Madden NFL 21 is finally coming to Stadia this week, kicking off with a free play weekend

Madden Nfl 21 Tom Brady Bucs
Madden Nfl 21 Tom Brady Bucs (Image credit: EA)

What you need to know

  • Madden NFL 21 is releasing for Stadia on January 28th.
  • Stadia Pro members get a free play weekend from launch until 8AM PT February 1st.
  • EA is releasing Madden on Stadia at a discounted price of just $29.99.

After months of waiting, EA is finally releasing Madden NFL 21 on Stadia on Jan. 28 for $29.99. The Stadia blog post mentions you can purchase the game "at a discounted price," which implies the price will likely increase after a short time, but it doesn't say when or if it'll go back up to a full price.

Back in April 2020, Google and EA announced a partnership to bring more of their games to Stadia over winter, including Madden and FIFA. A lot of people took that to mean the end of 2020, but technically it's still winter so they remained true to their word, assuming FIFA won't be too far behind Madden in a few weeks.

Notably, Madden is also debuting with a free play weekend to all Stadia Pro members. So if you're on the fence about the game and want to check it out for yourself before pulling the trigger, you can do that. And if you do decide to take the plunge, it'll be discounted.

Madden 2021 has been perceived as mostly a step backwards. The career mode is extremely stiff and uninspired, franchise mode is almost literally copy-pasted from Madden NFL 20, and the new ideas like the arcade-style Yard mode feel undercooked. That being said, the core gameplay is legitimately better this year and it's a joy to play from moment-to-moment.

I'll be very interested to see how it plays on Stadia across devices and if there are enough people online to make it a viable online game. Perhaps a big Stadia league scene will develop.

David Jagneaux