Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson let it slip that he’s the cover athlete of Madden 21, but EA did not announce this year’s game at the NFL Draft like expected.
The NFL Draft gave football fans some much-needed sports talk this past weekend. While it’s still unclear if we’ll have an actual season, it was a nice break from the 24/7 coronavirus news cycle. In the gaming world, Baltimore Ravens quarterback let it slip that he will be the cover athlete for this year’s Madden 21. And while many of us thought EA would use the draft as a platform to formally announce this year’s game, they didn’t.
EA typically announces the latest installment in its long-running Madden series at the NFL draft but for whatever reason, the publisher decided to hold back. There could be numerous reasons for the lack of a formal announcement but it’s only speculation at this point.
For starters, the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced many game developers to shift to a work from home model, may have had an impact on either the game’s marketing or it’s development. If it’s the latter, it could spell trouble for Madden 21‘s release. Typically, the new Madden launches in August but any sort of development delay could push that back.
There’s also the fact that two new consoles are launching later this year. Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are due out this holiday season. However, the coronavirus is also threatening this as well due to potential manufacturing issues and supply issues. For what it’s worth, both Microsoft and Sony still seem committed to launching later this year.
Maybe EA was hoping to tie the official Madden 21 reveal with some sort of Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 event. There were rumors that Sony would be hosting a PS5 reveal but, of course, the virus threw everything out of whack.
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Even so, Madden 21 would probably launch for current-gen consoles before a possible re-release alongside the PS5 and Xbox Series X. I don’t think a formal announcement has anything to do with those consoles. If anything, the announcement simply could have been the Lamar Jackson news plus any sort of new features or details.
I don’t know why EA hasn’t yet formally unveiled Madden 21 or why they didn’t do it during the NFL draft. We all know the game is coming, barring any catastrophic event. While the details may not be ironed out because of all of the uncertainty in the world right now, it still seems odd that EA wouldn’t at least share some sort of official press release about Lamar Jackson being the cover athlete.
With the NFL Draft behind us, I’m not sure when would be an optimal time to announce Madden 21 at this point. There won’t be any formal Xbox or PlayStation reveal events and E3 has been scrapped, which also means EA Play will not be happening. Thankfully, we live in a world with YouTube so an official announcement is as simple as uploading a trailer.