Some of the new features coming to Madden NFL 12 are focused on educating players about the seriousness of head injuries.
With each release, the Madden series introduces new features or tweaks that aim to take the yearly game one step beyond its predecessor. With Madden NFL 12, one of those features isn't aimed at making the game more fun to play, but will leave gamers better educated about the pitfalls of smashing one's helmet-laden skull into another helmet-laden skull or other object.
Concussions in football have become a huge concern from down to the pee-wee leagues all the way up to the NFL. To reflect this, EA is working on accurately dealing with concussions in Madden 12, showing how they occur on the field.
John Madden himself told the New York Times: "Concussions are such a big thing, it has to be a big thing in the video game." Madden says that he wants there to be a "strong message" in Madden so kids will realize that concussions are serious business. He hopes Madden will be able to teach proper tackling techniques so they don't think football players are invincible.
Madden 12 executive producer Phil Frazier added: "I wouldn't say this is a full public-service announcement, but it's a means to educate." Previous versions of Madden allowed players that sustained a concussion to keep playing. Madden 12 will remove those players from the rest of the game's entirety, while commentators will say something along the lines of: "Because of the seriousness of concussions, 'x' player will not be returning to the game."
The change is incredibly responsible considering that it has no bearing on Madden's fun factor at all. In fact, emphasizing invincible players and big hits would probably make the game more enjoyable as a spectacle (see NFL Blitz). The only downside is that most players will probably just turn concussions off, but it's the effort that counts.