Just a few weeks after the launch of the new consoles, Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21 will be available as free upgrades for players who already own them on current-gen platforms. Some of that we already knew thanks to EA's Dual Entitlement Program, but now we know exactly when players can claim their next-gen copies for free - or buy them for the first time. The next-gen versions of EA's biggest sports franchises arrive on December 4.
EA is still being somewhat tight-lipped about how these next-gen versions will work in contrast to the current-gen versions which released earlier this year, but a new FAQ section has clarified some of those details at least.
Players have been curious how old and new versions of Madden and FIFA will co-exist. Can players join each other in games across different generations? They've still not said, but what we do know is most of everything you've done in the games will carry over.
In FIFA 21, that means all your progress in FIFA Ultimate Team and Volta mode will move right up to next-gen, while on Madden NFL 21, this includes Face of the Franchise, Madden Ultimate Team, Franchise, and The Yard. Even online franchises can move up to the next-gen platforms, though it's unclear whether that means the whole league would need to progress for all involved players to keep up.
In addition to these modes, all in-game purchases will seamlessly carry over as well, as you'd hope and expect. Madden gained a second live-service mode this year in The Yard, letting players purchase new cosmetic gear for their players. It'd be a tough sell to so quickly take away those items from players, but thankfully they need not worry. Your over-the-top helmets and shoulder pads will make the generational leap just like your MUT team.
We're still waiting to learn about the specific features these next-gen versions take advantage of, and whether they extend beyond visual enhancements and performance boosts like higher framerates and faster loading. With a dual launch date now revealed, it shouldn't be too long before we see these games in motion on Xbox Series X|S and PS5.