EA Sports has officially launched a release trailer for Madden NFL 21 and announced the cover athlete: Baltimore Ravens quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. Jackson follows in the footsteps of fellow quarterback and prior league MVP Patrick Mahomes, and is the ninth QB in total to appear on the front of the game’s packaging, following others like Tom Brady, Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick.
The cover itself aims to briefly tell Jackson’s story: apart from acknowledging his MVP status, it also features a memorable “Not bad for a running back” quote. These words were uttered by Jackson after a dominant 59-10 win over the hapless Miami Dolphins in Week 1 of the 2019-20 NFL season, during which he completed 17-of-20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns before sitting out the entire fourth quarter; a performance that quelled the doubts of pundits who though he’d be better suited to play as a running back after a prolific college career.
Moving from the cover athlete to the game itself, Madden fine-tunes its product to delight casual and competitive players alike each year. This iterations’s biggest shifts are based around new ball carrier and D-line mechanics, plus a more realistic open field tackling system. All of these improvements are on display in the new trailer, which also shows off new camera angles, team celebrations and more.
“I grew up playing Madden and owned every copy I could get my hands on, so to be on the cover of Madden NFL 21 is a dream come true, especially when the cover represents so much of my story,” said Jackson. “The welcome to the Madden family from around the league and from fans has been phenomenal and I think people will have a lot of fun with the new features coming in this year’s game.”
Madden NFL 21 is set to release on August 28 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC via Origin and Steam. Xbox One players who purchase the game before the release of Madden NFL 22 next year will also be able to receive a copy of Madden NFL 21 for the Xbox Series X at no additional cost. Players who pre-order the game are bequeathed with a bevy of Ultimate Team mode benefits, including 3-Day Early Access, a Lamar Jackson Elite Item with Power Up, 17 Madden Ultimate Team Gold Team Fantasy Packs, one Large Quicksell Training Pack, Madden Championship Series Ultimate Champion Pack, 1 of 32 Elite Players from a Team Elite Pack and one “Your Choice” Uniform Pack.
Elsewhere, take a look at the key highlights from Sony’s PlayStation 5 launch event.