Last April, we learned that Electronics Arts would be bringing its games to Stadia, such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. At the time of this announcement, EA also stated that the Madden NFL series would be coming to the platform but never stipulated which entry in the series would be Stadia's first. Well, EA has finally decided to announce that this entry will be Madden NFL 21 and that it will be available on Stadia starting on January 28th. Even better, this launch will signal a free weekend that will end on the 31st, which should ideally allow any interested parties a lengthy look at the game without going out of pocket.
Apparently, EA and Verizon are running some sort of Pro Bowl promotion for Madden, where actual NFL players from the Pro Bowl will play Madden 21 in order to entice fans of the sport. So EA has also managed to tie the Stadia release for Madden NFL 21 into this promotion by not only announcing the upcoming Stadia release for the 28th but also by announcing that all platforms, including Stadia, will offer a free weekend for the game from the 28th to the 31st, with the 31st also being the day the primary Pro Bowl even will kick off in-game as well as the actual Pro Bowl itself airing on TV.
Interestingly, Madden NFL 21 will be the first game using the Frostbite engine on Stadia, so it could be a signal other Frostbite games will come to the platform in the future. EA has also announced that Madden NFL 21: Superstar Edition will be available at a 60% discount across all platforms once the game's free trial is over, and this sale will last until February 8th. Sadly EA has yet to stipulate how much the Stadia versions will cost, and there's still no word if the game will offer cross-platform multiplayer support. Considering the game already doesn't offer this feature across existing platforms, it's probably a safe bet that the Stadia version will also lack in this area.
So there you have it. Electronic Arts have finally announced the release date for Madden NFL on Stadia, bringing forward a free weekend that begins on launch day to really take advantage of the in-game Pro Bowl event tied to the actual Pro Bowl that will take place on the 31st. While it would have been nice to see prices listed in today's announcement or some form of acknowledgment of what fans can expect from the multiplayer aspects of this game on Stadia, I suppose EA isn't interested in informing fans of what features they can expect from a release on a new platform when it can simply promote an event while glossing over all of the things that actually matter to the people that play this game. Still, at the very least, there will be a free weekend that starts on the 28th. This way, people can take the game for a spin to decide for themselves if they like what they see.
- Electronic Arts