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Madden NFL 21: Franchise Preview

3514 posts Game Changer
edited September 2020
Welcome back to Gridiron Notes, Madden fans!

Today we’re focusing on the updates coming to Face of the Franchise and Classic Franchise in Madden NFL 21.

In the Face of the Franchise section, you will see the chapters of your career detailed out starting in high school. We are also sharing the storylines you can experience in your NFL career.

Take note of these storylines as they can happen in different years throughout your NFL career which gives Face of the Franchise even more depth. We’re also introducing you to the cast of characters you’ll meet throughout your career.

For Classic Franchise, we’ve highlighted the updates coming to the mode for Madden NFL 21 on day one.

Let’s kick it off with Face of the Franchise!

SPOILER WARNING: Story spoilers ahead for Face of the Franchise!

Face of the Franchise: Rise to Fame

Create yourself as a player and jump into Face of the Franchise where you will shape your career from High School all the way to the Hall of Fame.

High School

High School – it’s where most start their journey towards adulthood, but for you, you’re also about to embark on your journey into football stardom! Step into the halls where it all begins as you customize your high school experience by choosing your school name, city and even mascot.

From there your story begins to unfold as you’re plucked from relative obscurity to provide depth behind the school’s resident star QB Tommy Matthews. Your backup gig is shortly lived however as Tommy has been harboring a secret about his health – one that he shares only with you, leaving you with a crisis of conscious.

Do you keep his secret and risk his health, or do you betray his trust and shed light on his potentially serious condition?

Your decision will define your relationship together throughout your story as you and Tommy at times teeter between best friends and bitter rivals, but through it all you can you find a way to join forces and lead your team to the promised land – a State Championship?!




Your story doesn’t end there though as you’re thrust center stage on National Signing Day as ten FBS schools vie for your talents. What starts off as a normal Signing Day ends with a dramatic twist after you don the hat of the school you’ve chosen to attend.

Once you set foot on campus the stakes get even higher as you not only have to deftly navigate a Quarterback controversy right out of the gate, but also have to figure out how to appease your domineering, old school approach, newly minted Head Coach Red O’Brien – all while attempting to build your draft stock through two challenging seasons of college football AND win an College Football Playoff Championship (or two) along the way.

As if that weren’t enough, you’re thrown out of your comfort zone and into disarray when Coach O’Brien delivers you an ultimatum – either switch positions to Running Back or Wide Receiver, or pack your bags and take your chances in the NFL Draft!

Combine & Draft

Since 1982 the NFL Combine has been hallowed ground for the NFL’s next generation of talent to showcase their skills for prospective teams. Now it’s your turn as you tread those very same grounds and put your abilities to the test amongst your fellow elite up and coming talent.

But your skills on the field won’t be the only thing scouts will be watching as you’re forced to step up to the mic at a pivotal press conference and either let fate decide where you go in the draft or help influence which team selects you.

This life changing experience continues when you encounter a chance meeting with legendary NFL commentator Rich Eisen as he helps prepare you for the most crucial event of the combine, the event that can make or break your career – the illustrious 40-yard dash!


NFL Storylines

Your career will have numerous twists and turns as you navigate the many obstacles of the NFL where you will be able to live out NFL storylines ripped from the headlines.

Franchise Savior

You’ve entered the NFL as one of the most highly touted prospects in your draft class, and that means an entire organization is putting their Super Bowl hopes and dreams on your shoulders. All-time greats were able to deliver on those championship hopes. Now it’s time to prove that you’re cut from the same cloth as those legends.

Next Man Up

After being selected in the NFL Draft by a team with a solidified starter at your position, it’s clear that even if your time isn’t now, it will come soon enough. How will you win over the veterans in the locker room in the meantime? And if the time comes that you’re thrust into action sooner than expected, will you be able to prove you’re the man for the job, like Russell Wilson did so seamlessly in Seattle?


Following an up and down college career, you were selected in the later rounds of the NFL Draft by a team in search of additional depth at your position.

Even though it’s unlikely that future plans include you, these odds aren’t necessarily insurmountable. Tom Brady made the most of his opportunity to step up back in 2001. Can you make the most of yours and earn yourself a starting job?

Bitter Rivals

Whether it’s team versus team or player versus player, the best rivalries are forever etched in the NFL’s long, illustrious history. Now in the social media era, it’s possible for rivalries to become more contentious and public than ever.

When you and a defensive player on a division rival get into a war of words on social media, it’s only the beginning of the rivalry to come.

Dream Team

Teams with great talent are forced to face great expectations … Super Bowl expectations. Countless teams have fallen short of these expectations, like the 2007 Patriots, the 2001 Rams, and the 1998 Vikings. Can you and your Dream Team come together and complete the dream season, or are there too many obstacles in the way of once-in-a-generation greatness?

