EA responds to fan feedback after expanding beta

Madden NFL 23 will be available to EA Play subscribers across multiple platforms (PS4, PS5, XB1, XB Series S/X, Google Stadia, and PC) on August 16, but globally on August 19 . Ahead of the launch, EA launched and expanded the closed beta to gather feedback on the pre-retail version to showcase the stakes for a possible launch.

Earlier this week, EA released their findings and responses to feedback gathered during the closed beta.according to EA’s Grill Notes, gamers don’t want to see the final version “dramatically” change from beta in a “coverage/reaction time” fashion. This reply was shared 670 times.

Here’s EA’s response:

“The number one feedback thread we’ve received! Rest assured, Madden community, our vision for game balance is aligned with yours, and the gameplay you experience in closed beta is the game you’ll be playing on launch day. Already based on player feedback Polishes and bug fixes have been made to make it better, but the overall experience will be the same as if you were playing in closed beta.”

The beta’s gameplay, while very similar in some core aspects to what we’ve come to expect from Madden, does feel more refined and organic. More die-hard fans, however, might appreciate the level of reaction to defense when passing the ball.

Fans asked the referee to return to the action in the game from a visual perspective. According to EA: “While referees returning to the field during live games is not what we’re able to offer in Madden 23, it’s something we want as bad as our players; we want to make sure that being a referee does When they return, they return with the same visual quality as other characters on the field; refs are very important in our roadmap going forward.”

As a Madden gamer throughout my career, I have never missed or appreciated the presence of officials on the field. I can imagine a slight boost in visual realism, but from a presentation standpoint, it’s not high on my list of things to add. Still, nearly 300 people voted to add virtual zebras to the game.

According to EA, various tweaks will be made to balance the gameplay ahead of launch. “Insta-shed” was a problem, and it felt like an excessive pass during testing.

EA has adjusted the line of offense and defense in hopes of creating a more realistic situation for quarterbacks who often struggle with their digital lives during testing.

Also, some tweaks have been made to reduce the number of failures. Four focused fixes have been implemented to address this issue.

  • Tweaked to significantly reduce chance of misses on QB hits in pockets
  • Tweaked to significantly reduce miss chance for QB hits in the early stages of the throw
  • Tweaks to reduce non-QB ball handler errors on batting and dribbling attempts
  • AI-controlled defenders experience significantly less “punch” errors during competitive play-style stand-up tackles

These sound like great approaches, but I’ve never liked the concept of balancing running quarterbacks by having them fumble an unrealistic number of times. Fatigue and/or injury is a real counterweight in the NFL, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be in Madden.

In Ultimate Team, injuries won’t matter as much because there’s a ton of online play going on in the crazy universe. For franchise mode games, it’s more of a balance. However, a fatigue system that forces a frequently scrambled QB to make substitutions or seriously impact the game seems more realistic than having them fumble on shots that don’t usually lead to potential turnovers.

According to Gridiron Notes, EA added 27 new keystroke animations to the game’s launch, which should add some needed variety to this fan-favorite part of the game.

The franchise model has seen several balances affecting free agency, the draft and other areas. The communication and sense of community are encouraging, but we’ll have to wait less than two weeks to find out if the release results reflect efforts to deliver the best Madden experience.

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