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The Yard in Madden 21: What Is It and What Do We Want It to Be?

the yard in madden 21

Madden NFL 21

The Yard in Madden 21: What Is It and What Do We Want It to Be?

For years, fans have been waiting for an NFL Street-type game mode to find its way back to Madden. So when a recent leak showed off a unique game mode labeled The Yard in Madden 21, fans took notice — for better or worse.

On the surface, it may seem like EA is responding to news that 2K would be releasing a non-sim NFL video game. But the more logical conclusion is that once Volta was introduced in FIFA 20, it was only a matter of time before something like it found its way into EA’s NFL franchise. After all, FIFA and Madden have also mimicked each other in terms of transitioning to Frostbite and story-driven career modes one after each other.

That being said, let’s take a look at Madden’s newest game mode and theorize about The Yard.

What Is The Yard In Madden 21?

Note: EA has confirmed nothing.

Based on several reports, The Yard is a 6 vs. 6 game mode where users create their player before heading online to compete with 11 other players. Backyard Football on steroids might be the best way to describe it. And although we can only speculate that there will likely be NFL Street qualities, no one truly knows. What we do know is that this new game mode could change the way many play the game of Madden.

#FixMaddenFranchise Could Make This A Tougher Sell Than It Would Be During A More ‘Normal’ Year

#fixmaddenfranchise

Most people have wanted a return of NFL Blitz or NFL Street for many years. However, the first issue might be Madden’s own PR issue. #FixMaddenFranchise is not going away anytime soon, and so you’re going to have a large swathe of the very online community asking why The Yard got love over something like franchise mode.

To put it another way, including something like this in Madden right now — instead of as its own standalone product — might make it harder to be accepted and be seen as a win. It’s unfortunate that’s the case, but it seems relatively inevitable that it will be a talking point (at least in the short term). However, if something is fun, then usually quality will win out over negative feelings in the end.

What’s A Win Look Like Here For The Yard?

So yes, there is a world where this could end up as a win in the community. Superstar KO has plenty of detractors, but it’s very easy to argue it was a popular and successful new addition. There is a clear market for this sort of thing.

With The Yard, having the opportunity to create your player and join up with friends to compete against six other users is exciting. A lot of people like team-play modes in various sports, and a more free-form 6-on-6 game mode with other users could be more enjoyable than the current OTP setup.

It also gives content creators a new way to approach the game. For years, you either played franchise mode or Madden Ultimate Team. Now there’s a new kid on the block along with Superstar KO, and if done right, it could pick up some steam in the community at large.

This might not be something the OS community has asked for, but it seems like something new and exciting to help push Madden into the next-generation of sports gaming. As an online gamer, this is something I’m very much looking forward to trying.

What We Still Need To Know About The Yard In Madden 21

The first thing that needs to be determined is how outlandish this new mode will be. I don’t expect it to be quite as over the top as NFL Street and certainly not Blitz, but it needs to have certain qualities. Will there be style points and special plays to execute once your meter is full? Will you be able to put bone-jarring, arcade-like hits on the opposition?

What about using parkour to run on a wall and break free of a defender? Can we assume the game will play similar to a Brett Favre jeans commercial with a bunch of middle-aged men playing football in the backyard? There’s a lot more questions than answers at the moment.

madden-21-f12

I’m also fearful of how this mode will play from a defensive standpoint. We already know defensive backs sometimes move like they have cinder blocks on their feet. But now we’re asking a user to cover another user in one-on-one coverage? Wide receivers move gracefully and have the ability to stop and cut on a dime.

How will rushing the quarterback be? Will there be a clock that forces users to wait before getting to the QB? Or can two players blitz freely as soon as the ball is snapped?

I’m also very interested to see how this affects competitive play. Will there be 6-on-6 tournaments? Will the Madden Championship Series adapt?

And let’s not forget it brings competition to NFL video games. One of the biggest things that has ruined NFL games in recent years is the lack of competition. Unfortunately, it won’t be an NFL simulation game, but will The Yard in Madden 21 eventually serve as competition for whatever 2K puts out?

