EA Sports revealed The Yard, the newest addition to the long-running Madden NFL franchise, to debut in Madden NFL 21 later this month. The Yard is inspired by arcade-style football experiences such as Backyard Football.
The Yard ditches the traditional 11 on 11 nature of football in favor of 6-on-6 play. The Yard will offer a variety of changes for how the gameplay works following the snap, too. With a focus on trick play and winning with style, The Yard looks to pack as much fun as possible into the experience. New animations and trick plays, such as behind the back passes or double passes, allow players to run up the score against their opponents.
The new game mode will offer options for solo play or online play, both cooperative and competitive. Executive Producer of Madden NFL 21, Seann Graddy, had the following to say:
We wanted to create a new way for players to express themselves and take on small-sided football in an arcade-style experience that’s completely new to Madden. The Yard is fast, thrilling and most importantly fun. Players will delve into all new gameplay on mobile and on consoles that will bring to life the backyard football that NFL players and fans grew up loving, where the rules are relaxed, and you can win with attitude.”
The Yard: Underground
Accompanying the release is an update to the Madden NFL 21 Mobile app, available now. The Yard: Underground is a single-player narrative journey on mobile platforms featuring 5-on-5 football. Even if mobile gaming’s not your thing, The Yard and The Yard: Underground will have a shared inventory system allowing players to carry over their custom avatar, currency, gear, and rank between games.
EA Sports’ announcement comes just days after 2K Games announced they had made a deal with the NFL Player’s Association to use player likenesses. We explained that this deal doesn’t allow 2K to compete directly with Madden NFL, as it only allows for “non-simulation football game experiences,” but that it does allow 2K to create an arcade-like NFL game. EA may be adding in The Yard to head off any competition 2K brings to NFL branded video games.