Training camp is over. The players are playing. The seasoned refs are back. It’s time for some football! Hi, I’m Andrew Brown, one of the producers for the brand new, EA SPORTS Madden NFL Social football game that will be launching on Facebook and iOS devices later this fall. I’m really excited to tell you about the evolution of social gaming here at EA SPORTS and why Madden NFL Social is going to be your fall addiction.
For anyone who played Madden NFL Superstars 12, you know what fun building a team can be. You are also acutely aware of the fact that buying a pack of cards, while the single most exciting part of the game, doesn’t always give you the exact player you want, your favorite player. You know Peyton Manning exists, you’re just not lucky enough to ever get him. Good news, my friends. In Madden NFL Social you’ll know Peyton exists, and if you save up your coins, you’ll be able to get him on our brand new Auction Block.
This post is going to highlight the two main features of the Madden NFL Social Auction— buying and selling players to give you a sneak peek at the action that awaits.
BIDDING ON AN AUCTION
If you’ve ever participated in an online auction before, whether it be eBay or another video game, you should find Madden NFL Social’s feature to be quite familiar. This is on purpose. The point of an auction block is to give you the functionality to find your favorite players and engage with the game in ways you never could before. Our goal was not to reinvent an online auction system, but instead to get the simple and complete features needed to give you the tools you need to succeed.
When browsing the auction for a player, you have multiple search filters you can manipulate to drill down the results to the level you’d like. The search allows broad searches for every one of the thousands of cards on the auction block to as well as detailed results filtered by team, position, rating, card type and by price. You can also type the name of the player if you know exactly who you want.
Once you choose a player to bid on, the options are simple. You can bid on the player, or choose the “Buy Now” option. We also show you a comparison of your current player in your lineup at the same position, so you can see if the player you’re bidding on will help or hurt your team. Of course, that is just a guideline. If you’re a fan of a particular player or attribute, it is completely up to you who you’d like to acquire and put into your starting lineup!
Last 15 Second Timer
One unique feature in Madden NFL Social’s Auction Block is how auctions come to a close, specifically in the last 15 seconds of bidding. When the auction timer moves inside of 15 seconds, it will turn red. That’s because this is when things really start to heat up (cheesy pun time)!
Every time a user makes a bid within the last 15 seconds of an auction, the timer resets to 15 seconds. That. Just. Happened. This is a win for the buyer and seller and the Madden NFL Social Auction in general. Our version of competitive shopping is intended to make things a lot more entertaining as well as fairer since last second “sniping” bids can’t happen. When you have an eye on a player you really want you will have a chance to win him fair and square instead of having him taken out from under you without a chance for recourse. Unlike other auctions that use timer resets, we don’t charge for bids so bid as much as you’d like to get the guy you want!
POSTING AN AUCTION
Adding a player to the Auction Block is quite simple and an effective way to quickly add in-game currency. Maybe you bought a new card pack and received a player you already have, or maybe you’re just ready to try someone new.
Here are the options you have when putting one of your players on the Auction Block:
Start Price is simply what you want your posted player’s starting bid value to be. The strategy here is up to you. You can start the price low and let the community bid to their heart’s content. If you start your Eli Manning much lower than others, it will get your auction noticed. That said, it can be a risky strategy. While more people may find your auction, it does mean that your player could be purchased for a lower value if the auction time runs out and the current bid price is low. Factors that come into play here are time of day, how many users are in the auction and plain old luck.
Buy Now Price
The Buy Now Price is the price at which you would sell your player for outright, with no additional bidding. You should only set the Buy Now price at a number you’d be absolutely happy with receiving for your player, because it is the MAXIMUM you will ever get for them. When another user clicks Buy Now and purchases your card, it is his or hers instantly.
You have the option to set Auction Duration at 4h, 8h, 24h, 48h and 72h. This is how long your auction will stay posted unless it’s sold. The longer an item is posted, the more time people will have to see it, but it does mean you could have to wait longer to see if it sells. Once you post an auction, there is no cancellation, so this is up to you and how long you can hold out! Since all auctions sort by time remaining, we expect that, in general, auctions will have the most eyeballs towards the end of the clock, but that doesn’t mean positing a special or rare card doesn’t make sense a few days out. It’s up to you!
In Madden NFL Social’s Auction there is a small fee of in-game currency (not real money) that comes back to “the house” when selling a card. This is common in almost every online auction and important in helping curb exploits and balancing the game’s economy.
A GAME WITHIN THE GAME
So, I’ve shared the details of how the Auction in Madden NFL Social will work. Now, let me tell you why I’m personally excited about it. To me, the Auction is a game within the game. We’re all trying to build the best team to beat our friends on the gridiron and, to me, the Auction is the most fun place to achieve this. It’s kind of like the stock market; buy low, sell high. Are you clever enough to buy an 85 rated player for 3,000 coins less than he normally sells for, and then turn around the same player and sell him for 2,000 more than normal? Can you create enough profit to build wealth and use that to buy premium players and card packs? That, to me, is an extremely fun proposition and one that I absolutely look forward to participating in myself.
I hope I helped answer some questions about the Auction feature of our upcoming game, Madden NFL Social. Feel free to post your comments and questions and I will try to get them answered the best I can. Happy Bidding!