unless it was 2day! I was online all weekend (ncaa 14) I checked b4 and after playing, I didn’t see it!

      • MCJedi1

        I just checked, Madden 15 is not available for pre-order for the PS3

        • Ah I hadn’t looked on PS3, just PS4. I’ll see if I can find anything out about that.

  • Khadeem

    Speak 4 yourself bro. Im assuming most people would want a demo a product that they are potentially going to pay 60 dollars for. I know I would.

  • jr

    Doesn’t do anything for us on ps4

    • Jay (The Truth)

      Thank Sony and conflict of interest for that. They decided to decide for their millions of customers that EA Access wasn’t for them so they would rather pay into PS Now/PS+.

  • Skihawks

    Where did you get that piece of info? There is no time limit. What are people smoking?

    • It’s true. They can limit the early play time to as few as two hours. Now, that’s probably more for story-related games rather than sports games, but until they actually say what restrictions are on Madden people shouldn’t assume they’ll get a full five days with it.

      • Anthony Suriano

        I can see limiting a story mode game to 2 hours (Mass Effect, Dragon Age), so people won’t beat the game before it comes out. I can’t see them doing this with a sports game. What’s gonna happen, you’re in the 4th quarter, down 1, lining up for a game winning FG, and you get this pop up window saying “your time with this game is up”. That’d really piss people off and they may not buy it. They’ve locked MUT with Season Ticket, I guess so people wouldn’t have a stacked team before the game releases, and I can see that now. Anything’s possible, but if they limit a sports game to 2 hours, that’s really low.

        • Depends on their paranoia level, there are some at EA that believed there are consumers who would play a demo and be satisfied with that instead of buying the full game. Of course Season Ticket went against that, but they never actually promoted the service. Five days with the full product is a long time compared to a very limited demo.

          • Iown You

            There is some truth to that thinking. There was an NCAA or two where there were enough teams in the demo to satisfy me. I liked the game, but because I wasn’t a big college fan, I just stuck with the demo.

          • bltzkrieg666

            Remember the days when there were no demos? Nuff said. Its a non issue.

          • Iown You

            There have been demos since the disc-based era began. So in reality, most gamers can’t remember when there were no demos.

  • Skihawks

    JR. I agree. Sony made the decision not to offer Access which blows. I own both but I prefer Sony to my XBox One. I am as disappointed as anyone that there isn’t a demo. I was pumped to at least play a demo until the 21st.

    The 26th will be here soon enough.

    • bltzkrieg666

      We have become an impatient society. Everything has got to be Now Now Now. The game comes out before the real season starts. A lot of people will wait until the season starts before engaging in a lot of the game modes, so they will have the correct rosters. The game will be out soon enough.

  • Quay Boddie

    I have bought Madden 14 years straight. This year I not going to pay over $40. No demo did it for me because I have bought this game consistently and the past 5 or so years or longer haven’t been all that great. I really wanted this game but wanted to play it 1st and see the improvements hands on. I tried of just buying the game because it’s Madden.

  • YevinOrion

    So is Season Ticket still a thing? What happens if you’re a Season Ticket holder and not an EA Access member? Or a Season Ticket holder on PS4?

    • Season Ticket is dead.

      • YevinOrion

        Ah ok. I’m guessing any current Season Ticket memberships will conveniently expire 3 days before Madden 15 releases…

        • smill37

          no, season ticket subscriptions are being sold until march of 2015 and all subscriptions will expire in april of 2016

          • They’re refused comment on it every time I’ve tried to get information. And the website doesn’t list any of the upcoming games as coming to Season Ticket. Just curious where you found this info?

          • smill37


            EA SPORTS Season Ticket is for our biggest and most loyal fans who can’t wait for EA SPORTS games to hit shelves each year. The benefits for EA SPORTS Season Ticket for this year include:

            Early Access to Madden NFL 15, NHL 15, and FIFA 15.

            24 Weeks of Ultimate Team Packs

            20% discount on additional DLC

            How long does my membership last?

            12 consecutive months starting on the day you subscribe. We will stop selling Season Ticket Subscriptions in March of 2015, and then all Season Ticket benefits will expire in March, 2016.

          • Thanks. Must be recent since I checked the Season Ticket page not long ago. They removed it and now direct it to that page.

          • OD


            How long does my membership last?

            12 consecutive months starting on the day you subscribe. We will stop selling Season Ticket Subscriptions in March of 2015, and then all Season Ticket benefits will expire in March, 2016.

            Also, it states 3 day earl access for madden, FIFA and nhl 15.

            With this, I don’t see how ea access could limit time less than 3 days provided with season ticket.

            My question, can you pay for ea access for 1 month starting say Aug 21, to max madden, and then also get nhl early, then cancel? Would = 2.50 rental for 5 days for those two games. That you can’t beat

    • Season Ticket is dead.

  • awesomeMo

    Easiest decision I have ever had to make thanks to this. No buy.

  • Jackson

    Are you going to pass on 2k if they don’t have a demo too? If not, you are just being hypocritical especially since Madden has released hours of gameplay footage.

  • Sloth

    Unfortunately this makes it a no buy for me, I think demos are very important to gauge whether a sports game is going to play the way I want it to. I have bought at least 3 EA sports games over the years based on my experience with the demo, but if I don’t have an opportunity to test it I won’t be shelling out the money.

  • pobilo

    No demo=No buy. I need to see the changes first hand with Madden. I still remember when they said sideline catches were finally fixed, about 3 years in a row. Or when they said no look interceptions were fixed, that QBs would have varied accuracy and stats would finally matter, or when we got a locomotion system. . .and then another one 2 years later that broke the run game. Hell I remember when I tried the madden 25 demo and there were freaking invisible people running around on the field. I think that glitch is going on 3 years old now.

    You know who can get by on faith, EA? Honest people who do good work and do it consistently. People who don’t lie about what they’ve done, people who you can look in the eye when they say they’ve fixed something and know it is actually fixed. People who aren’t you, EA.

  • Amazin4ever

    What really annoys me is they wait the day before the demo would normally drop to announce that there isn’t going to be a demo this year. They knew damn well they weren’t going to do a demo a while ago. Demo’s aren’t made overnight. Stop toying with our emotions EA and be transparent. Keep it 100%. Due to you buying out your competition, you can do whatever you want and most people will still get your product because there is nothing else. Smart move for your business. Too bad the fans are the ones suffering!

  • jr

    So what gets said if the next top game we all are looking forward to doesn’t have its own demo? These same people bashing EA better not praise the other.

  • MCJedi1

    My Season Ticket subscription expires August 19th. I had it set on auto to update (PSN) just cancelled it. Call it a business decision. I’m sick of doing business with Electronic Arts.

  • Shade71

    Well on xbox one you can pay $5 to play the full game five days before release. The same $5 gives you 10% off the digital version of the game should you decide to buy it. Yes you can get a month of ea early access for $5, or pay $30 for a year. Its a great deal for us xbox one owners. Too bad sony refused to let the ps4 owners have the option.