The Comeback

The struggle of coming back from a serious injury is too much for many players to overcome. But a handful of legends have been better than ever after making their returns.

In 2012, Adrian Peterson finished first in MVP voting after suffering a career-threatening injury the previous season. After an injury forces you to sit out most of the year, can you regain your form and reestablish yourself as one of the NFL’s best?

Turf War

After a subpar performance last season, you’re suddenly facing competition for your starting position. But a good old position battle could end up bringing out the best in everyone involved. Can you hold off the in-house opposition and come out even better than before, or is your job in serious jeopardy?

Into The Sunset

After a long and storied NFL career, it’s just about time to hang up your cleats. That doesn’t mean your final act can’t be your greatest act yet though. Your team has declined and your best days may be behind you, but it’s time to prove you still have what it takes to right the ship one more time and end your career as a champion.


Tommy Mathews: Career long rival and friend - played by Tye Sheridan.

Reggie Brown: Interviewer and friend - played by Michael Beach and Moses Jones.

Coach Fetu Vaitai: High school legend and football coach - played by Cooper Andrews.

Coach Red O’ Brien: Defensive mastermind college coach - played by Robert Patrick.

Snoop Dogg: Played by himself.

Rich Eisen: Played by himself.


Madden NFL 21 Classic Franchise Updates

The new X-Factors make their way into Franchise. More details on X-Factors in Madden NFL 21 coming soon!

Franchise has an expanded Wild Card Playoff round to match the real-life NFL which now features 3 games for each conference instead of 2.

Updated all rookie contract amounts to be more authentic to the actual Draft rookie contracts for all 7 rounds.

Retuned every position's available Abilities to better consider in-game effectiveness of the ability and archetype authenticity. Also made the 2nd ability unlock for most positions 85 OVR (was 80 OVR in Madden NFL 20.)

Fixed multiple cases in logic of players considered for a Dev Trait upgrade at the end of the season not checking the correct stat types.

Updates to all team back-end depth chart philosophies so they match the team's scheme.

Added position-specific Offensive Lineman archetype progression buckets for OT, OG, and C to capture variance in OVR formulas based on positional expectations. Previously, all OL were pulling from the same progression bucket.

Fixed issue where defensive playbooks and schemes for our fictional coaches would be misaligned (e.g. 3-4 playbook with a 4-3 scheme.)


Our next Gridiron Notes will be coming Tuesday, July 14th where we will be talking about Playbooks in Madden NFL 21!

Post edited by NatureBoy2323 on


  • hhuiuhhgf
    1 posts New member
    LOOK AT THESE UPDATES https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EbxOEHSXQAAdCwI?format=jpg&name=small
  • hhuiuhhgf
    1 posts New member
    sorry about the bad photo but i needed to expose how **** these people are

    here's a better one. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EbxOEHSXQAAdCwI?format=jpg
  • WRONGboi
    1 posts New member
    No effort put into improving the Franchise experience. Extremely disappointing.
  • Hard pass...EA is awful.
  • Absolute disgrace what you put out for “Classic Franchise “ it’s a slap in the face for franchise players. That’s a patch not features. It’s obvious your do not listen to your franchise community because not one feature I saw asked for is on there. I’m done with madden.
  • Disgrace what they did. I’m sure they will closed this chat or delete our messages but I don’t care about them anymore as it’s obvious they don’t care about franchise players. Disgusted.
  • 0ldPizza
    177 posts Member
    I'm very disappointed from what I read about classic franchise mode I'm hoping ea will cancel face of the franchise and focus on the "classic franchise mode" if I don't like what I see in ea access I might have to pass on it hardcore franchise guy and FOF been an epic fail these last few yrs
  • They really do hate “classic” franchise mode huh?
  • Kernasadas
    1 posts New member
    This is unbelievably pathetic, and unacceptable. The audacity to call these "upgrades" and then attempt to charge $60 for it is appalling. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves for this lack of care and effort.

    Y'all don't listen to the community, or even try and make them feel listened to, and dismiss all of their concerns because they don't line up exactly with your desired outcomes. The madden franchise mode has become drastically worse over the last console generation, and y'all are making it abundantly clear that it will get considerably worse with this console generation. The people on social media are fed up, the forums are fed up, the subreddit is fed up, and you guys can't even be bothered to tell them that y'all are listening to them, even when you evidentially are not listening to them.

