Examiner chats with Rex Dickson, creative director for gameplay for “Madden NFL 16,” who discusses the bevy of new additions and modes to this year’s game, which was recently released on Aug. 25. Also breaking down the development process and EA Sports ‘ goals for the series moving forward, Dickson wasn’t shy about saying this year’s Madden NFL is a special one, possibly the best one in Madden history.
Examiner: What makes this year’s game the most special to you?
Rex Dickson: Draft Champions is one of the most exciting new modes we have ever introduced and it has proven to be wildly successful with the Madden community. That said, as the gameplay creative director I am partial to the new WR/DB interaction and catching mechanics. Air Supremacy has completely evolved the game, and for that reason it is what makes the game so special for me.
Examiner: How was this year’s development process different?
Dickson: This year benefitted from a lot of advance technology work. Several of the new gameplay systems have been in development for over 2 years leading up to Madden NFL 16. Laying this technical foundation long in advance of building the actual content on top of it was a big change for the team but it worked out perfectly.
Examiner: How does having EA Trax back change the feel of Madden?
Dickson: This was a huge success story for us this year. The fans were unified in their request to bring back EA Trax and EA responded with one of the best soundtracks in franchise history.
Examiner: For fans who may be hesitant to buy this year’s game, why do you think they should?
Dickson: I have my own personal feelings but I think all fans needs to make that decision for themselves. In the TwitchTV/Youtube era, there is so much pre-release Madden content out there. Every consumer has limitless opportunities to see the game in action and hear other players discuss how they feel about it before the game even launches. I would recommend using those avenues to determine if this year’s game is worth your time and money.
Examiner: What did you learn from the past two seasons on PS4 and Xbox One? How has it helped this game?
Dickson: We continue to take advantage of the new hardware to ensure the best experience possible for our community. Sony and Microsoft have been incredible partners in helping us push the boundaries of what is possible on Gen 4 hardware.
Examiner: What’s next?
Dickson: Already hard at work on Madden 17, we have some big changes on the way we are extremely excited about.
Examiner: How do you want this game to be remembered by fans a few years from now?
Dickson: Madden 16 will be remembered as one the greatest Madden games in franchise history. This is already clear to us from the reviews and fan feedback. The title has broken through with new modes and gameplay that have really resonated with our fans and we are thrilled with the response.