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Madden NFL 24 Rollout Plagued by Slew of Uni Glitches

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As you’ve probably heard by now, Bills quarterback Josh Allen is the Madden NFL 24 cover boy. But there’s something very strange about his showcase image on the popular video game, and that’s just one of several surprising uni-related glitches in yesterday’s Madden rollout.

Let’s start with Allen’s cover image. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of that image with a game photo from last season — see if you can spot the glitch:

As I hope you spotted, the Madden image has a partial extra prong on Allen’s facemask, just to the right of his mouth. What’s up with that? Like, how does a big-money operation like EA Sports allow that to happen? Very strange.

But that’s not the only uni-related weirdness that came with yesterday’s rollout. EA Sports also released this hype video — take a look and see if you spot anything surprising:

The first surprise, at the 0:15 mark, is the appearance of a player wearing the Cardinals’ old uniform — the one they replaced in April:

Then, at 0:48, there’s a Dolphins player with aqua/orange/aqua piping on his pants, when it should be the other way around:

A few seconds later, at the 0:51 mark, another incorrect pants design appears, this time for the Vikings:

On the plus side, Josh Allen also appears in the hype video, and this time they got his facemask right:


I’m not a video gamer, so none of this stuff really matters to me one way or the other, but I do find it interesting and surprising. For those of you who are more Madden-savvy than I am, are these types of errors common?

Meanwhile if anyone from EA Sports is reading this and would like to explain how these mistakes happened, feel free to be in touch.

(My thanks to Bud Parks, Andrew Hughes, @themagneticfool, @Frankie__Doodle, and @teezog for alerting me to these errors.)



Substack Reminder

In case you missed it on Wednesday, my Uni Watch Premium article over on Substack this week is a deep dive on Seattle’s silver/blue set, which is being revived this season as a throwback.

You can read the first part of the article, which is full of little details you might not be aware of, here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paying subscriber to my Substack (which will also give you access to my full Substack/Bulletin archives). My thanks, as always, for your consideration.



Father's Day Reminder

Need a good gift idea for Father’s Day? Might I humbly suggest that you consider Uni Watch grilling tools, produced by our friends at Baseball BBQ. Available here.

Grilling tools aren’t quite what you’re looking for? Check out the rest of our Uni Watch merchandise, or consider a gift subscription to Uni Watch Premium on Substack or Uni Watch Plus. Thanks!



Can of the Day

I’m including this one mainly because of the odd typography on the word “Lard” — three different letter sizes for a four-letter word! Very strange.

Comments (42)

    There have been uniform bugs in the past, but they’ve typically been patched before release or not too long after.

    I’m not a gamer and not typically a conspiracy theorist, however…

    Is it possible that some of the pant variations were put out so the league could gauge feedback to see if those are changes the public would hate/ignore/embrace?

    I have no answers about the helmet or Cardinal’s uni’s.

    The pants are likely meant to be throwback pants (Miami obviously has their throwbacks in place, and Minnesota may be introducing throwbacks); I haven’t touched a Madden game in ages, but I believe it’s set up to mix-and-match uniform elements, and as a result would not necessarily be restricted by the teams’ official combinations.

    My guess is the pant variations are the result of mixing uniform elements within the game. When you play the game you can pick different helmets, jerseys and pants from different eras (my youngest son likes to do this). Looks like the Dolphins current jersey was paired with their throwback pants. Same with the Vikings.

    I do not think the Dolphins have any throwback pants that look like that. The pants that have the orange stripe in the center would either have two white stripes between the orange and aqua, or the orange stripe would be the same thickness as the two aqua stripes.
    This very much appears to be the current design, with the significantly thicker center stripe, and two thinner stripes outlining it. Simply color swapped.

    According to Gridiron Database the 1966 Dolphins had this styled pant. So if they include them in the game for that throwback they can be mixed and matched.

    Madden features throwback unis for all the teams and allows mixing from one era of uni with another. The Arizona unis, Miami pants, and Minnesota pants, have all been worn in the past, so it’s possible that’s why they’re in the game.

    Ahh…so that explains why the Jets are shown wearing green-over-white!
    Maybe this will re-occur “IRL”, as the kids say these days.

    Both the Dolphins and Vikings are wearing their current jerseys with their throwback pants, a combination that would hypothetically be selectable in the game. Since an individual can select each element independently (helmet, jersey, pants, socks) to their liking, there are countless combos you could see in the game that will never appear on the field. My guess is that is what happened in this case.

