Yesterday we heard of a rating new to Madden NFL 11, the Old Spice-sponsored "Swagger". Rumour had it that the rating affected player attributes. Nope. It governs a player's likelihood to celebrate, during or after a touchdown.
MyMaddenPad got the score from the team itself:
The "Old Spice Swagger" rating determines the likelihood of a player to celebrate on the way to the endzone, or after a touchdown. For example, a running back like Adrian Peterson (99 rating) has a greater tendency to celebrate than Frank Gore (50 rating).
Ian Cummings, the game's lead developer, followed up to say it is "purely a set personality rating".
Sports titles get ripped for every little instance of in-game advertising, despite the fact the real ones are larded up with scads of sponsorships. Here it might be warranted. Manual celebration controls have been a part of Madden since ... I can't remember when they first were a part of the game. They were there in Madden 10. Sit on the B or circle button inside the 20 and you'll high step and point even if it's Ruth Bader Ginsburg playing wideout.
If "swagger" is only pertinent to touchdown plays - not big hits, interceptions or (shudder) Michael Irvin-style first downs - then an auto-celebrate feature adds little in the way of gameplay, solidifying this as more advertisement than feature. And if means manual celebration controls were removed to justify it, then it's worse.
I don't think this means EA Sports will start inventing BS stats every year just to sell more ad space to your eyeballs, but it is a fair criticism.
Swagger Rating Explained by EA Sports [MyMaddenPad]