What do you get when you combine the two most addictive sports gaming experiences: Fantasy Football and card collecting? Madden NFL Superstars! This is your chance to create your own franchise, draft real NFL players, even build a stadium and attract fans.
Here’s an exclusive interview with Playfish’s Stephen Jarrett, product manager of Madden NFL Superstars:
Welcome, Stephen. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Playfish?
I am the Product Manager on Madden NFL Superstars. I determine game balance, set up the in-game economy, and have a hand in design direction. The forum-goers may know me as “Knightfish.”
Are you an avid football fan? How did your love for football help you succeed in developing Madden NFL Superstars?
Go Titans!! I am a die hard Titans fan and avid fantasy football player. I want Madden NFL Superstars to be as relevant as possible to NFL fans so they can get involved in the sport, whether they choose Xbox, PS3, or, in this case, Facebook. We do a lot of fantasy football leagues here at EA and Playfish, so there’s a lot of passion about the NFL across the team. The Madden team’s knowledge of football has been instrumental in our success developing the game.
Can you give us an overview of Madden NFL Superstars?
Madden NFL Superstars is a team management social game where players compete against their friends on Facebook to build the ultimate team of NFL players. Players build their own stadium and fill it with fans to compete against all 32 real NFL teams and a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
What was the most challenging aspect of bringing Madden NFL Superstars to life? What are some of the notable features in the game?
With a brand like Madden, you always want to live up to player expectations with a very polished and fully featured game. I think we have done that. We are continually adding more features to flesh out the game and enhance the player experience. We recently added Achievements, Players of the Week, NFL Banners, and Bonus Cards.
Something players can look forward to soon is Card Collection. Remember when you were a kid and you collected baseball cards? Our goal is to translate that experience into the game and reward players for building a collection of all the players from one team, all of the players at specific positions, or all of the platinum players and so on. The rewards for this will range from unlocking NFL team logos to a new type of card called an “Elite Card,” which will be a permanent card with a team bonus.
So, this is the first time that the Madden NFL franchise has been introduced to the social gaming space. How well does Madden translate into a social game? What aspects of Madden lend themselves to a social gaming setting?
Madden has always been a very social game, from college kids battling it out in dorm rooms to young professionals hanging out on the weekends. People want the chance to be their favorite team or favorite player while competing against their friends. Moving that experience into the social gaming space seemed like a natural step. Everyone who loves Madden on their Xbox or PS3 will also really enjoy Madden NFL Superstars.
Do you think people who play Fantasy Football will like Madden NFL Superstars? Why?
Definitely! The goal of fantasy is to build a team that will dominate your friend’s team. At its heart, Madden NFL Superstars is very similar. Everyday players have the opportunity to play their friends and talk smack. The better your team, the more likely you are to beat all your friends and top the leader board.
What is your team’s name and how are you doing in the season so far?
In support of my Titans I named my team “CJ 4 MVP,” despite the rough start Chris Johnson has had. I am doing well so far. I just made it all the way to the Super Bowl in Pro League and now I’m battling my way through Season 21! I was lucky to get Dwight Freeney, Marques Colston, and Matt Schaub in my first Ultimate pack. Hopefully I can get Chris Johnson in the next one!
Now, go out there and be the best coach in the NFL. Play Madden NFL Superstars today!