The folks at EA Sports are breathing a big sigh of relief now that the upcoming NFL season is back on track.
Madden NFL 12 (EA Sports)
Unfortunately, the lockout ended a bit too late for the next Madden game.
MTV News reports that while Madden NFL 12 will feature updated rosters and player stats, it won't include new rules set to be implemented in the forthcoming season.
"Some of the new rules we will not get in the game this year," Madden creative director Mike Young told MTV. "Unfortunately, [the end of the lockout] happened too late. It's kind of a complicated system to change with something like a patch."
Among the new rules that didn't make it into the game is the new rookie salary cap, though that will really only affect players who opt to manage teams in the game's vaunted Franchise mode. The on-field action -- the staple of Madden -- will remain relatively true to the real deal so long as gamers download the latest rosters, which will change over the course of the season to reflect ongoing trades and injuries.
"Day one, anybody with an online connection is going to have all these moves and up-to-date rosters. All season long, we'll support that really well," Young confirmed to MTV.
While it's a bummer that the new game won't match the new season note for note, it's hard to hold it over EA's head. The developers have been in a virtual holding pattern waiting for the lockout to be resolved, and since most games are actually finalized a good month or so before being released, they've had very little time to make changes.
Besides, it's not like NFL football game fans have many other options. EA's locked up the NFL license until 2013, making Madden the only real choice for console players looking to play with real NFL teams. The long-running series, which dates back to 1988, is the most popular football franchise by leaps and bounds (and jukes), having sold over 85 million units and accounting for over $3 billion in sales.
Featuring unlikely cover athlete Peyton Hillis, Madden NFL 12 releases August 30th.
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