Bottom Line

As we usually see with new game modes in sports games, The Yard likely won’t be a finished product for a year or two. This seems like it will be especially true this year with the transition to the next generation of gaming. And until we see what 2K has in the works, it will be hard to grasp what the light at the end of the tunnel might look like for this new era of non-sim football gaming.

Nevertheless, having EA and 2K creating competition for one another would be great for everyone involved if 2K is allowed to make an arcade-style football game. Of course, it would be even better if both companies could compete in the simulation space as well, but we’ve been down that what-if road enough as of late and it hurts too much to talk about it again.

We’ll presumably get more information on The Yard in the coming weeks, and we’ll of course discuss it when we do.

28 Comments

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  1. I've said in a previous thread that there's a chance it'll be an improved version of the 7v7 two touch matches from Madden 18's Longshot mode. What I'm hoping is for a football version of 2k's Park.
    Not to sound like a pessimist, but if I'm being honest with myself, it's probably the former
    I just dont see how this mode will do well. Its going to get stale quick playing as a receiver using analog to run routes. What else can a receiver do? Lol. This type of mode is much easier with basketball
    I’m anxious to try it out, but I think KO Superstar is a better path forward for competing sports gaming, and hope they spent time expanding on it. I’d like to see it have the same kind of ladder as SMB does in Pennant Race.
    And that what a 6v6 could do if it works, become like MyPark and EASHL, where gamers are playing digital version of pick-up games We do in parks and school yards all the time. It becomes a social activity as much as compete especially.
    Best case scenario, for someone like me that find fun in a wide array of ways we use sports to play games, digital, board, and real life. I mean, I love baseball like life. So we played “Indian Ball” (This is what I grew up calling it. No idea where the name came from, so apologies if it is offensive) in the cemetery behind a friends house. You only needed 4 guys to play, and each guy was his own team when hitting. And we had different rules for street football than we did for backyard and cemetery football.
    Still using all the same skills, but arranged so that you can play in different environments and still have competing games.
    I’m for changing any rules if it makes a sport more fun in a given setting. So I get why EA is trying to make I a thing. But I agree that football is a tough nut to crack to make 6v6 work. But if they crack that nut, it’s a good thing.
    I just hope it's not an online-only mode like "KO Superstar."
    Allow us to create our own NFL Street like squads and play against the CPU offline in some kind of tournament mode (as well as exhibition) similar to NFL Tour. Wouldn't hurt to just copy the FIFA Volta formula or even throw in some corny story-mode to go along with it.
    If these things happen I'm all in.
    Wishing on a star: the option to have power-ups, etc. like NFL Street are probably off the table, but if they were offline-only or if online players had the option to create custom matches with power-ups disabled then I'd like to see that happen as well.
    It's either My Park or bust. Hopefully it's not something arcade like with power ups, crazy animations.
    I did like the environments in that the longshot side games were played in.
    But I really want the ability to roam from yard to yard, if that's the case. And include different things like a place to add accessories and NFL gear.
    It would be cool I'd they could add college team jerseys,tshirts, hats etc.
    I hope it's not over the top arcade style gameplay. Honestly, I think something like Superstar KO gameplay. Allow for X-Factors to be achieved easier (or you get them at all times). Allow us to load up on abilities and treat it like Park from the 2k series.
    Players have one player that plays offense and defense. You get a limited number of stat points and ability slots. You have to decide if you want to go full offense, full defense or a mix of both.
    They also need to allow other game modes to feed into it as well similar to what they do for MUT. If I want to play a quick game of draft or Superstar KO, then allow rewards from those games to be sent to The Yard. They can have packs or whatever, but include cosmetic items for The Yard instead of just packs, training, ect. for MUT.
    Most importantly, it really has to be a get-in-get-out type of game mode. Allow me to jump on, play a quick game of 6v6 and get out. 10 minutes total time. If I choose to play longer then fine. If I want to invest time into the character customization then fine. I just don't want to be forced to play a full game that comes out to 30 minutes all the time. Give me back yard rules of first to ~5 touchdowns or whatever.
    Honestly, if done right, The Yard could take over as the most played mode. There are a ton of people that don't want to manage a whole team and would rather just manage one player. Get it right, add ranked modes and EA will have another pool of cash to swim in.
    We  know one thing for certain with EA and Madden, they are experts of giving us things we did not ask for and overtly ignoring the things we are crying out for. 
    Linebacker57
    We* know one thing for certain with EA and Madden, they are experts of giving us things we did not ask for and overtly ignoring the things we are crying out for.*

    This statement is so true lol
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    CujoMatty
    I also immediately thought of Fifa Volta when I heard about this. The biggest worry is Volta sucks and isnt fun.

