Madden NFL 21 Won't Support 'Smart Delivery', Opting Instead For Own System

Published: May 7, 2020 2:32 PM /



The upcoming installment in the Madden franchise, Madden NFL 21, has been officially confirmed for the Xbox Series X. However, there is a small catch for those who purchase the title on Xbox One before the next-gen console comes out. There will be a time limit on when you can purchase the title, and when you can upgrade it. Not only that, EA Sports decided to opt-out of Microsoft's Smart Delivery feature and go with their own upgrade scheme.

The studio took advantage of Inside Xbox's latest episode to let Super Bowl MVP and Madden NFL 20 cover athlete Patrick Mahomes announce the game to the world. Additionally, in a follow-up post online they revealed anyone who purchases Madden NFL 21 on Xbox One before December 31 will get to upgrade to the Xbox Series X version with no additional cost whatsoever if they purchase the console before March 31, 2021.

This is definitely different than what Microsoft promoted recently for Xbox Series X owners easily playing their Xbox One library through the Smart Delivery feature. For those unfamiliar, it will allow you to enjoy free graphical upgrades for the titles you own on the current-generation consoles once you move on to next-gen. It basically allows you to play a better version Developers and publishers are free to opt-in the service and choose whether their titles will support Smart Delivery or not - similar to Sony's cross-buy.

EA Sports are taking a different approach with Madden NFL 21 and put a time limit on purchasing the title on Xbox One and another time limit on when you can upgrade it. This may be an EA wide trend but only time will tell if this is a one-time thing with EA Sports titles specifically or if the whole studio, and possibly other developers, will do the same. It is possible part of the reason for this is to maintain system parity by EA, providing the same 'upgrade' option on both PlayStation and Xbox, but again we'll have to wait to find out more.

Head of Xbox Partnerships and Business Development, Sarah Bond, commented on EA Sports' announcement and expressed her excitement towards Xbox Series X getting their hands on Madden NFL 21. 

The development teams at EA are always pushing the envelope to leverage new technology in exciting ways that benefit their fans and we’re thrilled by the work they’ve done in optimizing Madden NFL 21 for Xbox Series X. We’re delighted to be partners as we usher in the next generation of gaming.

There was a hint during the call of Sony's PlayStation 5 users enjoying a similar upgrade scheme for Madden NFL 21 as well. Make sure to check out the Xbox Series X announcement trailer below from the Inside Xbox episode earlier.

Do you think EA Sports will take advantage of the next-generation of consoles and change up their franchise with new features and modes for players to enjoy? What are you most excited about for the upcoming iteration of Madden NFL? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below.

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More Info About This Game
Learn more about Madden NFL 21
Game Page Madden NFL 21
Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
Release Date
August 28, 2020 (Calendar)
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