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Madden NFL 21 The Yard Trailer & Plenty of Details About The New Mode

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Madden NFL 21

Madden NFL 21 The Yard Trailer & Plenty of Details About The New Mode

EA gave us some details on Madden NFL 21’s newest mode, The Yard, earlier this month. The brand new dynamic mode allows players to experience backyard football with fast-paced, small-sided gameplay. Players will be able to create a custom, one-of-a-kind avatar to outfit in gear. Pull off game changing trick plays, such as behind the back throws and double passes; and execute wild gameplay moments to win in new field locations around the globe.

With the all-new Madden NFL 21 Mobile app, players can kick off their experience and create their avatar in The Yard: Underground to begin earning rewards by playing a single-player, narrative journey with 5-on-5 football gameplay.

Today, the team provides a new trailer and plenty of new details about the mode on consoles, in their latest Gridiron Notes.

Here are some bullets from the blog, make sure to read the entire article here, as it’s filled with plenty of details.

  • The field is 80 yards by 40 yards
  • First downs are given by passing 20 yard markers
  • With double passes, all passes are legal behind the line of scrimmage, no matter how many times you throw it, when passed the LOS, only backward passes/laterals are allowed
  • You can bat the ball into the air to teammates, using a “one-timer” mechanic

Pass Rush Timer/Pass Timer – If you’ve ever counted Mississippi in a backyard game, you get this one. Each unique location will have a timer that dictates when the defense can pass rush, but also a Pass Timer that shows how much time you have to throw if you have not been rushed. Our standard is a one second pass rush, and a four second Pass Timer. If you try to blitz too early, you will run into a barrier wall that will stop your forward momentum; if the QB holds on to the ball too long without passing, the play will be whistled dead. Finally, if you are blitzed, the timer goes away and you are free to scramble past the line of scrimmage, but you can’t rush until the defense comes after you.

  • With multi-snap, you can snap the ball to any player on the field.

SCORING IN THE YARD

The Yard has a special scoring system that rewards the type of creative play-making that makes the game special.

  • Touchdowns are worth the traditional six points, but…
    • Score a touchdown with a double pass or lateral – two bonus points
    • Score a touchdown longer than 40 yards – one bonus point
  • Interceptions earn you one bonus point.
  • Extra Points are up to you. You can choose to try one, two, or three-point conversions that get progressively further away from the goal line and kicking is never an option.
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  1. Some of it sounds kind of cool, but all the extra points for laterals and double passes and all that just sounds dumb. When I play with my buddies and neighborhood guys, there's no extra points for being flashy...
    I'm hyped for this! Already max level for RB on Madden Mobile. Saving the rest of my points for PC release.
    I never really got into other sport games 'Park' modes.
    Don't get me wrong, I still want Franchise mode to be drastically improved, but it's been a long time coming having a mode like this in a football game.
    Sent from my SM-G986U1 using Operation Sports mobile app
    hargroverichie
    What are the odds mouth guards will only be available in this mode lol
    Looks like it will be fun with friends though
    Sent from my SM-N976U using Tapatalk

    Right haha. In the blog post, they don't mention mouthpieces, BUT there is an mouthpiece icon in one of the screenshots and in pictures on instagram. Obviously it's in Madden Mobile as well.
    I'm curious though, did anyone from EA actually say Madden 21 won't have mouthpieces? It could be a surprise addition
    After looking through the blog, I can tell they spend A LOT of time and effort on this mode. This may be why Classic Franchise "CFM" didn't get any love.
    thedudedominick
    It’s a bit unclear, but is this a single player experience or an online squad based mode.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    Mobile is more single-player focused, the console version looks to be more multiplayer-centric.
    This looks like a lot of fun though, I won't lie. And though playing the mobile version of The Yard is wonky due to defensive controls, I can see this being pretty solid. Just wish we could get some of these resources dedicated to already existing game modes and not new ones, and I'll just leave it at that before I get yelled at by the overwatchers for derailing haha.
    Us: FIX FRANCHISE
    EA: Here's a new game mode that is neither real football nor sim football
    Ew. F you EA. This only solidifies my disinterest in ever buying madden again. NFL street 1 will still blow this out of the water. Bet.
    MajorSupreme
    Mobile is more single-player focused, the console version looks to be more multiplayer-centric.
    This looks like a lot of fun though, I won't lie. And though playing the mobile version of The Yard is wonky due to defensive controls, I can see this being pretty solid. Just wish we could get some of these resources dedicated to already existing game modes and not new ones, and I'll just leave it at that before I get yelled at by the overwatchers for derailing haha.

