The ball is fumbled on the pig iron, and it's good! Electronic Arts have now announced Madden NFL 21, their latest annual American sporting sequel, and it will be on both Origin and Steam and launch. I know EA have been going on about their reinvigorated commitment to Steam for a while now, but between this and Star Wars: Squadrons both coming to Steam at launch, I might actually believe it. While I have bought games on Origin, I would be quite glad to never use the client again because of one bug: how often it forgets my saved login.
This year's Madden is will bring tweaked controls, new Superstar and X-Factor abilities (seems like cheating for Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man to play sports), and a new story campaign for the 'Face of the Franchise' mode. This time, we'll get to create a player and see them from high school football through to college and up into the NFL.
In October 2019, EA announced they were returning to Steam, almost a decade after a falling-out led to some older games being pulled and new games not being released there at all. Since then, new games have been coming to Steam and older ones have returned. Earlier this month, EA added Battlefield 3, 4 and 1, Mass Effect 3, ME Andromeda, and the new Star Wars Battlefront games.
To see one of their tentpole annual series coming to Steam really drives home, okay, maybe they are serious about this. Good. I would prefer not to use Origin ever again. Having to load another client is a bit annoying, yeah, but it's Origin forgetting my login that really gets to me. It is such a minor complaint, but having to log into my password manager get my Origin login so many times over the years has been grown to be quite irksome. How does it still do this after so long, across several computers. Eat it, Origin.
EA will host their EA Play Live online notE3 showcase on Thursday night, at 4pm Pacific (so just at the stroke of midnight for us in the UK). I hope to see Fifa and all the other newness on Steam too. And maybe they'll finally announce the promised Steam releases of The Sims 4 and Apex Legends. They're also planning to launch their Origin Access subscription service on Steam at some point.
The company had planned to announce the new Madden on June 1st but delayed it in light of protests over the killing of George Floyd. "Our immediate attention is on actions we can take to drive change against the unjust treatment and systemic bias that is plaguing the nation and our world," they said at the time. A few days later, they declared their "actions against racial injustice" will include giving $1 million (£800k) for organisations including the AACP Legal Defense And Educational Fund, and giving all employees an additional paid day for volunteering each year. The protests continue.