After complaints about Madden’s fumble mechanic for years, EA has acknowledged that it might be an issue and is addressing “fumble chances.”
With every passing year, it seems that players become more disillusioned with the storied Madden NFL franchise, and even Madden NFL 23 is not exempt.
Inaccuracies in the gameplay and frustration over EA’s ongoing strategy to favor Ultimate Team over everything else have left players wanting for many years now.
One such instance is the in-game fumbling mechanic to see how rigidly Madden sticks to the actual gameplay it’s supposed to be mimicking. Players feel that it’s never accurate or comparable to how it’s played out in reality and EA may have decided enough is enough.
Madden NFL sacrifices realism for balance
In a game of American Football, a fumble occurs when the ball carrier loses possession of the football but doesn’t necessarily turn it over to the opposition team e.g running with the ball and losing it in a tackle or human error.
They do happen during NFL games, but not as regularly as they seem to take place in the simulated version of the sport.
During the recent Madden NFL 23 closed beta, players found that fumbles, QB fumbles, in particular, were too much and their frequency was greater than they should be.
EA has addressed this with the Closed Beta Feedback patch notes.
- Too Many Fumbles:
- Tuning to significantly reduce fumble chance on QB hits inside the pocket
- Tuning to significantly reduce fumble chance on QB hits while in the early portion of the throw
- Tuning to reduce fumbles by non-QB ball carriers on hit-sticks and strip-ball attempts
- Significant reduction to ‘punch-out’ fumbles by AI-controlled defenders during stand-up tackles on Competitive game style
A Reddit user recently tested out young Baltimore Ravens superstar Lamar Jackson and decided to run the ball with the QB precisely 176 times – the exact amount of times he ran with the ball in his 2019 MVP season.
During that season, Jackson only fumbled the ball 9 times, but in the study, Jackson fumbled the ball 31 times, which represents a fumble nearly every 6 runs made by the QB.
One user commented: “It seems that they increase the fumbling sliders for ALL QBs to “balance” the game out I guess? The problem is that they’re sacrificing realism for balance. QBs, especially QBs that are really good at running, simply don’t fumble this often at all. Whether or not this is a good move by EA in terms of balancing vs realism is up to the opinion of the community I think.”
Another fan was blunter: “It’s absolutely stupid game design. It’s unrealistic. It’s literally arcade-like. That’s not what EA claims itself to be. It’s especially irritating when they are making adjustments to sim gameplay due for competitive mode reasons.”
With Madden NFL 23 on the horizon, we are curious as ever to see how EA has handled other aspects of the latest title’s gameplay.