    Volta was half baked intentionally so it doesn’t steal players from FUT. I have a feel Madden will do the same with the yard. It’s obvious they want to force feed us MUT which is sad.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    olliedathird
    I've said in a previous thread that there's a chance it'll be an improved version of the 7v7 two touch matches from Madden 18's Longshot mode. What I'm hoping is for a football version of 2k's Park.
    Not to sound like a pessimist, but if I'm being honest with myself, it's probably the former

    Let’s see... in this instance, they’d have the base of the mode already, could make some Small alterations and improvements, and call it an entirely new mode.
    Yup I think I’m with you. I can definitely see this being the case
    let me get this straight.....EA is supposed to have the "simulation" rights to the NFL but repeatedly comes out with modes that have nothing to do with "simulation" at all, (ex. Superstar KO and The Yard) and don't get me started on MUT (that's far from simulation too).  they need to concentrate on FRANCHISE mode, Training Camp, etc. basically all of the stuff they had on Madden 08. now that was a SIMULATION. let 2K worry about arcadey "non-simulation" NFL football. smh.
    sheredia
    let me get this straight.....EA is supposed to have the "simulation" rights to the NFL but repeatedly comes out with modes that have nothing to do with "simulation" at all, (ex. Superstar KO and The Yard) and don't get me started on MUT (that's far from simulation too).* they need to concentrate on FRANCHISE mode, Training Camp, etc. basically all of the stuff they had on Madden 08. now that was a SIMULATION. let 2K worry about arcadey "non-simulation" NFL football. smh.

    While that may be what we want, it is not financially smart for Madden. Why let another company get their foot in the door? While 2K will more likely than not NEVER come back in simulation form because of the money that Madden brings in for the NFL, the slim chance that people will stop buying Madden for this non-sim 2K game forces Madden to come up with ways to continue to drown the competition. A non-sim game is coming out? Better introduce a new game mode that is similar to the competitions arcadey game mode in a different game (The Yard vs REC).
    it's not really fair to do that, but then again, 2K can come out with something similar to all-pro 2k8 (which was a non-simulation) and one up madden with an authentic gridiron game (with not exact NFL rules) and provide full customization, franchise mode, etc. and then blow madden out of the water. heck, an arcade-type football game with full customization and franchise mode would even work as well. a super tecmo bowl style game would more than do the trick. that game was legendary for fun factor and players (including me) have been begging for an updated version (with NFL license) anyways.
    sheredia
    it's not really fair to do that, but then again, 2K can come out with something similar to all-pro 2k8 (which was a non-simulation) and one up madden with an authentic gridiron game (with not exact NFL rules) and provide full customization, franchise mode, etc. and then blow madden out of the water. heck, an arcade-type football game with full customization and franchise mode would even work as well. a super tecmo bowl style game would more than do the trick. that game was legendary for fun factor and players (including me) have been begging for an updated version (with NFL license) anyways.

    It might not seem fair, but we allow it to happen. We complain about "the same game as last year" and "all they care about is MUT", yet we continue to buy the game every year just to complain about it, and people continue to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars for MUT packs. We are the only ones that can change it, but we suck at sticking to our guns.
    bigbob
    It might not seem fair, but we allow it to happen. We complain about "the same game as last year" and "all they care about is MUT", yet we continue to buy the game every year just to complain about it, and people continue to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars for MUT packs. We are the only ones that can change it, but we suck at sticking to our guns.

