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Madden NFL 22 gets a summer release date and more depth than ever

EA released the official reveal trailer for the newest entry in the Madden series, Madden NFL 22, and also revealed its release date. This new installment in the long-running franchise, which looks to be the deepest and most detailed to date, will arrive August 20.

Madden 22 | Official Reveal Trailer | Gameday Happens Here

This year’s entry features superstar quarterbacks and Super Bowl champions Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs on the cover of the game. Brady’s Bucs defeated Mahomes’ Chiefs in the Super Bowl earlier this year.

A Bills player catches a ball in Madden 22.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It sports what EA is calling “Dynamic Gameday.” which is present across every mode in the game. The new system is claimed to deliver the raw energy, emotion, and unpredictability of the real-life NFL. Players will interact with crowds, environments, and presentation elements on a more realistic level. There is the new “Home Field Advantage” system as well, which adds unique conditions to each team’s stadium atmosphere that can influence the momentum of the game.

Alongside those new mechanics, Star-Driven AI uses real-world player data to evolve in-game players and teams with the real versions as they change in real life.

The game features the return of The Yard, a single-player campaign where the player creates an avatar who develops during the course of the playthrough. The Face of The Franchise mode is also returning with a new story. Additional modes include the multiplayer squad mode, Superstar KO, and Madden Ultimate Team.

Madden NFL 22 touches down on August 20 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Google Stadia.

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DeAngelo Epps
De'Angelo Epps is a gaming writer passionate about the culture, communities, and industry surrounding gaming. His work ranges…
Madden NFL 23’s development was somber and self-aware
This mid-air hit is an example of one of Madden NFL 23's new disruptive FieldSense animations.

While EA's Madden football games often top sales charts every year, those sales haven't reflected quality. The critical consensus on the series has been on the decline in recent years, and Madden NFL 22 was riddled with bugs that hampered the experience. Thankfully, the developers are aware of Madden's flaws and trying to improve its signature gameplay with Madden NFL 23.
Madden 23 Official Reveal Trailer
Speaking to Digital Trends, Executive Producer of Gameplay Aaron McHardy painted a picture of a more somber and reflective development of Madden NFL 23 as EA Tiburon mourned rthe passing of series namesake John Madden and tried to make up for the franchise's past failures. While Digital Trends hasn't gone hands-on with the game yet, McHardy highlights that Madden NFL 23 will address many issues fans have thanks to a plethora of bug fixes and a new suite of features called FieldSENSE that touches every part of the experience.
"The investment in FieldSENSE, bug fixes, and gameplay was so big because we know FieldSENSE hits whether you're playing Franchise, Ultimate Team, The Yard, or a quick match with a friend on your couch," McHardy tells Digital Trends. "It's exciting because it hits every part of the game, every mode you're playing. We feel like anyone who plays Madden NFL 23 can really feel something new and different in the game this year."
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Exterminating bugs
Before the team could make Madden NFL 23's gameplay better, they had to fix what was broken already. The past few Madden titles have all been riddled with bugs, and the situation got worse than ever with Madden NFL 22. The annual release schedule and pandemic had finally caught up to EA Tiburon's game quality. McHardy outlined the steps the developers are taking to ensure it (hopefully) doesn't happen again.
"We looked at how we developed the game and scoured the internet, and actually got our QA department to, within our dev tools, log every complaint that we could find to track them," McHardy explains. "Where possible, we'd go in and analyze that to figure out what the actual issue was that was causing someone to complain. If there was a video, we put it in our database, and if it was a general complaint about an area of our game, we'd gather them all together and figure out what all the issues are."
"We are hyperfocused on making the most polished game that we can."

This process was thorough, as the developers ended up with a list of "hundreds" of bugs and issues that EA Tiburon could improve. The team then fixed some issues as part of Madden NFL 22's live-service updates and took anything they couldn't fix into account when planning Madden NFL 23's development.
"In the way that we plan new features every year, we were also planning fixes for all of those bugs to make sure that we fixed them and also have time left to catch new ones we are creating," he said. "Polish was a big thing for us on the team this year, so while there are still some bugs because we aren't finished, we feel like the game is already in a better position this year than it was at this time last year. We are hyperfocused on making the most polished game that we can."
We won't know for sure whether or not this will all really pan out until the game is in our hands this August, but it seems like EA knows where it messed up and wants to do better.
Sensible changes

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Madden NFL 23’s ‘no-brainer’ cover star is John Madden
John Madden bursts through the cover of Madden NFL 23: All Madden Edition.

EA has confirmed rumors that Coach John Madden will be the cover star of Madden NFL 23. 
John Madden, who had a long career as both the coach of the Oakland Raiders and a football analyst, died in December 2021. EA is honoring Madden -- the namesake and inspiration behind its highly successful football game franchise -- by renaming a recently renovated field at its Redwood Shores headquarters to the "John Madden Field" and putting him on the cover of Madden NFL 23. There will be three unique covers, including one by artist Chuck Styles for the digital-exclusive Madden NFL 23 All-Madden Edition.

Speaking to Digital Trends, executive producer Aaron McHardy said that EA typically looks at the most exciting and Madden brand-aligned athletes in the NFL when choosing a cover star. But he says there wasn't much of a debate about who would headline the next game after the team learned of Madden's death.
"I don't even think there were discussions as everybody just arrived at the fact that he's going back on the cover because we have to honor him in the best way we possibly can," McHardy said. "It's been so long since he was on the cover of the game, but the game has got his name on it every single year, so we wanted to do everything we could to honor the legend like he is, and it was a no-brainer to put him on the cover." 
Madden is not just being honored on the cover. The first thing players will experience when booting up Madden NFL 23 is a fictional game where two versions of Madden are facing off against each other with all-star teams of athletes in the 1970s Oakland Coliseum. This game will even include real voice clips from Madden, remastered just for this experience. McHardy also believes Madden's influence can be felt outside of that opening game because his death encouraged the development team to work harder. 
"I didn't have the pleasure of speaking with him, but I know a lot of the guys on the team did." McHardy continued. "He was invested in making sure that our game was the most authentic 11v11 football game that it could be. It was obviously a sad and somber moment to lose someone like Coach Madden, but it really energized the team in a way this year to think about our features, what we're building, and how we can honor that legacy." Madden NFL 23 will be released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S later this year. 

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Xbox Game Pass adds Madden 22, but loses Titanfall
The Green Bay Packers vs the Minnesota Vikings in Madden NFL 22.

Microsoft revealed on Xbox Wire the Xbox Game Pass titles we can expect in the back half of February. While Total War: Warhammer 3 and Madden NFL 22 are coming to the service, it's an otherwise quiet lineup preceding the removal of some good indie games and the original Titanfall.
Total War: Warhammer III is the latest game in Sega's real-time strategy game series based on the popular board game. The game sits at a score of 87 on review aggregate site Metacritic and is a day one Game Pass title --  but it's only available on the PC version of the service.

The next most notable title is Madden NFL 22. EA's annual football franchise is one of the most popular series in gaming. It will be available through EA Play (an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bonus) on console and PC.
Outside of that, Xbox Game Pass subscribers can expect a couple of simulation games on console, as well as Alice: Madness Returns on PC and the Mass Effect Legendary Edition on the cloud. Here's the full list of titles joining Xbox Game Pass during the remainder of February: 

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