    I haven’t played or paid attention to Madden in over 15 years, but it is amazing to me how while the graphics of the players have become increasingly lifelike, it actually looks less realistic simply because the movements and interactions between players remains pretty close to what it was a decade ago.
    I’m not knocking their inability to making improvements on that. But when you had less lifelike graphics, the other unrealistic motions and contact matched up. Now it is this uncanny valley of very real looking players who move so unnaturally.

    Also a big bummer that they are featuring the Bills mono-blue look on the cover. Easily their worst look, sans Color Rash.

    Paul, I have loved your work since the ESPN days, but the column seems especially heavy these days on the you-kids-get-off-my-lawn material. You’ve earned your seat as a pre-eminent documentarian, but maybe a video game box (or a new jersey, or a pant stripe, or a stirrup) is not a fail? Maybe errors are made. Maybe standards evolve. Maybe diverse audiences are interested in diverse looks? These questions are all worthy of the serious journalism that has always marked your work. But, as a longtime reader, I find the hot take criticism increasingly less helpful. Granted, you likewise may be responding to a shift in the audience’s tastes. But this slice of your audience finds uniforms more interesting than one’s opinions about the uniforms. Thanks for reading—and for writing.

    Hmmmm — all I said was that I found the errors interesting and surprising. Hardly a “get off my lawn” rant.

    Thanks for your feedback, but I’m puzzled by this one.

    I’ve been reading Paul’s work for nigh 15-16 years now and of all posts to level this criticism, this is the one? Wow. That’s certainly a take.

    Agreed. Only real issue I noted with this post is that the headline is a bit sensationalized. “Plagued” implies that these issues are detrimental to the game, when the errors are really just cosmetic. If you’re a Madden fan, you’re not skipping it due to the Dolphins’ pant striping being wrong.

    I see a lot of people defending EA’s errors…
    EA has not given a true effort in trying to replicate the real life NFL in their game in nearly a decade. Small nuances of unis constantly get over-looked by this development team. I remember in one of the more recent titles, the Panthers UCLA stripe was color swapped on their white jersey. And they also included blue pants, although by that time Carolina had not introduced them into their rotation yet. The jersey numbers are usually stretched beyond recognition and the jersey stripes are almost always blurry.

    I am not even going to get into the details of how lackluster the gameplay itself is…

    I really hope the NFL revokes it’s exclusivity from EA, because they do the world of football a terrible injustice.

    Exactly. EA has shown over the past several seasons that they have no interest in making the game as accurate as possible and are simply releasing the same game each year with minor tweaks. Their cash cow is the Madden Ultimate Team mode and if they keep that machine running, that’s all they need.

    it sells millions as is, why should they change that formula? If you don’t buy it its not going to make a dent in the 140 or so million copies sold of the franchise. It constantly gets bad reviews yet it sells 3-5 million copies a year.

    The lack of competition due to the exclusivity contract is a factor. If there had been a competing NFL series (e.g. the old 2KSports series), things might’ve been different, but the lack of any competition has stagnated development in the gameplay area.

    A little off-topic, but he was featured in the video. I am so sick of Travis Kelce. He must think his boorish behavior makes him colorful and lovable, but he’s just an immature, attention-seeking, loudmouth jackass.

    “Like, how does a big-money operation like EA Sports allow that to happen? Very strange.”
    If you are familiar with any of EA’s other products, it would have seemed strange if something like this did not happen

    Or modern EA in general. EA has changed so much – for the worse – from when Trip Hawkins founded Electronic Arts basically so he could eventually create a good, realistic football computer game.

    Madden has had the same basic (and inaccurate) uniform elements since like 2011. A lot of teams have no throwback white jerseys, pants striping all wrong, and multiple copies of the same uniforms. I haven’t bought one in years cause i search out videos of someone showing all the uniforms and its the same batch of crap every time. The old 2k series actually did a better job and that was YEARS ago now.

    Madden variations for the Dolphins and Vikings look better than the actual uniforms.

    i am seeing people saying that you can mix and match all different uniforms in madden, and i accept that explanation but not that excuse. this is a launch/hype video. they want to show of the newest unis: show them accurately. they want to show off throwbacks: show them accurately. they want to show off the ability to mix and match: make it clear that that’s what is happening. don’t just show clips of whatever and assume we’ll understand the value of “whatever”

    “they want to show the newest unis”? really based on what? It’s all about the customization. I’m in agreement that they are done with errors, but to think that they only want to show the new uniforms is silly.

