For years, EA Sports managed to sweep criticism of its annual football video game release under the rug. High sales and a capable PR department meant there weren’t mainstream backlashes or hits to the company’s bottom line.
Gamers are increasingly fed up, though, and their anger toward “Madden 21” is leading to a breakthrough in 2020. The game has the worst Metacritic score of all time at a 0.4/10, and several times over the past couple of months desire for a better product has led to nationwide anti-EA trends on Twitter.
EA has exclusive rights to NFL simulation games, meaning it has no console competition. It has faced accusations of becoming lazy because of its stranglehold on the market, which in the eyes of critics has led the company to stop making meaningful improvements, commit sloppy programming errors and fail to reinstate franchise mode features that existed more than a decade ago but have since been removed.
On Sunday, people again flocked to Twitter to blast “Madden 21.” Fans got “#NFLDropEA” trending in the U.S. in a plea to the league to end its partnership with EA.
Some people used Sunday’s trend to post examples of basic flaws and glitches in “Madden 21.” Others were nostalgic for the glory days of the mid-2000s, when football video games were considered cutting-edge and fun.
Here are some of those tweets:
Tired of games feeling like I’m still playing on Xbox 360. Avatars look so horribly bad and stadium and team personalities are so boring and bland, make a new game for once or leave. Enjoy this clip though! #nfldropea pic.twitter.com/N34mdeWHn6
— QueasyMcSqueezy (@EatPant223) August 30, 2020
I agree that the NFL needs to drop EA. If 2K had the rights to produce NFL simulation games, things would be so different. NFL 2K5 is still one of the best football games to date. Allowing EA to have a monopoly on NFL simulation games is criminal. They don’t care. #NFLdropEA
— AviatorGaming (@AviatorGaming) August 30, 2020