A generation of people can tell how old they are by how many Madden video games they’ve seen in their lives, and that annual tradition won’t stop in 2017.
EA detailed Madden NFL 18: LongShot, FIFA 18, and NBA Live 18 during a media presentation prior to this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow in Los Angeles. Once again, these new sports games will update the rosters, improve the visuals (built on the same engine as DICE’s Battlefield games), and refine the gameplay. EA is also promising specific new features for each as the big reasons for dedicated fans to pick up the newest versions.
Madden will have a deep story mode — LongShot is more of a Telltale-like experience on how one prospect moved from high school to college and to the draft. FIFA will focus on Ronaldo’s abs (and expanding the narrative it introduced last year). NBA Live will introduce enhanced dribbling tech.
For EA, this is an opportunity to maintain the success of its lucrative Madden and FIFA franchises. Those games are regularly among the best sellers in the world with Madden doing well in the U.S. and FIFA dominating charts around the world.
The publisher would like to also get NBA Live to do the same kind of numbers, but the series has faltered in recent years. While 2K Games NBA 2K outsells most other releases for most of the year, NBA Live didn’t even hit consoles in 2016 because EA wanted to give the studio a year off to do something better in 2017. That came after NBA Live 16 disappointed with gameplay and visuals that felt and looked dated compared to 2K.