    I am not a gamer but can see there is a lot of passion here. I disagree with the criticism of Paul. As someone who grew up going to little league games and being more enthralled by the uniforms then the gameplay and thinking I was an odd ball for that, I greatly appreciate what Paul has done and has continued to do by creating a space for people who are similarly intrigued by uniforms. I have been diagnosed with adhd, making everyday life feel chaotic at times. uniwatch is grounding and brings personal daily joy, so thank you and I really appreciate this community.

    Not a gamer by any stretch, but I sweat the details when it comes to uniforms. After laying out that kind of money, I expect a staff at least as knowledgeable as Uni Watch and its readers to work in that department.

    Interesting to note, EA Sports loses their exclusive license with the NFL to produce a game this year, and that license has largely led to the game being increasingly stagnant over the last 10+ years. Developers and executives this year at EA Sports have been quoted as saying “This is a make or break year for the Madden series” with many believing the game is set to receive a new engine and a massive development overhaul from years prior.

    That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the hype video is being taken from modified elements of last years game (Dolphins pants glitch, Cardinals old uniforms, etc) as this years release is still deep in development stages

    I came here to mention the “make or break” comment, which has been notable in my mind. The ease with which gamers can capture content now has lead to a myriad of semi-hilarious videos documenting Madden glitches speaking to how many shortcuts the game takes to look realistic at the cost of actually playing realistic. The errors range from footballs passing through players to other players to a truly crazy, but seemingly somewhat common, glitch where houses or cityscapes will appear on the field. @sloppymadden on Instagram is a good source for such things.

    For a game that is in a “make or break” year, largely because of lacking features or suffering a lot of bugs, things like this where they continue to not get details right … yeah, not a good sign.

    It is very common for trailers for sports games to feature old uniform elements, especially when the changes are recent. It is very evident in EA’s FIFA series, where almost all of the uniforms are updated every year. The final release features all the new updates.

    I don’t have an explanation for the other inaccuracies, and I don’t buy the excuse that the game allows you to mix and match elements from different eras.

    The cover shot error is 1000% the angle of the facemask obscured his expression in the original pic and whoever did the photoshop touch up did a very poor job in fixing it. You can see the blurry lines on the other side of his mouth as well, which are a tell-tale sign of retouching.

    Pretty easy fixes that hopefully they’ll make.. but the fact that this got approved and release is a bad look for the people involved. Sigh.

    For a several years Madden has given the Vikings a Nike template version of the 70s Throwbacks that I don’t think they have ever worn since Nike took over. It was interesting because they had the Elite 51 cut complete with the nikelace at least one of the years (it was still purple but it had that stitch like design) they have since removed the nikelace. They also had corresponding pants. It’s really interesting because they also had a throwback which had a generic texture to it (basically the Reebok version of this same uniform but without the Reebok branding).

    I’ve noticed it for other teams as well, EA basically added in the Nike versions for the home and aways for all the teams way back when and surprisingly most of them are still in the game despite this first happening in Madden 13 (2 console releases ago, they’ve had to replicate the unis in multiple game engines since then I assume they are just copying the old uniforms into the new engines when they make that change but it’s still wild to me that they haven’t cleaned up the redundancy). Usually they do it when a team gets new uniforms (Packers have 3 versions of their current white jerseys, 1 for the unbranded Reebok jersey, “Nike Away” and “Color Rush” the textures are lower quality on the Reebok one but the Nike Away and Color Rush are the same jersey with different names).

    I imagine with the Dolphins pants stripe is just their throwback pants being paired with their current home jersey (just like I am confident the Vikings example is the throwback pants paired with the home jersey).

    Just realized Miami Dolphins in the Madden pic are channeling their inner Miami Hurricanes with the mismatched helmet and pants stripes.

    EA and FIFA are splitting up their lucrative relationship, as FIFA will try to launch its own game (and get all the money instead of sharing it with EA). Maybe this has caused the NFL to think about their contract with EA and that is where the make or break tension comes from. These glitches are unfortunate but I think most ardent Madden fans will not be that bothered. My first reaction to the Josh Allen cover was: cool, he has a microphone to talk into. I am not a gamer at all, by the way. No patience to learn it.

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