CBSSports.com Gets into Social Sports with Franchise Football

Franchise FootballFootball season is finally underway, and a number of developers are seeking to springboard off the NFL’s popularity with their own social, football-oriented applications on Facebook. One of the biggest is CBS, which has developed CBSSports.com’s Franchise Football in conjunction with long time social sports maker, Fantasy Moguls. The game appeared on our most recent list of the fastest-growing Facebook games and currently has around 412,600 monthly active users.

The game follows behind titles like Madden NFL Superstars and Ultimate Fan, but unlike its predecessors, the game play is more oriented around Fantasy Moguls’ sports manager titles, Galacticos Football and Galacticos South Africa.

Franchise Football’s play is simple, consisting of very minimal strategy, but plenty of progression. Because of the limited strategy, the app may not sate the appetite of the avid sports manager fan.

Players start Franchise Football with a starting lineup of 23 players. The idea is to gradually improve this team in hopes of forming a football dynasty. Improvement comes not so much from growing individual players, but through recruiting new and better ones.

RosterEach football player has a number rating associated with them. The higher this number, the more “skilled” that individual is. Depending on the position of the player, their rating will be broken up into stats such as Passing and Rushing (each skill can also be in fractions). Each team members’ rating is then added up to create the team’s overall offensive, defensive and kicking ratings that determines a player’s chance of winning a game.

The games are automated match ups against random Franchise Football players of the player’s level (though there is an option to play higher level individuals). Player’s earn a sum of money for each game they play and winning attracts the attention of free agents. Free agents are typically better than football players already on the user’s roster and can be signed to the team. However, there can only ever be 23 active team members, so for each team member gained, another is released. Releasing  a team member grants the user a slight refund of the released player’s contract.

These contracts appear to be one time fees. This is a good because better football players are more expensive and, at early levels, game wins only earn around $500k.  But  it’s easy to progress in Franchise Football because many games can be played in quick succession.

GamesAt the start, the user is able to play 16 games and upon leveling up four more are made available. Users can also challenge their friends to both scrimmages and exhibition games. Scrimmages don’t require the friend to actually play, but can replenish up to eight regular games a day. “Polite” and “embarrassing” boasts are available as wall posts after scrimmages. Exhibition games grant the same rewards as regular games, but are limited to Facebook friends.

In addition to monetary and player rewards, each game also rewards a virtual currency called Reputation Points. Reputation points are the primary tool of strategy. They can be used to purchase special power ups that will boost parts of a team (e.g. Receivers). They can also be used to buy more games per day or even increase the total amount of funds. Better yet, at each level users can take part in a draft for new players. Unfortunately, their draft turn is pretty high (7-12), but Reputation Points can be used to purchase a better pick position.

Reputation PointsPlayers are able to acquire real NFL players from both the past and present and can eventually unlock games to play professional franchises for trophies.

Franchise Football isn’t exactly a deep game, without a whole lot of strategy;  it’s basically play, recruit, repeat, and thus in-depth sports manager fans may not find enough to do. But the average Facebook user will find it gratifying to watch a team evolve and grow quickly, which may help explain why this game is growing so quickly.

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6 Responses to “CBSSports.com Gets into Social Sports with Franchise Football”

  1. Brenda says:

    Thanks for the review, Christopher!

    The game is designed to be very simple to play at the beginning.

    What would not have been apparent in a quick initial session playing the game is that as you progress, you unlock more and more strategic elements: coaches which provide bonuses based on the skill of players at certain positions, the trading post (which plays off of the draft), individual player training and the league of champions. We have designed the game this way to make it easy for users to start playing and also to reward the more sophisticated player with challenging layers of strategy as they progress.

    Feedback from our users is that the game is simple to play but difficult to master!

    The core audience for our game are fantasy game players looking for more of a 24/7 fantasy-style experience.

    thanks again for the review!

    Brenda Spoonemore
    CEO, Atomic Moguls/Fantasy Moguls

  2. kenneth alexander says:

    is there a list of the players you have put in to this game somewhere i can access it so i dont have to ask others when i get a chance at certain players like ed reed or ray lewis? i know there later in the game from where im at cause there considered best of the best at there positions today?

  3. Adam says:

    I really am a fan of CBS franchise football and have recently started playing CBS franchise basketball. My question is, in the future will there be a franchise hockey or a franchise baseball? It would seem that it is only a matter of time before these sports are added, seeing as they would allow for a draw from a different group of facebook users.

  4. Andrew Maltbi says:

    Where is the team I was working so hard on? It is called Deadly Munchkins and I started it about 6 months ago? All I can get is this new game that I don’t like. My Coach was Lombardi. I had Favre as QB, Rice, Revis, Freeny, Mean Joe, Butkus, Lawrence Taylor,Troy P. as safety, Singletary, Barry Sanders etc. I played THAT game too long to not be able to ever play it again ,I was proud of that team now I’m playing this lousy excuse for a game. I WANT MY OLD TEAM BACK! I was Lvl.46 (I think – it’s close). I want to be able to play the old game!!! Unfortunately, I did use the same team name for your new & much worse game, so. PLEASE TRY TO HELP ME TO RECOVER MY TEAM. Let me Keep Playing the game that I enjoyed. That was a fun game, otherwise I might as well give up with playing your football games. Look on this past wed. I’m there and almost everyday before then. HELP. Or you lose a customer. It may also be listed under one of my email addresses. PLEASE HELP ME FIND THE FUN GAME 2010-2011. (try my website or I’ll give you a list of others).
    HELP! -Extremely upset this is sadistic of you. HELP! Post you Phone # and I’ll give you more information. Stand up and do the right thing.

  5. Tim Coney says:

    I just started the process of playing this game but when the “permission” part came up, I declined. I don’t WANT CBS to have access to my info any damn time they want and I DON’T want those stupid announcements posted every time some little thing is accomplished – my aunt plays games on facebook and I am inundated with posts about every item she finds in her hidden object game. CBS, if you ever get to a reasonable point where you let people decide for themselves what they will allow, maybe I’ll try your game. Until then….

  6. Gamer says:

    Game is fun but it has a TON of glitches that should be figured out before it is released. Poor programming and very aggravating when you hit a glitch and it stops you dead in your tracks or really hurts your team building. Seems like some people get their problems fixed right away but others wait for long periods before developers (Ion) gets back to you. Then in the message/help forum (sports bar) there are alot of rude people that call other users idiots and alot worse. To me there are alot of kids playing this game and people that talk to others that way need to be monitored and warned to stop. If they dont the programmers should ban them from the game. This is a social network game so the language on the boards should be kept clean and respectful since there can be kids playing this game. It is a shame that the makers of this game have not thought of this before hand but its something that really needs to be looked at. the worst on the boards is a Sean Dastrup (and his multiple alter IDs). He rips about 50% of the people that post on the boards (that he answers) calls them every name in the book and that should NOT be allowed. I would say when people are verbally bashed on the boards it probably pushes more people away from the game that could mean lose in $$ for the makers of the game. So I would really push for the makers of the game to start watching the boards and start detering people from abusing other users. If nothing else give them a warning with a suspension for a week to show them you are serious. Game is fun but some of the people REALLY start making you think if the abuse is worth taking for a GAME.

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