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'Madden 10': Five Things to Know

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The more I talk to players, the more I realize how important these video game ratings really are. These numbers are talked about in the locker rooms and even on the practice field. When somebody misses a block, guys will joke about how his rating just dropped five points.

But nothing has prepared the NFL for what's about to happen with "Madden NFL 10." The producers of the game have decided to create a bigger gap in the ratings between the elite players and those who ride the pine.


Our intention this year was to make the elite players stand out. We're pretty sure a lot of players are going to be extremely unhappy about this, but the result is, there are a lot of guys who are coming down in ratings across the board. Every single rating is being adjusted.

-- "Madden NFL 10" senior producer
Phil Frazier

That means that although quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning still strut around with a 99 overall rating, backups such as Matt Leinart can only watch as their overall rating drops from a 85 to a 62. Ouch.

"Quite frankly, we were getting to a point in the game where elite players just felt like every other player in the game," Frazier said. "Brandon Jacobs, who is just a beast, wasn't able to break that many more tackles than the average running back because almost all of the ratings ended up between 80 and 99.

"Our intention this year was to make the elite players stand out. We're pretty sure a lot of players are going to be extremely unhappy about this, but the result is, there are a lot of guys who are coming down in ratings across the board. Every single rating is being adjusted. The elite guys, they're safe. Peyton Manning, Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald, guys like that are going to be saved. But the average guy is certainly going to come down. Guys in the 70s are now average. You may even see some guys in the 40s.

"And the game-play impact is absolutely huge. Now the teams actually feel like they have a personality. When you're playing as a team like the 49ers who don't have that elite quarterback, you're going to have a hard time throwing the ball. It's going to feel like you have a problem at that position, and that's a great change."

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