In an unprecedentedly difficult year for basically everyone, the video game industry has been far from immune to struggles due to the coronavirus pandemic. The release of Electronic Arts’ NHL 21, for example, was pushed to October amid “major adjustments” to its production schedule as employees worked from home at length amid the still-ongoing pandemic.
It seems the latest Madden game isn’t immune to these problems, either, and fans have expressed their frustration on social media on the game’s first weekend of release. As gamers got their hands on Madden NFL 21, they sent videos of their issues on social media, which started to trend in a big way on Sunday.
Sports simulators are bound to have imperfections, as the physics they try to create and the vast possibilities of play mean things get weird sometimes. There was a very successful series by Jon Bois intentionally trying to, well, break Madden that caused some very funny things to happen. But the response to Madden NFL 21 was overwhelming, and soon #NFLDropEA trended on Twitter as frustrated gamers shared more evidence of Madden‘s issues.
One gamer on the Uproxx staff had their copy of Madden NFL 21 crash the very first time the title screen booted up. Overall the game hasn’t gotten great reviews. And while our official review is still forthcoming, many on Twitter were more than ready to share some big problems they’ve encountered with Madden NFL 21 on launch.
— #NFLdropEA (@Trill_Hendon) August 30, 2020
— NFL Draft guru (@NFLsantaClaus) August 30, 2020
— KillShot (@GetEmTriggered) August 30, 2020
— Chris Barnewall (@ChrisBarnewall) August 29, 2020
This is what happens in FOTF after it forces you to retire at 30. It just sims until it stays at 2050 and will forever. You can’t get out of it. It just glitches until you have to quit the application. You had a year to work on this. What were you doing? @EAMaddenNFL #NFLDropEA pic.twitter.com/DTKZpetio2
— Luke Monin (@ata4004) August 30, 2020
— Derrick Mathis🐺 (@Derrick_Wolfrex) August 30, 2020
It’s worth noting that bugs like these will likely be fixed, and one of the first things likely to go in a game crunch is bug fixes. Given the difficulties in completing anything amid life in quarantine, there’s an understandable amount of fixing that will likely come in the weeks and months ahead for Madden NFL 21. But it also speaks to the general frustration fans have had with many sports games that update yearly, especially ones that have an exclusive license to create games as EA has had with the NFL for years.
I agree that the NFL needs to drop EA. If 2K had the rights to produce NFL simulation games, things would be so different. NFL 2K5 is still one of the best football games to date. Allowing EA to have a monopoly on NFL simulation games is criminal. They don't care. #NFLdropEA
— AviatorGaming (@AviatorGaming) August 30, 2020
Even former NFL players seem frustrated.
While not every complaint amplifying the hashtag was a real human being, there was some creativity to the complaints. That is to say, there were also a lot of memes.
— Jah💥 (@LookatCurryMan_) August 30, 2020
For some their frustrations aren’t just that the new game has bugs, but that newer iterations on the Madden franchise haven’t changed all that much in recent years.
This problem has persisted for years. As great as Madden 08 was, you can pick up Madden 07 and not notice much of difference.
— Nomar Mendoza (@TheNomarMendoza) August 30, 2020
As people shared videos from the current Madden, others showed that even simple things like updating logos from last year’s game appear to have slipped through the cracks in past editions of the title.
— 🙎🏿♂️ (@therealonekobe) August 30, 2020
Online fan reviews are very prone to wild fluctuations on release, especially when there’s a groundswell of negativity. But the extent the game has seen in its first few days is startling.
i dont think the game is that bad but yikes pic.twitter.com/SvuW8ObYiZ
— charles (#1 summer allergy hater) mcdonald (@FourVerts) August 30, 2020
No game is impossible to save, of course. And in the case of bugs and glitches these things can be fixed once they’re uncovered and made known. Unfortunately for Madden NFL 21, the glitches are seeing the light of day in a big way and fans are making it clear they’re not happy with the product they’re seeing on launch.