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Madden 21 will get update to reflect new Washington football team name

EA Sports is preparing an update to address the team dropping its current name.

Madden 21 features Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson on the cover.
EA Sports

When the Washington football team announces its new team name, fans won't need to replace their copies of Madden 21 to see the change. In a statement provided to CNET, EA Sports says it will issue an update to its game as the new details become available. 

"We are pleased to see Washington's decision to change their team name and visual identity," the company says in the statement. "We are quickly working to update Madden NFL 21 to feature a generic Washington team, while we await final word on the updated team name and logo design."

The company says that the changes will be done automatically and be made available first to its EA Access subscribers, the company's $4.99-a-month subscription service. Among the first batch of changes will be "audio/commentary updates; motion graphics and presentation updates; stadium art, environments, crowd gear and signage updates; and uniform updates." 

The company adds that while "players may continue to see some outdated Washington references in other areas of the game at launch," it is "committed to removing all of those from the game in additional title updates coming shortly after launch." 

Those who buy a physical copy of Madden 21 will also need to connect to the internet to download the changes as "the game is now in the final stages of preparation before shipping." 

After years of criticism and recent pressure from sponsors, the Washington football team announced on July 13 that it planned to retire the name "Redskins" and switch to a new name before the 2020 NFL season. Although there is plenty of speculation on what the name will be, the team has yet to reveal the new moniker. 

This isn't the first time EA Sports has needed to make a big, late close-to-launch change to Madden. In 2008 the company issued a printable cover after Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, then the 2009 Madden cover athlete, was traded to the New York Jets days before the game was set to go on sale. 

Madden 21 will be available for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Steam on Aug. 28 (though depending on how you get the game you can play starting Aug. 21). The popular football game is also coming to Google Stadia, Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 in the future.