    I know nobody will read this because y'all could care less what the fans that have played for over a decade think, but this franchise, and this "update" is an embarrassment to the gaming community.
  • Ya'll need to add things to franchise like schedule editing, conference & Divisional realignment options. Team editing &/or Rebranding & such like altering team colors &/or Team logos like if we wanted to Rebrand the Redskins so to speak...
  • Ya'll need to add things to franchise like schedule editing, conference & Divisional realignment options. Team editing &/or Rebranding & such like altering team colors &/or Team logos like if we wanted to Rebrand the Redskins so to speak...
  • 0ldPizza
    177 posts Member
    Please stop making FOF mode it's pointless unless I can play 11v11 online I see no point of playing a player lock mode please show improve to every part of ur game EA
  • Oh my goodness. I honestly have no words. I don't think I've ever in all my years of Madden gaming have been more disappointed in Franchise mode. This is a patch. There aren't any new features. At all. The wildcard 'feature' had to go in as it's something that's happening in the NFL. This isn't a feature. The rest of them are just patches that should've been in Madden 20.

    Why does EA not care? That is a legit question. Why don't they care? Why with all the money they have, do they continue to ignore Franchise mode, which is the mode that is played the most? Where are actual Franchise updates. Fans of the game have been asking for numerous things to be added, and none of them have been included.

    Regarding Face of the Franchise... Why did they spoil all of the storylines? I've never played FotF, and was intrigued potentially, but not anymore as they've just totally spoiled everything that's going to happen in the mode. What reason is there to play it now?
  • MLG_Reaper1
    1 posts New member
    To try and sell this as a new game is absolutely pitiful. Not only is this essentially the same game you released last year but I wouldn't barely even call this an update if you were to add these features to Madden 20 right now. I am absolutely furious right now. For years fans have asked for things like a coaching carousel, better roster management options, and the ability to actually create and import your own custom teams into the game. It is not like these features would be incredibly difficult to implement people have found ways to hack them into the computer version of the game already. Even if just one of these features were to be implemented this year you would have at least placated the fans, but to introduce zero new exciting features to franchise mode is absolutely ridiculous.
  • This feels like an April fools joke in (almost) July. I'm really at a loss for words with this update. How can these even classify as new features!? This is nothing more than a glorified patch. I've watched a few videos on YouTube who focus on Madden, and they've all said the same thing, and the comments for their videos all share the same sentiments.

    This blatantly shows that EA Sports just plain out does not care about the people who pay for this game. There is nothing substantial here. Where is the coaching carousel? Where is the revamped scouting system? Where is the revamped create a team? Where are the pre-shows/legit halftime shows/post shows/weekly round-up? Where is the revamped free agency system? Are we going to get better stat tracking: I.e: including historical stat tracking, past Super Bowl/MVP winners, individual team records for each category (top 10 passing leaders for the 49ers, top 10 passing leaders for the Patriots..etc..)? Are we going to get flex scheduling?

    We're not getting any of this (stat tracking is up in the air, but I'm not optimistic). Instead we get a patch. A patch. How is this okay? How does EA think this is appropriate? It's not. This is not okay.
  • They don't care, plain and simple. No one knows why they don't care, but they don't. They're trying to tout Face of the Franchise mode to be this extravagant mode to try to make us all play it. Soon enough, I wouldn't be surprised if Franchise mode ceases to exist. They don't address anything to it anymore. They don't add features which fans have been clamoring for. They don't add anything that makes it more immersive and realistic. They instead just try and play off a glorified patch as fresh content, which it is not.
  • This is just a straight up F-U to franchise players from EA. Now they label it “classic” I wish it was a classic franchise like 12 or 07 or 05. I truly believe Classic Franchise mode will be gone soon. I hope 2K comes out with a good franchise mode game I don’t even care if doesn’t have real NFL players at this point. This just a joke they really don’t care because of all the money they make on little kids spending money on MUT. If that’s the case let 2K make an NFL simulation just with franchise mode.

    Yup yup. I couldn't agree with you more. With the abilities 2k gives their games with their creation suites, people can just create the NFL easily. As long as it plays well and is realistic, that's all football gamers want. It's sad that EA just doesn't care enough do accomplish that on their own. EA having a monopoly has totally ruined NFL games.
  • I am deeply saddened by the death of franchise mode. This is an insult to the most played part of the game. MUT may bring more revenue, but franchise mode is the meat of the fan base. Stop trying to make this MyCareer on NBA 2k. This is not basketball where 1 player can take over a game. We want to play and build a team, not a single player. Yet this will fall on deaf ears. Congratulations on figuring out new ways to prey on kids with easy access to their parents wallets while alienate your core fan base. What a great game.

    I suggest anyone reading this that is as offended as most of us are at this "classic franchise", to consider modding madden 20 on pc as there are fantastic mods that fix the gameplay as well as more realistic end of year stats and progressions over on operation sports forums. Imagine that, unpaid modders fixing a game in less than a year. Take notes EA.
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