We Should Be Disappointed But Not Surprised the Rollout of 'Madden 21' Was Disastrous
By Liam McKeone
It's August, and football is right around the corner. That means the end of summer is near, and it also means the newest edition of Madden has been released. This year has been strange in ways no words can describe, but Madden came out on schedule regardless. And it sucks. Again.
Madden 21 has been taking a lot of heat since its release late last week for various glitches and bugs that vary in egregiousness. Some are the kind of ridiculous, "are you kidding me" moments that new video games always deal with in some way, shape, or form when it is first released. Like this.
It is very dumb, but not really worth getting all worked up about because it's a gameplay glitch. Some glitches, however, are worth getting worked up about. Like this one, where the virtual groundskeeping crew failed to put anything on the field at all!
One does not need to search particularly hard around the internet to find dozens of similar videos. #NFLdropEA was trending over the weekend because fans were so mad about how poorly the game came out. This one is a favorite of mine.
As of writing, Madden 21 on Playstation 4 has a user score of 0.4 on Metacritic. Yes, that is out of 10. People are so upset with EA they're taking time out of their day to go give the latest Madden game a zero out of 10 stars online.
We can be disappointed, but we should not be surprised. Madden has declined in quality significantly over the course of this decade because EA has a pure monopoly on the football video game market and have no reason to innovate. They upgrade the graphics engine, add a few new tackle mechanics, and call it a day. This year appears to be no different. They added The Yard, a gamemode I declared too good to be true ahead of its release and I regret to inform you all that I was right as the new feature has been hindered with technological issues from the get-go. When users can actually play, it appears that it's a good addition, though. So credit is given where credit is due.
EA as a whole has always had big issues with the rollouts of their premier games. Titanfall and Battlefield games are rarely actually ready to go when the game is released as bugs and glitches litter multiplayer platforms and the core functions of the games themselves. Thus, energy is wasted getting upset about such glitches in Madden. They'll be fixed eventually, but they're always going to be there when the game is launched. Whether it's EA's fault or a poor reflection of the state of the video game industry, it's disappointing but not shocking this is what happens.
I'll still play this game because football and video game fans have nowhere else to turn to. But damn, wouldn't it be nice to get a Madden game that is a marked improvement from its predecessors instead of just slightly updated? The stuff dreams are made of.