Electronic Arts has unveiled Madden NFL 21, the next entry in its leading football series, and among the latest titles committed to Xbox Series X support. Taking to Microsoft’s Xbox Series X gameplay showcase, a brief trailer provides a tease of graphical advancements to come, with further details slated for its EA PLAY event, on track for June 11.
Madden NFL 21 also commits a free upgrade from Xbox One to Xbox Series X, aiming to ease the generational shift between consoles by eliminating the need to purchase the game twice.
It’s a common gesture across the early Xbox Series X catalog, with Microsoft’s “Smart Delivery” initiative providing a standardized system for hassle-free upgrades on Xbox Series X. It’s built into Xbox Series X, automatically serving the best available version, whether using discs or digital downloads. Over one dozen Xbox Series X titles have already committed to Xbox Smart Delivery, with Cyberpunk 2077, Halo Infinite, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla among early supporters.
“To receive the offer, players must purchase Madden NFL 21 on Xbox One by December 31, 2020 and upgrade to Xbox Series X by March 31, 2021,” the EA site reads. With Microsoft committed to holiday availability for Xbox Series X, Electronic Arts seemingly provides players with just a few months to buy the new console and secure the free next-generation upgrade.
The move spotlights Electronic Arts as the first publisher to break away from Microsoft’s own Smart Delivery upgrade program, instead favoring a more restrictive, limited-time solution. With Electronic Arts currently averse to Smart Delivery, it’s unlikely this is the only upcoming title from the publisher offering its own upgrade path.