    I think it looks fun. Really curious if EA can pull off a football game with squad play. I think it is the hardest sport to make that happen.
    I enjoyed KO Superstar a lot, and was hoping for it to get some more features. It was fun to play, but it needs a ladder system, some stat tracking, and ways to customize a home field.
    Seems like they left it as is, and worked on The Yard instead. This could be fun alternative as a solo game, even if the squad part doesn't work out. I'm all for sports game developers to continue to add in elements that encourages more competitive modes to their games.
    Rondo is GOD
    Us: FIX FRANCHISE
    EA: Here's a new game mode that is neither real football nor sim football
    Ew. F you EA. This only solidifies my disinterest in ever buying madden again. NFL street 1 will still blow this out of the water. Bet.

    Can we please not make this thread about franchise?
    I like how each field comes with its own set of house rules. Hopefully they are quick to add new fields to the mix as this seems like a lot of fun, but could become stale if it isn't fleshed out consistently.
    Honestly, seems like an interesting mode. I, like many, would rather the resources have been used elsewhere. However, I think they may be onto a mode that could be a nice break from the normal. Also may be good mode to play with my friends when we have had a “few” beverages.
    This is basically what I wanted for Madden this whole time.
    I only buy NBA 2K to play mypark. And now I get my Park on Madden.
    I honestly don't care if they ever update franchise ever again as long as they keep updating this first time I'm excited for Madden in a decade
    lon515
    This is basically what I wanted for Madden this whole time.
    I only buy NBA 2K to play mypark. And now I get my Park on Madden.
    I honestly don't care if they ever update franchise ever again as long as they keep updating this first time I'm excited for Madden in a decade

    You can be happy about something being added without saying things like this lol
    hargroverichie
    What are the odds mouth guards will only be available in this mode lol
    Looks like it will be fun with friends though
    Sent from my SM-N976U using Tapatalk

    That’s my worry, nobody from EA will answer that question either. Been asked on Twitter a ton and nobody will respond. I think I saw hoodies in the Yard trailer too
    One thing that still is unclear (sorry if I missed it). Is this mode going to be available offline / local play or are we going to need Xbox Live Gold to play?
    reverend_heat
    That’s my worry, nobody from EA will answer that question either. Been asked on Twitter a ton and nobody will respond. I think I saw hoodies in the Yard trailer too

    I feel like it might be a surprise feature? Unless it's harder for 22 players on a field to have a mouthpiece.
    I like the Yard so far on mobile and expect to like it much more on console, as my fingers won't be blocking my view of where I am trying to press on the screen.
    Customization has always been a popular part of any game. Part of the fun of playing Call of Duty is the customization. World of Warcraft has a very enjoyable customization system from skills (which are still heavily subject to class metas), and their transmog armor system being especially fun. Also collecting pets and mounts seem to also be popular.
    Beyond the customization, I like the straight forward fun, and the chance to get creative with laterals and direct snaps.
    Nothing wrong the mode in general, the issue is EA is the only sim game in town and they now feature 3 arcade modes in MUT, SS KO, and the Yard. While the only sim mode they offer goes neglected year after year.
    I’m a hard-core franchise guy, but this does intrigue me on a certain level. Could be a fun mode to get into if I had any time.
    The thing about this mode, that was a net positive to general gameplay, is that it probably forced them to engineer the new mechanic “lock-on”.
    ajdisanzo
    One thing that still is unclear (sorry if I missed it). Is this mode going to be available offline / local play or are we going to need Xbox Live Gold to play?

    Yea the mode is offline and online. Damn near every detail including actual gameplay on xbox one is out for the mode.
    If you ever played nba live 19 the one mode its basically a straight copy over.
    Offline world tour event with special challenges, online 3v3 2v2 or 1v1 and endless character customization.
    You can also try the mode out already if you didn't know.
    It would be nice if Madden would offer a worthwhile real life simulation before attempting to master 'the feeling of backyard football'.
    I'll echo another poster up above, this is now the THIRD arcade mode in the only 'simulation' NFL licensed video game franchise on the market. When the only mode that offers anything 'simulation' wise has been left to rot and degrade for a decade. How is that acceptable?
    Watch this and then go and watch the Franchise mode trailer for FIFA.
    Then come back and give the screen the same blank look of sadness that I am right now.
    Super depressing. EA has some of the basics for Franchise Mode from the FIFA series, but they're building NFL Street instead.
    Sad.
    cjacks17
    Watch this and then go and watch the Franchise mode trailer for FIFA.
    Then come back and give the screen the same blank look of sadness that I am right now.
    Super depressing. EA has some of the basics for Franchise Mode from the FIFA series, but they're building NFL Street instead.
    Sad.

