Madden 21 to Release on Xbox One & Xbox Series X; Free Upgrade for Limited Time

In the middle of the Inside Xbox event, Super Bowl Champion and MVP QB Patrick Mahomes crashed the event on behalf of EA Sports and Madden NFL 21. The Madden NFL 20 Cover Athlete revealed that Madden NFL 21 will be releasing on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X.

He also announced that all those that purchase Madden NFL 21 on Xbox One by December 31, 2020 will be able to upgrade to the Xbox Series X version at no extra cost. However, there is a caveat. You must upgrade it to Xbox Series X by March 31, 2021.

The limited time to upgrade is an odd choice. For starters, Xbox has been touting their Smart Delivery system for months. Smart Delivery is supposed to allow Xbox One games to work on Xbox Series X. However, Smart Delivery is only guaranteed for First-Party Xbox games, 3rd Party publishers can decide to opt-in or not. Electronic Arts decided not to opt-in.

Rather, they have made the choice to offer to upgrade Madden NFL 21 to Xbox Series X for free within a 3-month window. EA Sports is claiming that Madden 21 will be “Optimized for Xbox Series X”.

While that’s all well and good, the reality is that with the global pandemic straining people’s wallets, it may be tough for players to upgrade to Xbox Series X immediately at launch. It could cause that 3-month window to only favor a select few. Thus, making the promise to “Upgrade Madden 21 for free” contradictory.

As of this writing, we only know that Lamar Jackson is the Cover Athlete for Madden NFL 21. All other information has yet to be revealed. Madden usually releases in August and will no doubt release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with next-gen versions for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 releasing on respective launch dates.