Madden NFL 18 releases worldwide on August 25th, 2017, and, outside of the early teaser trailer, there hasn’t been any official gameplay released.
The internet is abuzz with Madden fans, and haters alike lamenting the fact that no official Madden gameplay has been released to the public. Yes, we saw a few videos that were leaked from E3, but those were off-screen and certainly should only be taken at face value. We know it’s an older build and you can’t really tell much from people playing the game who pretty obviously didn’t know exactly what they were doing.
We have been told by Madden NFL 18 Creative Director, Rex Dickson that official gameplay videos will be released sometime between mid to late July. He also stated that the marketing team wanted to lead with Longshot mode. It’s probably a sound decision since that is your main back of the box feature this year. But this still doesn’t explain the large gap from the Longshot reveal to the apparent timing of gameplay being released. While those anxiously awaiting to judge gameplay improvement with their own eyes are left to wonder why the sudden shift in marketing?
This is not unheard of. The NBA 2K series along with the WWE 2K series have been notorious for holding back gameplay for a while now. Last year 2K didn’t really show much in the way of gameplay until around a month before launch. It seems this is the new direction the publishers of our favorite sports games are taking.
Just this past Spring, MLB The Show 17 didn’t show raw gameplay until about a month before release. So it looks like the marketing team at EA is taking this new approach with Madden. While this frustrates many gamers, This could be a good strategy if done right. Showing raw gameplay is always a risk. Every single video will be scrutinized and dissected by every sports gamer on YouTube. EA runs the risk of their product being shown in a bad light, no matter how much they assure us the game will play better at launch.
Most of us should know by now that Madden is Madden. Yet every year a group of people seem to be surprised the game doesn’t look completely different. Which once again could portray EA and Madden in a bad light. Starting the hype train too early can lead to the engine running out of gas for many reasons. By showing gameplay in mid to late July EA then ramps up the excitement and only has to keep it going for about a month instead of trying to reignite it ahead of release. This also probably saves EA money.
When you look at things objectively, which is sometimes hard to do for Madden fans, including myself, it makes sense for EA to fall inline with the other sports game publishers and keep the meat and potatoes of the game as close to the vest for as long as they can. Building hype for a month is much easier than building hype for two or three months. by the time the hype train starts to run out of gas it’s already pulling into the station. Once we have taken in all the gameplay and blogs EA plans to release it will be time to buy the game. And the new marketing strategy will most likely have paid off.
So to answer the question, no. The lack of gameplay is not a red flag. It’s simply a new marketing strategy that EA and many other publishers have come to follow. Whether this will reflect in sales or not will be an interesting topic to discuss around this time next year.
Madden NFL 18 will be available on August 25th for PS4 And Xbox One, and will come in two editions; Standard Edition for $59.99 and the G.O.A.T. Edition, for $79.99.