NOTHING annoys me more than the patchy mobile data connectivity on an electrified train line combined with always-online apps.
I can’t speak for other countries, but in Australia where distance is a tyranny, train-travel is one of the most efficient ways to get to the big smoke.
Yet due to the electrification of the lines here, we are stuck with patchy mobile data connectivity that drops in and out along the journey.
So to my surprise, I fired up Madden NFL 25 on iPad this week with the intention of playing to review it on my hour-long train trip.
However, I can’t actually progress thanks to the game’s online requirement. When the game senses a drop, it cuts out.
Madden 25 assumes you’re in ‘Airplane Mode’. I’m not sure why – but even then, so what?
I believe that it is the responsibility of gaming companies to create a strong user experience in order to foster a positive attitude towards free-to-play games.
Right now, it’s hard to imagine why I’d want to pay anything for a Madden game that I can’t experience when I want to.
For a mobile device, in particular, this is bad design practice. Disabling features but allowing single player would be a more sensible way of encouraging people to play the game.
The irony is that this is how EA’s other freemium hit of late, Plants vs Zombies 2, handled things. As a result I’ve spent countless hours with the game and have invested a few bucks.
Mobile data is capped in Australia, so it’s impractical to have it tethered all day long without receiving a massive bill at the end of the month.
The truth is that the only stable and affordable data connection I have is at home.
And when I’at home, I don’t want to play Madden on the iPad – I want to play Madden on my console.
Free-to-play is still new ground for mobile developers. So here’s a tip: mobile gamers don’t always have an Internet connection.
I can only hope and pray that FIFA 14 doesn’t fall victim to the same requirements. I pumped more than 50 hours into last year’s edition which was seamlessly online/offline.
From what I’ve played of Madden 25 on iOS it’s a fun blast. It’s just a shame that the short bursts are dictated by one’s mobile Internet coverage.