    Damn, that was sad... Wonder if any of the yard features will make it into franchise?... Mouthpieces and the face creator would be nice...
    Cory Levy
    It would be nice if Madden would offer a worthwhile real life simulation before attempting to master 'the feeling of backyard football'.
    I'll echo another poster up above, this is now the THIRD arcade mode in the only 'simulation' NFL licensed video game franchise on the market. When the only mode that offers anything 'simulation' wise has been left to rot and degrade for a decade. How is that acceptable?

    It's not acceptable. Only one real way to truly make EA and the NFL know it's not acceptable. But it won't happen.
    i know the timing doesn't marry up but this seems almost reactionary to the 2k arcade deal with the NFL - get something out there before 2k can and dump resources into it to try and kill off 2k before it even comes out
    I won't be playing this out of principle. It's only by standing by my principles and the hope that others will as well that gives us a chance of getting a better franchise mode.
    willyfantastic
    i know the timing doesn't marry up but this seems almost reactionary to the 2k arcade deal with the NFL - get something out there before 2k can and dump resources into it to try and kill off 2k before it even comes out

    It’s a bold strategy but i don’t see it working, there are so many people who play NBA 2K, they will say oh they are doing a football game I’ll try that. I’m sure most of them won’t even remember 2ks football games
    I've been saying for years that EA should bring back NFL Street, or at least put it in Madden.
    But something about this is kinda off.
    I don't know if it is the venues, or the dimensions of the field, or the fact that everyone is wearing helmets, or that the player models are so much like Madden's main game...but something about this is a little off. Not sure that this will quite scratch the NFL Street "itch."
    But at least it's a start, I guess.
    SolidSquid
    It’s a bold strategy but i don’t see it working, there are so many people who play NBA 2K, they will say oh they are doing a football game I’ll try that. I’m sure most of them won’t even remember 2ks football games

    Exactly! 2k is an established and entrenched brand and NBA 2k already features a popular mode from which to model their non-sim football game after.
    Also, 2k's advantage here is they will be devoting an entire game's worth of development resources and hardware power to their title as it'll be more than an optional mode.
    Should be interesting to see how the two compare. Honestly, it's awesome just to be mentioning competition (and choice) between 2k and EA again if it's only on the arcade football front.
    Personally, I think it matches up with what has been most successful with both their NHL and NBA Live series. Obviously, Live 19 flopped, but it's MyPlayer mode, The One, was perfect.
    The issue is, once players are locked into a MyPlayer mode, I think it is harder to lure them back to the other game. These modes rely on mass use to be fun.
    EA should be pushing for crossplay for all their sports titles. It creates the largest base of players, and it makes competing with them that much more difficult.
    But this has been my argument for the last few years. What has propelled NBA2K to the monster it is, it's MyPlayer and MyPark or whatever it is called. It is the destination for pick-up basketball. No one cares if it is better or worse than any other game. That's where the players are.
    If you can make a sport work with 3-6 players on a side, you can make a mode like this work. But football is different than those other sports. Extraordinarily more power is given to one position over the others, and fewer players on the field means more missed tackles will be TDs. Is it actually fun to run a route, but maybe never get the ball because some dude has turned himself into Lamar Jackson?
    At this point, they really are just throwing stuff out and seeing how it works, what parts work, and what parts don't. Face of the Franchise was pretty terrible, but it did get them some data.
    KO Superstar was the first Madden mode where I just couldn't shut it off. It needs to be more than it is, but I loved its take on Draft Champions, creating a great way to play quick 20 minute games that were fun, with teams that felt personal.
    I could see The Yard still being more interesting to me as a 1v1 game than a 6v6 or 7v7 game. What makes The One and World of Chel work is that there is a lot of solo content. You don't have to play online. But the mode does prep you for what to do if you want to try it out.
    I would love an NFL version of Court Battles from Live 19. That is a single player mode in which your avatar plays along side whatever stars you "acquire" in various game modes. Play to 21. Play two halves. Play to a 15 point lead. Change threes to 1, but dunks to 3. And then build your team to exploit that. Further, you can force your opponent to use certain types of players, or restrict certain types of players, and inflict other disadvantages that you can build your team to take advantage of.
    But then you don't play as that team. That is your AI defender of your court. Instead, you take another team and play on someone else's court, trying to build a team that can deal with the obstacles you are given. The longer you go with no one beating your home court, the more points ranking you higher or whatever.
    The entire mode is single player. You never play anyone online directly. You can absolutely target and challenge your friends, though. You can go to their court and beat their team, forcing them to beat yours to to get their court back.
    Further, this is not a player lock version. Even though your player is on the team with the other stars, you control it like a normal Play Now game of basketball, controlling the man with the ball.
    But it introduces you to creating a player for yourself. You earn XP and such to improve your player. And if you want a look further than court battles, the game has The One paths that are 100% single player.
    And while I always suspected, and still do, that this will change, these modes are all free. There are no boosts to buy. There is no way to use cash to buy more of whatever. Ultimate Team remains revenue driven, but for now, EA is not attaching microtransactions to these modes. While that could change with any release, for now, it is also a super player friendly mode, if you like this kind of sports gaming.
    And The Yard absolutely looks like it could do what Court Battles did for Live 19, but with football instead.
    RogerDodger
    I won't be playing this out of principle. It's only by standing by my principles and the hope that others will as well that gives us a chance of getting a better franchise mode.

