Madden 11 to scout your games — and sell others the reports

That’s the headline of this piece about the newest entry to the Madden franchise, via an interview the development team did with ESPN. From the article:

Madden NFL 11 will log every play you call online, building a book on your tendencies that will available, in-game, to any multiplayer opponent. While the reports can be earned or unlocked, they can also be bought for cash. . . .

EA Sports’ Madden team revealed the new scouting reports feature today in an extensive discussion with ESPN’s Jon Robinson. Tendencies like your opponent’s run-to-pass playcalling ratio, the side of the field it’s run to, the side of the field his defense targets, will be redeemable through a coin system – one coin per scouting report – and coins may be earned for free by playing online games – and completing them. Coins can also be purchased for cash (or Microsoft Points) for those short on funds but needing intel fast. Finally, every retail copy of Madden 11 comes with access to 50 free scouting reports.

Sounds like a lot, but there are 45 separate tendency reports you can get access to, although you can buy the entire batch for 25 coins pre-game. But yes, that means you have to pay to see the book on yourself – such as the fact you always go to a slot receiver over the middle on third-down (raises hand) and everyone knows it.

There was no mention of how many coins it would take to buy a single report, nor of how much reports would cost in real-world cash or Microsoft points.

Money issues aside, that is pretty interesting. From a behavior/decision standpoint, I’m not sure how useful it will be. I would like a general view of whether a guy is a run guy or a pass guy (and maybe an inside run versus outside, and short passes versus longer), but anyone intelligent will build up tendencies (run right) and then destroy opponents who overcompensate by breaking the tendencies. As always, it’s a game theory thing: I’m less interested in the scouting report than the reactions to the scouting reports.

  • Rudy

    This reminds me of the VIP system of 2K5. Scouting reports are great. Paying for them is not.

  • tallguy

    While just another one of EA’s microtransaction attempts, this is still pretty cool.

  • Phil

    How much time do you have to study the scouting report before you start playing, usually you get paired up and then the kick off is about a minute later

    actually trying to figure out what the other guys is doing on the fly is one of the more interesting aspects of online play now, seems like most people only have about 4-5 plays they run about 90% of the time

  • Phil

    should I get a PS2 or a XBox? Currently have a Wii, would love to play in a tournament sometime, seems like those are hard to find these days

  • Kwame

    When paired with “game flow” this would be very effective. You load the scouting report then game flow based on all the data will give you which play to call. A little cheesy to me but to each his own.

  • Zulu

    This is interesting, but would it really be worth it for 99% of Madden gamers? Going back to your article on all NFL teams running essentially the same offense, would it not be fairly simple to know the basic gameplans for each opponent at the pro level? We already know that NFL playbooks are pretty similar anyways, so the concepts are not going to be foreign to you. In addition, most people who play Madden tend to run about 5 plays over and over again on both offense and defense. That in and of itself seems to be a fascinating topic for game theory – if they can perfectly execute these 5 plays do they need more (distilled offense)?

    This seems to make more sense for the college game, as the number of formations and options is far greater.

  • Brian

    Same broken record for Madden. Rather than giving the gamers stuff they really want, they throw in a cheap gadget and a roster update and box it as the next big thing. Only this next big thing will actually make them money. Bring back 2k5, please

  • Mouse Davis

    It’s a noble effort by EA because they found that the average player online was only calling around 7 or 8 different plays an entire game.

    However.. 90-95% of the players online don’t have a football IQ or much knowledge of strategy or play calling anyways because they are just lookin’ to call money plays over and over or exploiit an AI glitch with a nano blitz.

  • Not too sure how I found this blog but glad I did find it. Think I was looking for something else on google. Not sure I agree 100% with what you say, but have bookmarked and will pop back to read to see if you add any more posts. Keep up the good work

  • superdudeman

    People who complain about nano-blitzing and money plays don’t have enough football or madden IQ, otherwise they would know how to stop them.

    Bringing more people than the offense can block, is not taking advantage of a “glitch”.

  • superdudeman

    Now, blocking the kickoff at the beginning of the game that’s a “glitch”. Which is why it was eventually fixed. Bringing six or 7 blitzes to overload your 5 lineman is somehow called a glitch.

  • superdudeman

    These are the same people who complain when someone only runs the ball, or only passes it. Like its cheating somehow. I say if you run a play on me and i don’t stop it, keep running it until i prove to you that i can stop it.
    If i cant stop it 10 times in a row, run that same play the whole game until i do.

  • Old South

    Do a post on conference realignment!

  • 4.0 Point Stance

    I too have been waiting with bated (baited?) breath for Chris’s thoughts on conference realignment. But I realize he tends to deal in facts, not rumors, so until the dust settles there’s little point in weighing in.

  • Coach Elkins

    Great, something else for the parasites at the top to copy….have at it….

    “If you copy someone else you’ll always be a step behind someone”

  • Sirstazeblazed15

    What do people think about madden 11? Why did they change the hot route and other audible controls cuz after playin madden for 12 years it’s kinda retarded to change it now they say the reason is cuz there were 2 billion hot routes made last year that’s about 5million a day but they say only 1 billion weren’t really a hot route ok so they say people didn’t do it on purpus and they changed it for that reason so it’s easier well it takes longer and it is stupid to change the game for the people that don’t wanna take the time to read he manual so you think they will now no not at all they need to change it bak to the way it way