In this post, I want to specifically address Madden Ultimate Team on PS3 and all the problems that it has had this year. From the very point that Madden NFL 11 was released this particular mode has had problems.
There is no contest, in Madden NFL 10 Ultimate Team was by far my favorite mode and that says something for the most anal franchise mode fan you may ever met. For some reason I took to Ultimate Team and the control that it gave me and so did a few hundred thousand folk, so there was no surprise when it came back this year. When I heard that Madden Ultimate Team was coming back with enhancements in Madden NFL 11 was about the last time I was happy with it.
In short, the mode just doesn’t work. It seems that there is an issue on the PS3 version at least that will not allow the player to actually start a game if they have over a certain amount of cards, any pending collections, or anything in auction. If any of these things are true then you suffer multiple different outcomes, though each of them is equally heartbreaking for the player. In one scenario, you got to load the team selection screen and it gets stuck in a loop of some kind and this forces the player to hard restart the entire PS3 to get out of it. In other cases, the team selection screen does actually load but it gets stuck in the loop after the selections are made which may or may not require a hard restart. And then perhaps most disheartening of them all is when you actually get all the variables correct and can actually play and complete a game only to have the game freeze immediately after the final whistle in which case you don’t get the win or coins and you get what is now being affectionately known as the black screen of death which also requires a hard restart.
As if that wasn’t enough, when you can actually get a game to play without any of the aforementioned issues, if you start winning by more than a few touchdowns or are up by an insurmountable lead then more than likely your opponent will just quit. EA for their part heard about this issue and responded swiftly with a patch but that seemed to screw things up more for some players and doesn’t actually work. It was supposed to penalize people for quitting by costing them coins and giving them a loss and rewarding the player who didn’t by giving them their win and a prorated amount of coins. This was a great solution if it had worked, but since a guy quit on me this morning with two minutes left to go in a game where I was up by 20 and none of the stuff that was supposed to happen did, I am going to conclude that it isn’t working.
In the end it seems like EA has two big problems on their hands, though one is much more easy to fix than the other. First they have to get the game mode stabilized and working properly as it did last year, people pay for a quality product that works and when people plop down $60 dollars of their hard earned money then they deserve more. I have been corresponding with the team at EA and I know they are working this but I just feel like they need to work harder and quicker. The majority of Madden Ultimate Team players we have heard from are more than a bit frustrated and while sales of Madden NFL 11 are actually above where they were last year, if this kind of thing holds up then I am not sure about Madden NFL 12.
For what its worth, if you are reading this and having this issue, you can check out this previous post we wrote on the issue. At this point, the simplest strategy to get you up and playing again is to keep your card count under 70 total cards, don’t have any cards pending in collections, and don’t put anything into auction if you plan on playing a game while it is. If you do that, then it should work for the most part, though at this point you will still have issues. Personally, I think I am going to give MUT a rest for a while until they clear this up because until then this is just a waste of time. Madden Ultimate Team in Madden NFL 10 was so great, what went wrong this year? Does EA not really care since the NFL regular season hasn’t started yet? Will the problems with Madden Ultimate Team affect whether or not you purchase Madden next year?