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Madden director leaves studio, gives series ‘chance for a new direction’

Madden NFL 18
EA Sports

The Madden series has seen something of a creative resurgence recently, with last year’s game introducing a surprisingly great story on top of its other football modes, but as of today, creative director Rex Dickson is no longer working at Electronic Arts.

Dickson, who worked as creative director on Madden since Madden NFL 13, made the announcement on Twitter, saying the decision was made “after many discussions with other leaders on the team,” and that there was no bad blood or “deeper story” responsible for his exit.

“This is as much for me and my family as it is about giving the team, the community, and the Madden franchise a chance for a new direction,” Dickson said in a statement.

It’s unclear by this wording if Dickson is implying the series will be taking a new creative direction, or rather just that it could do so with another person leading the development team.

Hopefully, Electronic Arts doesn’t completely scrap the ideas presented in more recent games. In our review of Madden NFL 18, we said the game “makes a legitimate case for the title of best sports game of this generation,” praising its on-the-field football as well as the Friday Night Lights-like mode, “Longshot,” which features Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali.

EA Sports’ other franchises have been a bit of a mixed bag as of late. We criticized NHL 18 for its imprecise control scheme and bare-bones “Be a Pro” mode, but we found FIFA 18 to be a solid soccer game with a grounded and well-acted story. EA even chose to abandon its dedicated FIFA World Cup game this year in favor of releasing the content as a free update for FIFA 18, keeping the community together and ensuring more people are able to participate.

The one sport we’d love to see Electronic Arts address again, however, is baseball. With Take-Two abandoning its MLB 2K series a few years ago, there is currently no baseball simulator available on non-PlayStation platforms. The MVP Baseball franchise was a solid choice back in the early 2000s, and we’d love to see how it would work with the current-generation consoles’ power.

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