Like clockwork, EA Sports' Madden NFL football yearly update has arrived, signaling not only the start of the football season, but also the kick-off of the video game holiday season. This year, Madden was released for six different platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP, iPhone and for the first time -- on Apple iPad. After EA Sports GM Peter Moore said Madden would be 'on Facebook going forward' earlier this year, so I was fully expecting to see a fully realized version of Madden on the social network we all know and love as well. So where the heck is Madden on Facebook?
If EA went to the trouble to purchase one of the leading Facebook game developers, Playfish, for $300 million dollars, it seems like a no-brainer that a socialized Madden would be one of the first collaborations out the door. I wonder if Madden will be arriving as a surprise in the next few weeks, or if EA -- not wowed by FIFA Superstars' performance -- decided to hold off on rushing such a valuable franchise to Facebook.
On the other hand, the console version of Madden seems to be taking notes from FarmVille and other Facebook games, bringing back Madden Coins -- a virtual currency introduced in last year's game -- which can be earned as achievement rewards (people who pre-ordered the game from Gamestop got 20,000 bonus coins) and then used to buy items that will give players a leg up in the game, such as Scouting Reports and boosts for the new 3-on-3 Online Team Play. Madden Coins can also be purchased using real-life cash, and even though it sounds crazy that someone would spend $60 for a game and then additional cash for coins, it must have worked if EA brought it back for a second season.
So, if you've been looking forward to hitting the gridiron with your pals on Facebook, looks like you'll have to wait anywhere from a few days to forever.