Are you concerned about the next-gen version of Madden 21? If not, you probably should be.
All things considered, it’s been a tough year to be a Madden fan. The franchise mode is still underdeveloped, and changes aren’t coming until November, and those only scrape the surface of fixing what ails the feature.
The game has been buggy since launch, and every patch seems to break something else with the game. It’s not exactly the most ideal environment for a brand to step into the next-generation.
As it is, when or shortly after the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are released, the next level of Madden 21 will arrive. Here’s five reasons you should, be at least a little concerned.
Current-Gen Version Has Been Buggy
If EA has had issues providing a functional version of Madden 21 on current-gen systems–despite just a few noticeable changes to the traditional structure–what are we to expect from the game on entirely new hardware?
Oftentimes there are early bumps in the road. You’d be wise to expect similar issues considering what we’ve seen from the PS4 and Xbox One X versions.
Developing on a New Console, During a Pandemic
To compound the understandable issues that come with developing for a new console(s), there’s also the COVID-19 factor.
The pandemic has impacted just about everything on Earth, so game development isn’t exempt. No matter what adjustments were made in the development of the game on next-gen, it seems unlikely there won’t be some sort of fallout directly or indirectly related to devs working from home.
Team Still Working to Clean Up Issues From Current-Gen
As I mentioned above, EA is still trying to get a handle on bugs in the current-gen version. Meanwhile, we’re less than 60 days away from the release of the game on next-gen.
It seems reasonable to assume the resources dedicated to putting out current-gen fires might detract from the attention being paid to ironing out some potential early issues with next-gen Madden.
I’d love to be wrong about this one, especially.
First Year on New Consoles Can Produce Barebones Launch Titles
Say everything I’ve said above winds up not being an issue, and the game has an unlikely, but welcomed smooth launch; There is still the chance we’ll see a scaled-back feature set in a game that can ill afford that kind of approach–at least from a critics’ point of view.
The Ultimate Team crew will be fine as long as that mode is functional. As long as the whales pay billions into the microtransaction system, EA will tout financial success.
However, we’ve learned there is a difference between financial and critical success in the microtransaction era. A bad game can be profitable if it facilitates an environment that encourages gamers to spend to attain digital goodies.
Right now, I wouldn’t call Madden a bad game, but it’s financial success is not indicative of its overall quality.
We Haven’t Even Seen a Player’s Face Yet
Visuals are always a major selling point with new consoles, and a lot of the value in this vein will be associated with player faces. Well, we haven’t seen one yet. All we’ve seen is Tom Brady and DeVante Adams’ back.
It makes me wonder if they feel confident about the work in this important area–at least as it pertains to generating the wow factor.
Let’s hope EA proves me completely wrong on all five points of concern.