EA Sports have come under fire for the quality of Madden NFL 21, with the game becoming the lowest user-rated game on Metacritic.
The game launched on August 28th, and quickly grew ire of fans. As of this time of writing, the game has a user score of 0.4 or less out of 10 on Metacritic across Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The PlayStation 4 user score is 0.2 out of 10.
This currently places the game as the lowest user-rated game on Metacritic [1, 2, 3]. Despite this, the Metascore (combining several critic scores) is 69 to 60 out of 100.
Complaints include the game missing features and modes from prior entries, bugs, scripted moments robbing control from the player, poor graphics (including some players not looking like their real-life counterparts), re-using animations (such as touchdown celebrations), and microtransactions.
While fans and outsiders have criticized the series having minimal or no improvements each year, this year seems to have been the breaking point for many. This may be due to the rising cost of games.
This grew to a fever pitch, with fans posting the game’s shortcomings under #NFLdropEA. Some have speculated EA Sport’s lack of competition in producing an officially licenced NFL video game has resulted in them growing complacent.
Comments by some EA Sport staff have also fanned the flames. Clint Oldenburg (EA Sports Madden NFL Gameplay Production & Ratings Adjuster) responded to one Twitter user, posting the review aggregate for the game on Google- 2.0 out of 356 ratings.
“Well, 2 is better than 1!” quipped Oldenburg. Many replies then accused Oldenburg of not taking the game’s issues seriously, further re-enforcing the belief of EA not caring about the quality of the game.
However, it should be noted that Oldenburg has replied more seriously to other replies about the game. These include addressing bugs (stating they would be fixed soon) [1, 2, 3], or debunking that certain bugs and errors were in the game [1, 2].
It should be noted that Metacritic’s user reviews do not verify if a user has completed or played a game. In February a user of Reset Era orchestrated the review bombing of AI: The Somnium Files, due to the user’s grudge with the game’s content.
Though the exact motivation was never clear, the user initially they claimed they did it specifically to prove how easy it was to manipulate a userscore on Metacritic, citing how Warcraft III: Reforged became the lowest rated game on Metacritic at that time.
Another such game that had drawn attention to Metacritic’s user review system was The Last Of Us Part II. Despite high praise from reviewers and critics, some players seemingly despised the game.
As we previously reported, the game had a low user review score (3.3 out of 10 from over 16,000 user reviews) in the first 24 hours of the game’s launch. As of July 18th, this eventually grew to 5.5 out of 10 from over 127,000 user reviews.
Metacritic later placed a 36 hour grace period on user reviews for video games. Metacritic would state soon after that the decision was not motivated by reactions to any particular game.
Madden NFL 21 is also heading to Xbox Series X in November 2020, along with PlayStation 5 and Google Stadia in Q4 2020.
In earlier news, EA Sports announced that the Washington Redskins would be a generic team in Madden NFL 21, until the real life team decides on a new name and logo.
Image: Madden NFL 21 official website