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Madden Creative Director Mike Young Leaves EA Sports

The man who brought “Longshot” to the Madden NFL franchise has left EA Sports.

Mike Young, Creative Director on Madden since 2011, is now the Chief Creative Officer of Sun Machine Games. No official announcements have been made, but Young updated his LinkedIn page to reflect the new position. You can also find his blurb on Sun Machine’s About Us page as well.

Young, best known for bringing the first ever story mode to Madden, served as an EA employee since 2002. He began as the Art Director for NBA Street Homecourt on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 before making the jump to Madden in 2007.

In the decade that followed, Young grew from Art Director, to Senior Narrative Design Director, to Creative Director of EA’s flagship football franchise. Now it appears he’s leaving the sports gaming space for a new chapter.

Canada-based Sun Machine Games describes itself as a “leading developer of original video games,” that’s “responsible for numerous best-selling and award-winning titles.” The company’s debut GO BIG! feat. Godzilla vs. Kong is an action mobile game built on the blockbuster film Godzilla vs. Kong.

Young’s Legacy on the Madden Series

For better or worse, Young’s work on “Longshot” still affects Madden games to this day. Over the years, “Longshot” and its sequel served as the building blocks for EA to bring a career mode back to its popular football sim. Prior to that, Madden 12 was the last title to have a narrative-based career mode with Superstar mode. Though that narrative was much looser and allowed the player to follow their own path.

It remains to be seen what Young’s defection from EA Sports could mean for others in the company. There’s increasing speculation that Madden‘s developers are frustrated with the direction the game is going in from up top.

For nearly a decade now, the Madden franchise has stagnated in almost every facet. Perhaps Young’s move to greener pastures will allow him the creative freedom he’d been seeking from Electronic Arts.

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