One of Madden NFL 06's most vaunted features is the Franchise Mode in which players can build their own teams in order to play through an entire season of football. That's all well and good except that the Sony PlayStation Portable version of the game has a nasty bug that causes the PSP to shut down when selecting to play the Franchise Mode, making the mode unplayable. If shutdown doesn't occur right away, then the game locks up early during gameplay. Oops. Publisher Electronic Arts's solution to the problem has been twofold: 1) "There is no problem; go away," and 2) "If there is a problem (and we're not saying there is), then just don't play Franchise Mode." As you can imagine, this response has not gone over well with fans.
Well, two months after the issue was first reported the company has decided to add a third approach to their handling of the situation: "Send us your disc and we'll replace it." It's great to see a company like EA that has a history of poor regard for customers do the right thing and replace the defective discs. It's a fine line that companies have to walk these days, as admitting that a disc is defective just opens the way for some overzealous lawyer to launch a class action lawsuit over the issue. There's no need for lawsuits over what, in the end, is just a defective video game. However, EA does have a responsibility to the customer in that there should be better quality control procedures in place to catch these kind of showstopping glitches. EA really should have stood up earlier and offered to make the swap, but better late than never. Here's hoping that the next shipment of new Madden discs will feature the fixed version of the game.