Madden NFL 21 continues to have strong week one sales in spite of poor critic and customer reviews.
Despite being the worst-reviewed Madden game on record, Madden NFL 21 continues to sell well with its core customers. EA Sports recently announced that the only football simulation on the market has seen an almost 20% increase in its sell-through numbers as compared to last year. Sell-through, in case you don’t know, are how many copies were sold to customers. On the surface, that number might be surprising given the scores and online calls for a boycott. However, there are several factors that have likely led to such an increase.
🤯 Over 460K seasons have already been completed in #Madden21 by players‼️
— Madden NFL 21 (@EAMaddenNFL) September 3, 2020
The most obvious reason for Madden NFL 21 to continue its strong sales numbers is that EA Sports has a monopoly on simulation football with the NFL license. That, coupled with the brand awareness as the only game in town for years means people only have one place to go for their football fix. Remember, 2K can and will develop an arcade NFL game, but that hasn’t happened yet. For now, most casual fans might not even know that game is a thing.
On top of the perception monopoly the team has built, COVID-19 has led to an increase in video game sales nearly across the board. People are salivating over the thought of football finally starting next week. It’s not a surprise that more people are picking up Madden than last year. Plus, it looks like people just really want to play with Tom Brady and the new-look Buccaneers.
Seriously, in the infographic EA shared alongside the announcement, they revealed that the Bucs usage rate has increased by almost 900%. That’s wild. They’re in the top five most popular teams. That probably hasn’t happened since they beat the Oakland Raiders for the Super Bowl in 2002. And that was just so people could pretend to be John Gruden.
It also sounds like people are enjoying The Yard, with over 17 million games happening over the first week. I still wish that mode was standalone and actually incorporated arcade-style football. That said, I’m glad to see people seemingly loving it. It sucks how badly EA has monetized the mode.
Madden NFL 21 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The game comes to PS5 and Xbox Series X once those consoles launch.