With COVID-19 still a threat, especially to large groups, the NFL has found a creative way of delivering the NFL Pro Bowl to fans this weekend - by playing it in Madden. The NFL and EA announced some time ago that the game would be played entirely in Madden NFL 21, but now we know the whole schedule, including which NFL athletes past and present, as well as which celebrities, will participate.
The NFL Pro Bowl will be streamed live on NFL social media channels including YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and Twitter. The festivities run all week long ahead of the game, which will be played on Sunday, January 31 at 5 pm EST.
“EA SPORTS’ commitment to help fans experience sport in new ways is realized perfectly by the transformation of this year’s Pro Bowl to the virtual field of Madden NFL,” said David Tinson, CMO, Electronic Arts. “We’re further blurring the lines between reality and the virtual worlds of our games, creating new opportunities to connect fans through the sport they love.”
Joining the Pro Bowl squads are Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans, Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans, former star wideout Keyshawn Johnson, and rapper Snoop Dogg all representing the AFC squad. Meanwhile, the NFC will feature Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals, Jamal Adams of the Seattle Seahawks, former Pro Bowler Marshawn Lynch, and NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.
To coincide with the Pro Bowl, Madden NFL 21 will be free to play this weekend across all platforms, including its launch on Stadia on January 28. It marks the first Frostbite Engine-based game to come to Stadia after over a year of EA shying from the platform, much like how the company treated Nintendo Switch.
Fans are encouraged to tune in to NFL social channels all week where a host of other charity tournaments and more will be played for fans, all leading up to this weekend's creative solution for a pandemic-based Pro Bowl.