    This is exactly why I never touched that story cutscene mode Madden had (or still has?). Standing by my principle that it is NOT more important than Franchise mode. I refuse to touch it. Same with MUT.
    Datninja619
    Right haha. In the blog post, they don't mention mouthpieces, BUT there is an mouthpiece icon in one of the screenshots and in pictures on instagram. Obviously it's in Madden Mobile as well.
    I'm curious though, did anyone from EA actually say Madden 21 won't have mouthpieces? It could be a surprise addition

    There are very quiet about this. I've always heard the issue with mouth pieces was that none of the players were scanned with them so it would be difficult fitting them on. Hopefully we can get all this equipment on the regular console game though.
    cribszn004
    There are very quiet about this. I've always heard the issue with mouth pieces was that none of the players were scanned with them so it would be difficult fitting them on. Hopefully we can get all this equipment on the regular console game though.

    They definitely were not in the beta... Hopefully, they add them to the console but wouldn't be surprised if they leave them out considering their track record.
    cribszn004
    There are very quiet about this. I've always heard the issue with mouth pieces was that none of the players were scanned with them so it would be difficult fitting them on. Hopefully we can get all this equipment on the regular console game though.

    Well looking at your screenshot Jalen Ramsey and maybe CJ Henderson have a mouthpiece, so that leaves more hope :woot:
    I could see it not being 'required' on players and not in the beta though, since not all players even wear mouthpieces and not everyone wears a lip guard.
    Datninja619
    Well looking at your screenshot Jalen Ramsey and maybe CJ Henderson have a mouthpiece, so that leaves more hope :woot:
    I could see it not being 'required' on players and not in the beta though, since not all players even wear mouthpieces and not everyone wears a lip guard.

    The undershirt swag is cool too but i dont know if that will be in the game even tho players wear it in real life.
    Cory Levy
    It would be nice if Madden would offer a worthwhile real life simulation before attempting to master 'the feeling of backyard football'.
    I'll echo another poster up above, this is now the THIRD arcade mode in the only 'simulation' NFL licensed video game franchise on the market. When the only mode that offers anything 'simulation' wise has been left to rot and degrade for a decade. How is that acceptable?

    I'm convinced less than 10% of Madden players are looking for a NFL simulation.
    I actually hope the Yard takes off and ultimately forces 2K to release APF 2K8 style gameplay.
    Ev14
    I'm convinced less than 10% of Madden players are looking for a NFL simulation.
    I actually hope the Yard takes off and ultimately forces 2K to release APF 2K8 style gameplay.

