EA Sports was scheduled to formally announce Madden NFL 21 on June 1, but the developer has changed plans in response to recent events in the world. Not only that, but Xbox, Bethesda, Riot Games, and Summerfall Studios have responded as well.
EA Sports said in a statement on Twitter, “We stand with our African American / Black community of friends, players, colleagues, and partners. Our immediate attention is on actions we can take to drive change against the unjust treatment and systemic bias that is plaguing the nation and our world.”
The statement goes on: “We’ll find another time to talk football with you. Because this is bigger than a game, bigger than sports, and needs all of us to stand together and commit to change.”
It’s not immediately clear when EA will now unveil Madden NFL 21. The company’s E3-style show, EA Play 2020, is scheduled for June 11, so we expect to see and learn more at that time.
EA is not the only major game company or individual that has responded to the ongoing issues in America related to the death of George Floyd. Riot Games, the developers of League of Legends and Valorant, also issued a statement, as did the studio behind David Gaider’s new game, Chorus. The Last of Us studio Naughty Dog and The Elder Scrolls publisher Bethesda also added their own message of support for Black Lives Matter, while Star Wars and Marvel did as well.
“Now is not the time for any of us to be silent,” Naughty Dog’s statement says. “For too long too many have suffered under a systemic problem in America. Too many have lost sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers. We stand in solidarity against racism and injustice.”
“Now is the time for all to do our part and end anti-Black racism and violence,” it goes on. “Many of us at Naughty Dog are donating to national and local organizations. Please consider donating yourself. We hope to see the beginning of lasting change for POC in America. Black Lives Matter.”
Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann and co-founder Evan Wells donated money to various charities, and studio owner PlayStation matched their donations.
Additionally, Xbox marketing executive Aaron Greenberg shared his thoughts. He asked people to speak up and support the petition to help find justice for George Floyd.
Madden NFL 21 is due to launch later this year, featuring Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson on its cover. The game has so far only been confirmed for Xbox One and Xbox Series X, but it’s also expected to release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.
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