Madden NFL Overdrive
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|Madden NFL Overdrive|
|Release||August 26, 2014 (as Madden NFL Mobile)|
August 15, 2018 (as Madden NFL Overdrive)
Madden NFL Overdrive is an American football mobile sports game based on the National Football League, developed and published by Electronic Arts. An entry in the Madden NFL series, the game was released for Android and iOS devices on August 26, 2014.
Madden NFL Mobile (MM) began as a mobile version of Madden Ultimate Team (MUT), with features like players and cards being available. To earn these, players participate in "Live Events", which can earn them card packs and coins. Another mode that is available is a season mode. In prior versions of Madden Mobile, this was called "Season" mode, which allows players to play a full 16-game season, which extends to the Super Bowl. The season feature is now called "Season Battles" where players earn rewards for winning against each NFL team and then compete in an eight game "playoff".
Being a freemium game, players can spend real-life money to purchase packs, in game currency, and "Bundles" that include a certain number of packs and a topper of an item. The game is also level-based, and features like bonuses for rewards that increase as one reaches higher levels. There is also another mode labeled "Leagues" where players may join or create a league alongside other players that face in Tournaments against other leagues, offering a chat box, goals with rewards such as players and tokens. The ability for players to send other players within the league packs was discontinued with MM 2017.
The game itself features standard football rules, such as scoring mechanics including touchdowns, field goals, and safeties. It also features real plays categorized as "long passes", "short passes", "play action passes", and "run" plays for the offense; "man coverage", "zone coverage", and "blitz" plays for the defense. It also features multiple special plays available at any point including punts, fake punts, field goals, quarterback kneels, spikes, and fake field goals. There are also up to four different styles for kickoffs, kick returns, punt, punt returns (left, right, middle, duplicates, onside kicks, etc.) The game is connectable with Facebook to allow for more social features, though players can also create unlinked accounts.
Beginning with Madden Overdrive, there is no longer a real Season mode. No season mode component was included when Madden Overdrive launched in August 2018, but Season Battle was rolled out shortly after launch. In Season Battle, players earn rewards for wins against every NFL team. Successful completion increasing numbers of these team events unlock Playoff Battles with expanded rewards. After completing all 32 regular season games, the "Super Bowl" is unlocked.
Events is a game mode in which players may participate in various challenges for rewards. Typically, there is no charge to play Events once, but replays of some events must be played using an in-game reward token called "Blitz Tokens". The use of "Stamina" to play events was eliminated with the launch of Madden Overdrive.
Completing these events earn the player rewards, such as card packs, coins, players, experience points, or one of the program specific currencies that were rolled out with the Madden Overdrive version of the game. There are also seasonal live events for things such as Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, Easter as well as Super Bowl and Playoff Recap events. Every day of the week, there are new live events.
Head to Head
Madden Overdrive did away with the Head to Head mode with Madden Overdrive, replacing it with the game's namesake "Overdrive" mode. Madden NFL Overdrive removed the original Head to Head format and replaced it with the Overdrive mode. This new take on Head to Head features real-time multiplayer for the first time in franchise history, in which both players try to score as many "Fantasy Points" as possible in a 3-minute game.
Originally implemented in MM18, Blitz Tournaments were a mode that took place every weekend that put opponents in a head to head match, usually with a modification to the gameplay (i.e. Only being able to call pass plays, having a limited amount of plays to score, etc.). Players had to get as many wins as possible over the course of the weekend, with the top players receiving sought after player cards as a reward. This mode was released to overwhelming success, becoming one of the most popular game modes in Madden Mobile's history.
When Madden NFL Overdrive launched, the mode was not initially included in the game, which came as both a shock and disappointment to many returning players. However, the mode was re-released in December 2018, with a few changes. Now, blitz tournaments run through the entire week, instead of just the weekends. Tournaments now use Overdrive instead of the original head to head mode, and have yet to include any gameplay modifiers in the tournaments thus far. Doing well in these tournaments awards you with a currency you can use for a variety of rewards, including elite and diamond players, grab bag packs, and 94 Overall Blitz Tournament Masters. While the mode is popular, it most likely will not see the success it had the year before.