    There's no way the Madden fanbase skews that far into wanting arcade nonsense. I'd bet it's between 30%-40% that want simulation football. Which would naturally go higher if Madden would put any amount of effort into the simulation aspects of their game.
    Your second point is the problem, though. EA is the ONLY company that can release a 'simulation' style football video game that has the NFL license.
    At this point, I'd love it for Madden to just release a micro-transaction laden, glitch filled arcade style football game every year if some other company that actually cared about making a good product could release a simulation style NFL game. But that's not an option because EA gives nearly zero amount of love to its simulation franchise mode yet doesn't want anyone else to even have a chance at making their own, while they continue to pump more and more arcade-y experiences in the game that no one asks for.
    It's pretty clear SS KO and The Yard are attempts at undercutting 2K's 'arcade' NFL game that is coming in the near future.
    Cory Levy
    There's no way the Madden fanbase skews that far into wanting arcade nonsense. I'd bet it's between 30%-40% that want simulation football. Which would naturally go higher if Madden would put any amount of effort into the simulation aspects of their game.
    Your second point is the problem, though. EA is the ONLY company that can release a 'simulation' style football video game that has the NFL license.
    At this point, I'd love it for Madden to just release a micro-transaction laden, glitch filled arcade style football game every year if some other company that actually cared about making a good product could release a simulation style NFL game.

    Well, the possibility exists for 2k to make a sim using current players but with fictional stadiums, teams, etc. Whether they actually do so remains to be seen.
    Kanobi
    Well, the possibility exists for 2k to make a sim using current players but with fictional stadiums, teams, etc. Whether they actually do so remains to be seen.

    This is exactly what I want. Fantasy draft with current real players and customizable teams, logos, stadiums.
    Kanobi
    Well, the possibility exists for 2k to make a sim using current players but with fictional stadiums, teams, etc. Whether they actually do so remains to be seen.

    I don't blame them for choosing not to. If it doesn't have the NFL license I don't think it'd be a viable option since chances are pretty high it just won't sell that well. They can't spend all that time and money creating a football league from the ground up without the assured success that the NFL license would give them.
    I'll keep saying it until I'm blue in the fingers but the best possible outcome would be EA relinquishing the rights to a 'simulation' NFL video game and allowing another company the chance while Madden can continue down a path of more arcade, quick bite modes catered to that segment of the fandom.
    That isn't happening though since EA doesn't want to give up any more of the pie than they've already given up. I'll be buying whatever type of game 2K puts out if they do release an NFL licensed game just to support another company having the license.
    liquidmuse3
    I thought the NFL signed an agreement to do a game with 2K but as a Head Coach-type of game.

    They signed to make non-sim games.
    Cory Levy
    They can't spend all that time and money creating a football league from the ground up without the assured success that the NFL license would give them.

    The NFL owns team names, logos and stadiums. It doesn't own the calendar, rules of pro American football, salary CAP, coaching staff composition, divisions/conferences, playoff format, etc.
    In other words, if 2k wanted to make a non-NFL licensed sim, "creating a league from the ground up" would not be necessary.
    Also, the NFLPA license allows for 2k to use current superstars - which, in addition to the 2k brand itself, would be enough to successfully market and sell an NFLPA-licensed sim.
    Cory Levy

    I'll be buying whatever type of game 2K puts out if they do release an NFL licensed game just to support another company having the license.

    Stay tuned as as they plan to make several. One has been speculated to be an NFL version of NBA 2k's MyPark/MyTeam but we shall see.
    Again, the fact that these possibilities exist is exciting in and of itself.
    Kanobi
    The NFL owns team names, logos and stadiums. It doesn't own the calendar, rules of pro American football, salary CAP, coaching staff composition, divisions/conferences, playoff format, etc.
    In other words, if 2k wanted to make a non-NFL licensed sim, "creating a league from the ground up" would not be necessary.
    Also, the NFLPA license allows for 2k to use current superstars - which, in addition to the 2k brand itself, would be enough to successfully market and sell an NFLPA-licensed sim.
    Stay tuned as as they plan to make several. One has been speculated to be an NFL version of NBA 2k's MyPark/MyTeam but we shall see.
    Again, the fact that these possibilities exist is exciting in and of itself.

    The biggest reason 2k has been frozen out from the NFL for the last 15 years is because they pissed off the billionaire owners when they sold 2k5 for $19.95, which in turn forced EA to drop the price of Madden, which in turn meant they didn’t make as much money as they could have. After 15 years, 2k finally has a foot back in the NFL door. They aren’t going to do anything to piss off the NFL again, I wouldn’t be looking for anything using the NFLPA license and not the NFL’s, that would def piss the league off again.

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