Hard Knocks: The Bizarre Dichotomy Between EA’s Madden Mobile and UFC Mobile

Both games are owned and controlled by EA, but you wouldn’t know it based on some key differences.

You might be jumping the gun if you’re already scoffing and saying, “Well one game is about guys kicking each other in the face and the other game is about guys trying to carry a ball up and down a field. That’s why they’re so different, dummy.”

That’s not what I mean. What I mean is UFC Mobile doesn’t have an energy/stamina bar, which pretty much every mobile game has. That means I can play an infinite number of times in a row without stopping, which also means I can make hundreds of thousands of coins per day if I really want to. On the other hand, Madden Mobile has a very stingy stamina bar, and certain Live Events (like Domination) can take half or a third of the damn bar away before you know it.

Even playing regular season games take away stamina, as does playing against your friends and peers in Head to Head gameplay. There’s been theories that because UFC Mobile is not a team-based game, there’s no reason to have stamina because there’s less building for you to do, whereas Madden Mobile is basically giving you a raw roster and giving you the challenge of upgrading every single position over the year. Part of the challenge is allegedly maintaining your stamina use for the best strategic purposes.

I don’t buy those theories.

If UFC Mobile wanted a stamina bar, it could certainly have it. And perhaps it should, because it actually makes this particular game more boring without it. Madden Mobile‘s experience isn’t entirely confined to playing actual football games, however, so even if we didn’t have stamina, it would still be fun because we’re still building our teams and checking out the Auction House for cool players.

So now we might want to talk about money, and the idea that EA is absolutely thirsty for it. Well Madden Mobile is set up so you don’t have to spend real money to succeed, but good luck acquiring certain players without real money. UFC Mobile most definitely requires no real money and I think you’re a fucking moron if you spend money on a game where you can just keep playing and playing to get the coins you need.

Also, one difference between the two games is that UFC Mobile‘s Live Events are one at a time and their rewards are very specific. There’s no random pack opening crap – if it says you’re getting a Limited Edition Bruce Lee, that’s exactly what you’re getting. Madden Mobile is very finicky of course, almost on a legendary level, with most Live Events being essentially worthless right from the beginning unless they actually guarantee something.

He's gonna regret throwing that punch.

He’s gonna regret throwing that punch.

I suppose football has a bigger audience than UFC, so it makes sense EA is stingier in the more popular game because that leads to more money. But it really is strange seeing the difference between the two games, especially after we just received TWO free Bruce Lees to gleefully destroy our opponents with. I mean, that’s unheard of. It would be like EA spontaneously deciding to give all Madden Mobile players a free 94 LaDainian Tomlinson. I mean, no fucking way they do that!

Told ya!

Told ya!

All of this means something. I’m just not sure what. It could be as simple as two different EA divisions working on the games, culminating in two different experiences. Maybe it does have to do with the massive difference in popularity between UFC and the NFL. I don’t know.

What I do know is that this new season of Madden Mobile is both refreshing and extremely frustrating. I like the new user interface and I’m enjoying the new animations, especially the ones caused by our new array of juke moves. I think the increased diversity in sets and Live Events is commendable, although I also believe EA has become even stingier when it comes to us unlocking the necessary pieces in those Live Events to use in certain sets.

Consider this: I’ve been playing since day one of the new game and we have Road to the Ring sets again this year. There are Live Events for those and they are generally pretty easy. Unfortunately, pulling the required rings for those sets is “random” which means there’s a good chance some rings are just going to be tougher to pull than others.

But the fucking bullshit I’m dealing with here is ridiculous. Most of my RTTR sets are almost complete and are missing one specific ring. Assuming I pull that ring on the next attempt I make on a RTTR Live Event, that’s a success rate of literally less than one percent. Yes, I’m saying I have over a hundred rings now, the majority of them are duplicates, and NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM IS THE LAST PIECE I NEED.

What the fuck, EA?

So we’ll see how this season goes, although from the looks of it right now, it’s the typically superficial changes EA likes to make every year. Anyway, here’s my current lineup.

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