Madden NFL 21 Adds SpongeBob Themed Arena & Gear, For Some Reason

A bizarre team-up between EA and Nickelodeon has resulted in an unusual crossover between Madden NFL 21 and Spongebob Squarepants.

In a bizarre move, Madden NFL 21 will be receiving new content in a crossover with iconic Nickelodeon cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants. Madden NFL 21 is the latest game in EA’s Madden football franchise, which has received yearly releases since 1990. SpongeBob SquarePants is similarly long-lived, with its 1999 premier currently making it the fifth-longest-running cartoon in American history.

Releasing in August of 2020, Madden NFL 21 was met with poor reception by both casual players and series fans. One major criticism was that the game failed to innovate on prior installments which, coupled with oversaturation due to annual releases, made the new title feel stale. Another source of anguish was the game’s large amount of bugs, which created an overall unpolished final product. Criticism even reached the point where fans suggested that the NFL should terminate their partnership with EA and find a new developer to create a better football game experience.

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Related: Madden NFL 21 Teases Baffling Spongebob Crossover

As the latest in a series of eyebrow-raising decisions, EA has teamed up with Nickelodeon to bring fans a Madden 21 and SpongeBob SquarePants crossover event. This themed update brings a new stadium, called SpongeBob Reef-Top, which contains iconic background elements such as SpongeBob’s house, the Krusty Krab and an orange Nickelodeon blimp. A number of new modes are also being added to the game, with altered physics to reflect various cartoonish aspects of Bikini Bottom and its denizens. Exclusive gear will allow players to outfit their team with Spongebob-themed clothing, as one image shows Patrick Mahomes appropriately sporting a Patrick Star back plate.

While this team-up of entertainment colossi is unusual, it is not unprecedented. CBS Sports and Nickelodeon recently announced a collaboration that will bring some child-friendly fun to an upcoming NFL broadcast. The NFL’s Wild Card game on January 10 will be broadcast on both CBS Sports and Nickelodeon, with the Nickelodeon broadcast featuring fun additions such as virtual filters and a special halftime celebration. SpongeBob has even experienced some recent video game success of his own, with SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated selling over one million copies and receiving universal praise since it released in June 2020.

Madden 21 was a disappointment, with many fans feeling that the series has grown stale after years of annual releases. By teaming up with entertainment juggernaut SpongeBob SquarePants, EA may be attempting to rehydrate the football title with a bit of salt water. Bikini Bottom’s citizens once performed a mind-blowing half-time performance of “Sweet Victory,” but it remains to be seen whether SpongeBob SquarePants can save this losing game.

Next: Madden 21 Patches QB Drafting In Franchise Mode Following Player Feedback

Madden NFL 21 is available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, iOS, Android and PC.

Source: EA

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Updated: January 8, 2021 — 5:09 am

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