    all the people on this forum could not buy the game and it would just be an insignificant percentage point to their bottom line.
    I would love it if The Yard was like My Park...
    Imagine turning up to a really cool venue or a small 6v6 pitch on a park.
    You could even have captains pick teams based on who they want based on archetype.
    Have stores to buy accessories, clothing and cleats...custom helmets on/off. Maybe with stickers based on accomplishments! This would be so awesome going up against a dude with a helmet full of stickers knowing you're in trouble.
    Have a variation of rules similar to Superstar KO...tie breakers with shorter pitches.
    Have options for the QB to effectively use hot route master to show the receivers their intended route. Staying on that route gets you XP, XPx2 if you make a catch, XPx3 if you score a TD.
    If you decide to go against the route you dont get a bonus unless you score a td.
    There could be a short huddle or pre play chance for the QB to tell you what the gameplan is. Maybe just have everyone at the line of scrimmage?
    cleverley1986
    I would love it if The Yard was like My Park...
    Imagine turning up to a really cool venue or a small 6v6 pitch on a park.
    You could even have captains pick teams based on who they want based on archetype.
    Have stores to buy accessories, clothing and cleats...custom helmets on/off. Maybe with stickers based on accomplishments! This would be so awesome going up against a dude with a helmet full of stickers knowing you're in trouble.
    Have a variation of rules similar to Superstar KO...tie breakers with shorter pitches.
    Have options for the QB to effectively use hot route master to show the receivers their intended route. Staying on that route gets you XP, XPx2 if you make a catch, XPx3 if you score a TD.
    If you decide to go against the route you dont get a bonus unless you score a td.
    There could be a short huddle or pre play chance for the QB to tell you what the gameplan is. Maybe just have everyone at the line of scrimmage?

    would only make the game worse then it already is.
    2k went that route with nba and that game is getting more arcade with each new version.
    In what way has FIFA mimicked Madden? I haven't played FIFA for years but the article makes it seem like FIFA took stuff from Madden when I thought it was a pretty 1 way street?
    This seems pretty obviously tied to 2K's impending game, I'd say FIFA having already gone down a similar path is just a coincidence (as in, they were always going to try and head off 2K's efforts regardless of what FIFA has, and may not have bothered otherwise).
    tru11
    would only make the game worse then it already is.
    2k went that route with nba and that game is getting more arcade with each new version.

    Overall...probably...but because it's EA.
    It is a shame these modes can't work independently. Volta plays differently to a normal fifa game (annoyingly) and the shooting is clearly much harder.
    I don't necessarily want full arcade...im a sim guy so really what i want is NFL street but with realistic physics. Or at least a balance between the two. I think EA reached that with superstar KO
    Blog out...
    https://www.gameinformer.com/2020/08/04/madden-nfl-21-invites-you-to-take-it-out-back-with-a-new-mode-called-the-yard
    EA Sports has announced The Yard, a new backyard-football-inspired mode coming to Madden NFL 21. The mode hopes to deliver a fast-paced, customizable experience that feels more like an arcade mode than the traditional NFL games typically delivered by the franchise.
    The goal of The Yard is to let players experience the fast-paced gameplay of backyard football. Players create a custom character, choosing form facial hair, hairstyles, and more, then outfit it in unique gear. In The Yard, players can pull off trick plays like behind-the-back throws and double passes, and compete in new field locations all over the world, all with varied rulesets.
    Once you step onto the field in The Yard, you compete in 6v6 games with solo, online co-op vs. the CPU, and online head-to-head multiplayer options. The online head-to-head allows for teams consisting of one, two, or three players. The Yard features new animations, and a post-launch plan to include new gear drops throughout the NFL season. Playing in The Yard grants your character experience points and other rewards.
    The Yard experience carries into Madden NFL 21 Mobile, where you can create your avatar starting today and compete in a unique version of this new mode called The Yard: Underground. This mobile version features a single-player, narrative experience with 5v5 gameplay. If you connect the same EA account to both your mobile device and console or PC, you can begin earning rewards through Madden NFL 21 Mobile today.
    Madden NFL 21 Mobile is available now for iOS and Android. Madden NFL 21 is set to hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 28. A PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Stadia version will launch at a later date.

I like video games and the miami dolphins.

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