news\ Feb 21, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Madden NFL 13 to focus on defensive improvements


According to Electronic Arts' Chief Creative Officer Richard Hilleman, Tiburon's new team is focusing primarily on defensive improvements for Madden NFL 13. 

Hilleman, who's worked closely with the Madden series for decades, told GameInformer at DICE that despite new leadership and changes, improvements in the upcoming game will benefit everyone: 

"They are doing big things this year," he said. "They're making big changes. Those are big changes that are going to break a lot of stuff, and they know that. What we're after is a better defense that's more fun to play." 

Hilleman didn't dicuss just what these improvements are, but the fact that they're focusing on them is greatly appreciated. The defensive side of the ball hasn't seen an impacting improvement since Madden NFL 05's "hit-stick." The biggest issue with defense in Madden NFL 12 was the lack of knowledge in the secondary. Defenders would easily lose track of their receivers, making long-balls easy to come by. 

Some, though, are worried; not only because of these gameplay changes, but with the entire shift in management at Tiburon. Fear not, as Hilleman says the game is in good hands: 

"The executive producer on the product line is Roy Harvey," he said. "Roy's been at Tiburon a long time. He did NCAA, so he knows the product and the system really well. Roy was also building a lot of the online back-end systems that supported Madden and the ancillary and flanker products that helped it, so he was being brought into the team where he's a pretty well understood player and he knows what he's got. The Madden engine is an acquired taste that requires specific knowledge. We go through that all the time – I get phone calls I still shouldn't get as far as I'm concerned. We brought Cam Weber on. Cam came from Fight Night and some other products. His cousin is Shea Weber from the Nashville Predators.

"What I like about the new team is that they haven't accepted any of the conventional wisdom about the product. I found that when I went down there a lot and talked about change I wanted to see in the product, I was considered a raving lunatic because I advocated more change than almost anybody else did. I would take bigger risks than anybody else. I think Cam is built out of that same cloth. His attitude is "what can I be," not "what could I lose"...I think Cam will do some pretty interesting things in that space so I'm pretty optimistic. I've loved the people who have worked on that game over the years.

"The other fact is Dale Jackson, who ran it for 14 years or something like that, he's like 35 feet away. So in the larger scheme of things Dale is still around, I'm still around, Roy is still around, and a lot of the new team is bringing the right kind of ideas. I don't think we're likely to make a terrible mistake, and I think we're pretty likely do so some things new that we needed to do."

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