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Madden 25 Producer Seann Graddy Talks Madden for Xbox One and PS4

/ Aug 12th, 2013 No Comments

Madden 25

[adsense250itp]Madden 25 will make it’s debut on next-generation game consoles from Microsoft and Sony as well as on current generation systems at the end of August 2013. After seeing extremely high ratings for last year’s Madden 13, the team at EA Sports has the daunting task of building both current-gen and next-gen editions of their popular sports franchise. We spoke with Madden 25 Line Producer Seann Graddy about working on the next-generation systems and releasing Madden 25 for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In this interview, Graddy talks about how long the game has been in development, what EA Sports has learned from past new-gen releases and some killer new features that will take advantage of the powerhouse consoles.

Gaming Illustrated: This is Sean Gibson from Gaming Illustrated E3 2013. I’m with Associate Editor, Ryan Bloom. I’m also here with Seann Graddy. And could you introduce yourself and your roll with the Madden 25 Team?

Seann Graddy: I’m Seann Graddy, Line Producer for Madden 25 working on the Gen Core product for PS4 and Xbox One.

Gaming Illustrated: Next gen. Obviously it’s been in the works for quite a while. I know you cannot show all of your cards but how long has this been in development? How well have you been positioning your team to transition to next gen consoles?

Seann Graddy: It’s been in development for close to two years. Certain pieces of the game that we’re showing today and that you’ll see in the future, I mean one piece that we actually released last year was our connected careers, is now rebranded as Connected Franchise. That was built specifically for the transition. We released it on Gen 3 but then we fluffed it up for Gen 4. So some of the things you’re seeing from a graphics perspective, from an animation perspective, those have been in the works for more than a year.

Gaming Illustrated: Something Ryan and I talked about before the show and obviously a concern for a lot of Madden players is that we saw the transition from Xbox to Xbox 360…and you’re nodding your head…it seems like you know what the question is (laughing). It was a rough transition. It was not smooth. It looks like just from seeing it now that you guys are really in position to take advantage of this hardware and come out flying out of the gate.

Seann Graddy: Yeah. For the record I was there for Madden 06. The technology was different. We’re much more prepared. You’re seeing [our preparation] today in the build right now. We get the question all the time, it could be your next question, “Are you going to get everything carried over from the Gen 3 product?” And the answer is absolutely yes and a whole lot more. The game looks stunning as you guys are seeing right now. We’re very well positioned for this transition.

Madden 25

Madden 25 Line Manager Sean Grady Interview

Gaming Illustrated: One of the big elements for me with next gen console is the CPU power and that’s not just going to mean great graphics, but it’s also going to mean advanced AI which is really something that I think affects football more than any other sport. We talked a little bit about that Ignite engine and how that’s going effect the AI both on defensive and offensive fronts.

Seann Graddy: So the two things we’ve been talking about the most is human intelligence and you’re seeing that in our ‘war in the trenches’. We got a lot of feedback from our community guys that they wanted a rewrite of our offensive line and defensive line interaction. We’ve got a demo on the floor today that shows how that works. You’ve got things like double teams for the first time in Madden. Sometimes that double team one of the players will break away because there’s a blitz coming. The way that they pass per se. They may go into a three-step, a five-step or a seven-step drop based on the play that you called and you lineman know that for the first time ever. They can think like a real offensive lineman. In fact it’s designed by a real offensive lineman.

We’ve got another thing called player sense which is just kind of an awareness of what’s happening on the field. So as the running back is running down the field he might put a hand on his blocker as he goes around him. He may point out a defender that’s coming out and down the field. He’s just aware. He’s just got more ability to think what’s happening on the field than ever before and that’s because of the power of the ignite engine and the power of the platform.

Madden 25

Madden 25

Gaming Illustrated: Sounds pretty good to me. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. Ryan do you have any questions?

R. Bloom: One of the things that I noticed mostly in the trailers and stuff is the crowd seems to be a huge part of that. Me, personally, since I play sports I do notice that the crowd…they’re not responsive. So what are the things that we’re doing with Ignite that is going to change that?

Seann Graddy: The pillar of our Ignite sports engine is a living world. So in football, in Madden what you’re going to see is our sidelines are going to come to life. If you look at the sidelines on Gen 3 they are there but they’re a bit more static, not necessarily watching what’s happening on the field. This product on Xbox One and PS4, when you go near the sideline they’re going to be aware of that and they’ll start to back away. If you actually go out of bounds you might interact with them, they might touch you, if it’s your teammate or if it’s the opposing teammate they might push you back on the field. The crowd is actually going to react more intelligently to what’s happening on the field. So as opposed to getting up and down all of the time they’re going to be paying attention to really what’s happening and reacting accordingly. Not to mention the graphic fidelity of all those characters is the highest that it’s ever been. They look close to the quality of the players that you’re seeing on the field.

Gaming Illustrated: You got true player motion, human intelligence and a living world. Those are the three pillars of the EA Sports Ignite Engine. One thing that I always like to do is rub it in my friends face when I beat them and sharing of clips is really big in the next gen console. How baked in are the sharing features with the next gen consoles and Madden 25?

Seann Graddy: I’m not sure that all that’s been released and how they’re handling that. A lot of it is baked into the hardware. We had some sharing in the game last year that we’ll include this year with Facebook and Twitter. If you guys played it last year you are probably familiar with that. That stuff will all be carried over as well.

Gaming Illustrated: Very good. So obviously an exciting year. Reception at E3 impressions?

Seann Graddy: Honestly, it’s been amazing really. We’ve had a lot of our community guys come in. Not surprisingly the first ones in the door when they see the game… I think they’re all pretty blown away. The fidelity is there but more importantly when they play it, you guys kind of said the same thing as well, you can feel it. There’s just a smoothness to it when you’re running the ball, when you’re passing the ball that makes it feel different.

Gaming Illustrated: You certainly have got to feel good about all of the teams effort two years in that now you’re finally getting people hands on it… it’s gratifying for you and your team?

Seann Graddy: Absolutely. This is what it’s all about.

Gaming Illustrated: So to wrap up, obviously millions of Madden fans out are there dying to play this on next gen consoles. What’s the message you want to give to those people who cannot wait for that Madden 25 experience on next gen consoles PS4 and Xbox One?

Seann Graddy: It’s the best looking, best playing Madden in franchise history. If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines waiting, come back. If you’re a huge fan this is going to be the best Madden experience you’ve ever had.

Gaming Illustrated: Thank you so much.

Seann Graddy: Alright. Thanks guys. Appreciate it.


Sean Gibson

Sean Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson was the founder of Gaming Illustrated and served as Executive Editor and lead reviewer from 2002 to 2014. He no longer is affiliated with Gaming Illustrated, but remembers his time with the site fondly.
Sean Gibson
Sean Gibson
Sean Gibson

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