RealOpinions: Madden 21 adds "The Yard" but is this what the fans want?

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The Yard is coming to Madden 21, but very little is known about it. Leaks from testing show that EA Sports are planning to have this new game mode as part of Madden 21.

But with the response for Madden 21 so far, are EA Sports missing the mark completely with their fanbase?

The Yard

We don't know much as there's no official confirmation. Over the weekend, there were screenshots of an update to the Beta showed this new game mode.

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Reportedly, it will be a 6-on-6 backyard football mode using your Created Player. This sounds similar to NBA 2K‘s Park or NHL‘s Chel.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Madden 21

Both game modes have their fans, so it's not a surprise that Madden is going down that route. Particularly with the focus on Volta in Fifa.

EA Sports rivals, 2K sports, signed a deal with the NFL to produce a 'non-sim' NFL game which everyone thought would be a revival of NFL Street.

The Yard would be in direct competition with that.

No matter how good this game mode turns out to be, a subsection of fans will be disappointed the investments are being made to making existing game modes better.

Sim or Arcade?

But this raises an issue. Madden for so long has been the main simulation football game. There seems to be a trend across all EA Sports games moving away from this and to more arcade gameplay.

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Ultimate Team is a huge driver of this. Now the main source of revenue (and not even close) each release of an EA Sports title gets more and more focused on supporting these lucrative modes and their players.

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The players that love MUT are varied, but the gameplay in MUT is arcade in style. Overpowered players dominate, every play is a highlight reel and whilst its a lot of fun - its not everyone's cup of tea.

Adding The Yard will be another game mode to add to Superstar KO and MUT that is of an arcade nature. There's always room for fun games, but fans of simulation football are slowly being forced out of Madden.


Franchise has been the last bastion of those fans who want a simulation game.

Players work out the right settings and sliders to make the experience as realistic as possible. Those running online leagues limit play styles to ensure that it reflects real life.

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EA Sports are in danger of not realizing there is a disconnect between where their finances are coming from and their key audience. From a business perspective, it's not clear whether this will matter.

Any business will focus on its revenue, but what hasn't been seen to full effect is how big this group of franchise players really is and what impact it would have if they stopped buying Madden.

EA Sports seemed to recognise the reaction to the #FixMaddenFranchise tweet. It gained so much traction that EA Sports issued a statement video recognising the reaction from fans.

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What they will actually do about it remains to be seen. But another arcade game mode will surely make them question why this time and resource isn't going into improving the franchise mode?

Madden 21 details

We now have a confirmed release date for Madden 21.

Circle 28 August in your calendar. Though you can play from 25 August with early access.

Lamar Jackson was the breakout star of last season and named MVP. He was the early frontrunner for the Madden 21 cover and EA did not disappoint.


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The Madden 21 gameplay trailer is available here.

There are three editions of Madden 21 available.

The Standard Edition comes in at £55/$60, with early access available if you pre-order the Deluxe Edition (£70/$75) or the MVP Edition (£80/$85).

Get your pre-orders in here.

READ MORE: Madden 21 coming to Steam for PC

For more articles like this, take a look at our Madden and Opinion page.