Madden Picks Up a Top Designer from The Show

Illustration for article titled emMadden/em Picks Up a Top Designer from emThe Show/em

Free agent signings are big news in sports video games, not just the leagues they simulate. Today, EA Sports picked up Kolbe Launchbaugh, a senior designer for Sony's universally acclaimed MLB The Show baseball simulation, and he'll start work on EA Sports' cornerstone Madden franchise in a couple of weeks.

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Launchbaugh himself revealed the news in a post on Operation Sports, where he has been a frequent presence in the community forums. Kotaku's understanding is that Launchbaugh will, in addition to duties on the current title, help prepare Madden for its transition to the next console generation. He will join the team's creative staff, led by Mike Young.

At Sony San Diego, Launchbaugh was part of a team that took The Show from an underperforming console exclusive to a series that scored 90 or better in its Metacritic rating for three straight years, and is generally regarded as the best console baseball game ever made. He is a 15-year veteran of Sony Computer Entertainment America and a nine-year veteran of its MLB work.

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Isaiah Bradley

This could be huge news for the Madden franchise. Might even get me to buy it again. I did think that this year's iteration was pretty good, but not quite there.

I do miss playing a pro football game. Maybe I'll pick up Madden 13 if it makes some pretty significant design changes. Hopefully they leave the gameplay alone though - Madden 12 is the smoothest I've played since the PS2.