Mixed reviews from critics do not seem to be dampening enthusiasm for Madden NFL 21. The game’s sell-through is up nearly 20 percent year-over-year in its first week compared to Madden NFL 20.
“As millions of fans across the globe are gearing up for the return of the NFL next week, EA Sports Madden NFL 21 is where football fans have come to play and express their excitement for the season’s start,” EA said in a statement. “Madden NFL 20 was a record-setting year that saw more unique players and engagement than ever before in Madden NFL franchise history. Now, Madden NFL 21 continues that momentum.”
Here’s more from the company:
Since the game’s launch on August 28 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, players have played nearly 50 percent more games in Madden NFL 21 compared to the first week of Madden NFL 20. Additionally, The Yard, the brand-new backyard football-inspired mode in Madden NFL 21, has been a hit with players, with more than 17 million games played already. The Yard brings fast-paced, small-sided gameplay to the Madden NFL franchise and offers new ways for players to express themselves through deep customization options and relaxed rules that allow for creative gameplay moments and trick plays such as behind the back throws and double passes.
In the first seven days of Madden NFL 21, players have completed more than 460,000 seasons of football, providing an exclusive look at how the 2020 NFL season could unfold. Players have spoken, and this year the two most popular teams are the Baltimore Ravens, led by Madden NFL 21 Cover Athlete and NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, followed by the Kansas City Chiefs, led by Madden NFL 20 cover athlete and reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes. Jackson is one of the top ball carriers across the game, with the second-most rushing touchdowns of all players, and the highest rushing yards among quarterbacks and the second-most passing touchdowns.
Critics remain largely negative on this year’s game
Despite strong sales so far, critics are dinging this year’s game for a lack of innovation. There have also been reports of technical flaws and glitches. It is currently averaging a 64 out of 100 on OpenCritic. Even worse, only 12 percent of professional critics on the site recommend it.
Madden NFL 21 launched on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on August 28. The game is also coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X once those systems come out later this year. Earlier this year, EA and the NFL extended Madden‘s exclusivity. The deal covers simulation-style football games.
Meanwhile, 2K also inked a deal with the NFL earlier this year. The company looks to get back into the football market with what will likely be arcade-style games. Fans hoping for a revival of the NFL 2K series, at least as a simulation-style game, will likely be disappointed due to EA’s agreement with the NFL.