Despite controversy surrounding its quality, Madden NFL 21 has enjoyed the strongest opening sales week in franchise history. EA says first week unit sales - counting physical and digital numbers - are up almost 20% on last year's Madden entry.
What's the Madden NFL 21 controversy about?
Even though EA says Madden NFL 21 has performed well in sales terms, fans aren't happy with how the game has turned out. The PlayStation 4 version is currently sitting at an astonishingly low 0.3 user score on Metacritic, with users citing a lack of polish, a surplus of predatory microtransactions, and excessive similarity to Madden NFL 20 as the reasons for their negative reviews. The hashtag #nfldropea was trending during the game's initial release, with fans imploring the NFL to ditch EA as a partner for its games and look elsewhere. Madden NFL is currently the lowest-rated game in the entire Metacritic PS4 listing.
Despite these issues, EA says Madden NFL 21 is being played "more in its first week" than prior Madden entries. The publisher released an infographic with plenty of information for stats geeks. More than 17 million games have been played in the game's new The Yard mode, which introduces gameplay inspired by backyard-style football. Within the first seven days of release, EA says players have completed "more than 460,000 seasons" of football in the game, with the two most popular teams being the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs. In total, players have played almost 50% more games in Madden NFL 21 compared with the same period in Madden NFL 20.
You can grab Madden NFL 21 right now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. EA says it will also be delivering "distinct Madden NFL 21 experiences across current and next-generation platforms", with the game coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as well. Madden NFL 21 won't support Xbox Smart Delivery, but you will be able to upgrade to the Series X or PS5 versions at no additional cost if you purchase the game on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 via EA's own bespoke system.
Have you been playing Madden NFL 21? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!