Two new job postings for EA Sports have shown up on the publisher’s careers page. However, the job title for both is “Narrative Designer,” not something that comes to mind when you think of the Madden or FIFA series. The full description of what a “Narrative Designer” is at EA is listed as,
The Narrative Designer will bring the player’s experience to explosive life in its story-telling mode, championing story to the team and ensuring that script, speech and story-telling devices are tuned to achieve a gripping emotional narrative experience.
You will create characters that game players fully embrace and bond to, and will capture emotional experiences that drive the story forward through non-linear storytelling techniques.
You’ll work closely with other designers and producers to create game worlds where story is core to the player experience and will drive an innovative story vision that is central to one of EA’s AAA titles.
While this is not official confirmation that a story mode is coming soon to say, Madden 2016, it could mean EA is trying a new direction for the career and franchise modes. What was previously you, the unnamed coach, leading a team to the Superbowl or World Cup could evolve into you, a named character with backstory and motivation, experiencing a story arc tied closely to the season of whichever sport you play.
One of the ideal franchises for a narrative touch would be SSX, which last saw a release in 2012 under “SSX” from EA Canada, a direct subsidiary team of EA Sports. SSX (2012) had a story mode, and previous games all had fictional characters created for the series.