Madden 21 Franchise Mode: When will EA reveal updates & changes? Developer stream, release date & more

Madden 21 offers an opportunity for EA to get Franchise mode right. What should they focus on?

Tom Owen by Tom Owen

Anticipation is building for Madden 21.

We have a release date, a trailer, and even pre-orders available.

However, news about Franchise Mode, that core part of Madden, has not been a part of EA’s campaign so far. Should fans be worried?


Madden 21 release date

Before we get into it, let’s remind ourselves of when we can expect to see the next instalment.

Madden 21 will arrive on 28 August, with early access available from 25 August.

READ MORE: Madden 21 – Next gen consoles promise most realistic game ever

There should be a closed beta period before this, with the timing and sign-up process almost certainly getting announced in July.

What do we know about Franchise Mode so far?

Unfortunately, the quick answer to that is basically nothing.

EA Sports has long been accused of complacency with regards to the franchise and career modes of all their games, and right now they are doing little to change that narrative.

Meeting Patrick Mahomes in Face of the Franchise
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We do know that Face of the Franchise will be returning. The mode will be extended with two seasons of NCAA play and even rumors of High School action.

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However that mode leads to a player-controlled Franchise Mode rather than the HC or owner-controlled one that most people play.

So when could we hear more about Franchise mode?

Developer live stream

A developer deep dive stream is happening today!

This one will go into gameplay, but hopefully there will be more of these streams coming in next few weeks to give fans some info about Franchise Mode.

What do we want to see changed for Madden 21?


Improved Contracts and Financial Management

Improving the immersion and quality of experience should be key for Madden 21.

Madden has struggled to keep pace with the NFL in terms of its contracts and financial gameplay.

franchise mode needs a refresh
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READ MORE: Is NCAA Football coming back in Madden 21?

In real life, the NFL has evolved from simple contracts containing a number of years and an amount of $. They now structure deals to be front-loaded, back-loaded, a certain amount guaranteed, options and performance-related bonuses.

Madden introduced the 5th year option mid-way through this season which was a hugely welcomed addition. The fact that a few massive names, mainly the guy on the cover – Patrick Mahomes – were coming up to that point forced EA’s hand a little.

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We just want more of it. Previous versions of the game have actually had better functionality and ability to do some backloading, but they ditched this in favor of a simpler method that’s easier to understand and manage cap space.

READ MORE: Madden 21 – New gameplay features confirmed

There’s definitely space for both methods, so this should be the kind of option that can be chosen in the settings to give the ability to play both types.

Further tweaks to XP and Development Traits

This is something EA has been tweaking slightly over a number of years and it is getting better, but more is needed.

This year, they reduced the average rating of players so that your standard player was rated around the 75-overall mark. This threw a lot of people, including some actual NFL players.

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Alongside this, they up weighted the importance of development trait by introducing Superstar and X-Factor abilities. These were positive steps and have gone down well, but much like the scenarios through which they are linked, it needs to be deeper and smarter.

READ MORE: Madden 21 – Next-gen consoles promise most realistic game ever

For example, players can increase their development traits through breakout scenarios that come up periodically. But they can’t lose them. So over the seasons, there gets to be a congestion of the traits and there are 35-year-olds clinging to abilities that in reality, they should have lost.

Another example is how flat the training element feels. You select three players to give extra XP focus, but this could be drastically improved by giving varying levels of risk and reward based on doing more training, but it affecting stamina and injury risk.


Current practice modes are fine, but they aren’t anything close to actual NFL practice.

It would be amazing to take an install session, walkthrough, or individual drill that helps your players get boosts rather than just rep plays or schemes over and over.

Tom Owen