Madden 21 Gets Its Third and Final Franchise Update

Madden 21 Gets Its Third and Final Franchise Update

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Madden annually takes criticism from the franchise community for a perceived lack of improvements, so the team has set out to make some bigger strides with Madden 21's post-launch support. The third such update is now available.

In this Franchise Deep Dive 3 update, it's trading that has gone under the spotlight, with the Tiburon team seeking to improve trade logic and deliver more pertinent information to all potential trade partners. 

The real-world NFL has been undergoing changes in its culture lately. Once a league that rarely saw big-name players change teams via trade, that's not really been the case anymore with players like Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, and more having recently been traded. Even Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson have been linked to various trade rumors this offseason. New Madden trade logic is intended to reflect that, with teams somewhat more willing to part with their major franchise players.

In short, big-name players in Madden are now more likely to be dealt via CPU deals if you offer them, but the prices will still be steep. It's just that previously, the CPU would shut down any such offers. That's no longer the case. Perhaps most fascinating, the CPU has been given better logic regarding the various pieces in an offer. 

From the patch notes: "Added logic for CPU teams to be able to recognize context around when a player is actually an upgrade when acquiring a player that is not a starter on their current team but would be for the new team. Allows CPU teams to better recognize when a lower quality caliber player is circumstantially starting. Rather than a 73 OVR getting the same base value for being CB1 as a player like Stephon Gilmore would."

In short, this means the game better understands that when a CPU team needs a CB1, for example, the price for an elite talent or a spot starter thrust into the lineup should not be the same. Apparently, before the game misread such drastically different circumstances. Teams will also more rightly value great players even when they aren't scheme fits for the would-be new team rostering them.

Better logic has also been applied to trades involving draft picks, whereby more picks after an initial draft pick in an offer would suffer worthiness penalties simply because they are additive to a previous pick offered. This has been removed as it was cited as unrealistic. Players in the first year of their deals and rookies have also had their values retuned behind the scenes.

In a video from Madden executive producer Sean Graddy, the developer confirms this is the third and final franchise mode update for Madden 21 but promises the mode will to continue to be a focal point of the game's live-service into Madden 22 and beyond.

The Madden 21 update arrives today. Find the full patch notes here.


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Mark is a Boston transplant now biking around in Portland, Oregon. He likes most game genres, binge-watching HBO, and fighting for animal justice. He can be read on OpenCritic, GamesRadar, and over a dozen other outlets to date. He especially enjoys covering battle royale, horror, and sports games.