Joining a League will give the player user interaction with other players inside the game. In a league, one can play each other in a head-to-head match for bragging rights. There are League Tournaments that a league can play in as a team: all players participating in the tournament will have three drives to score as high as possible against another league. The rewards of tournaments is league XP, used to level up. Finally, there are League Championships, in which players compete against each other in a championship tournament that will rank them based on their performances in the tournament.
The Auction House is a place where players may bid/buy cards. While since its inception, the Auction House was a place where players could buy items being sold by other players, that system was changed mid-season in MM 18 to a brokered auction house, in which a bot acts as an intermediary between players buying and selling their cards. Bidding allows the player to bid slowly against others with a slightly lower chance of winning the item. Buying the item allows the player to immediately end the bidding process and earn the item for the amount bought for. The player may not buy the item if the buy price is less than the bidding price. A common activity on the Auction House is referred to as "sniping," or buying items for low prices as soon as they are available and reselling them for profit. The Auction house shuts down a few days before a new season begins, but posting to the Auction House is disabled 3 days prior to going down. Ten percent of the coins made on the transaction are deducted as a tax.
Packs are another element to the game. Prior to the launch of Madden Overdrive, it was a major element. However, most traditional packs were eliminated and were replaced by packs purchased with various tokens and currencies available in-game. However, some packs require spending of actual money, in the form of Madden Cash (purchasable in quantities ranging from $5-$100 USD). There are many different packs available for different times and lengths. Some packs such as the Pro Pack is available 24/7 (although you are limited to opening 100 per week currently), while others (such as Super Bowl) are available for a few days. Packs could include rare collectibles, bronze to elite players, etc. and vary in value.
The cover athlete corresponds with the winner of the Madden NFL cover vote. For the 2014 NFL season, star Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was the cover athlete for the game. In 2015, he was replaced by New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for the 2015 NFL season. The cover athletes for the 2016 NFL season were New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. The cover athlete for the 2017 NFL season is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The cover athlete for the 2018 NFL season will be Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
|2014||Richard Sherman||N/A||First player to be on cover of game|
|2015||Odell Beckham Jr.||N/A||First NFL rookie athlete to be cover of game|
|2016||Rob Gronkowski||May 12, 2016||First cover athlete of Madden Mobile 17|
|2016||Von Miller||N/A||Replaced Gronkowski as the cover player in November 2016|
|2017||Antonio Brown||N/A||Replaced Miller as the cover player in January 2017|
|2018||Tom Brady||May 12, 2017||First cover athlete of Madden Mobile 18|
|2019||Antonio Brown||July 18, 2018||First cover athlete of Madden NFL Overdrive|
|2019||Terrell Davis||July 23, 2019||Replaced Brown as the cover player in January 2019|
The game was released on the iOS App Store and on Android's Google Play, the same day that Madden NFL 15 was released on console. A large update, coinciding with the release of Madden NFL 16, was released in August 2015. The new features were added in the season such as achievements, league improvements, a redesigned hub, more Live Events, and better tuning. Seasonal updates for Madden NFL 17 and Madden NFL 18 were also released. For the 2018-19 season, the game will be renamed Madden NFL Overdrive.
Madden NFL Mobile got mixed reviews. On Metacritic the game got 68%. Pocket Gamer gave it 7 out of 10 and said that "Madden NFL Mobile has come a long way, but it feels like it could still go a bit further. It's absolutely worth a look if you're a fan, but it's probably not going to rock your world." Phandroid said that "Whether the annoyances of microtransactions and modern-day mobile gaming annoy you, we at least appreciate that there’s a pretty good game beneath the green veil of dollar bills EA decided to decorate it with.".
The fan opinion of Madden Overdrive is mostly negative. In fan-conducted survey on MUTHead, 29.1% of participants rated the game a 1 out of 10, while 85.1% of participants gave a score of 5 or lower out of ten. Due to this, the game has seen a significant decrease in revenue. According to EA's Q2 report, "Mobile delivered net bookings of $152 million, up 1% year on year, with growth in our FIFA franchise on mobile mostly offset by a decline in Madden Mobile. The Madden team is working hard to turn this around, adding new social features, new game modes, and competitive tournaments. We have two updates out already and a major update coming in December." The December update added Blitz Tournaments (listed under Gameplay above), along with a few other minor changes. While this update definitely improved the game's situation, the impact on revenur earned from this update will not be known until EA releases their next financial report.
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