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The NFL shocked fans by announcing a Spongebob crossover, culminating in a Nickelodeon broadcast of the Saints v Bears game this weekend.

This was meant to bring young fans into the game with streamlined commentary and a little extra TV magic like slime on touchdowns.

It elicited a great reaction from parents and children.

Equality was also added to Madden 21. But it didn’t quite get the same reaction.

What has changed in Madden 21?

Updates focus on The Yard game mode.

COLORFUL: If you play The Yard, it’s a cooler

Loads of new outfits to unlock and play with, plus a new field on the theme of SpongeBob SquarePants.

It will be an arcade style game and mainly aimed at children.

The reaction

It came as a shock to a lot of EA players.

NFL coverage has been touted as a connection to Nickelodeon rather than a direct connection to SpongeBob SquarePants, but EA has used the character a lot.

This left a lot of fans wondering what it was about, especially if they hadn’t heard of the NFL tie-up either.

To get a quick reaction, you can read the responses to any tweet on the official Madden 21 account and get a feel for how it turned out:

NOT HAPPY: messages have not changed

The TV side of the link was clearly aimed at getting more kids into the sport. And because it was on the kids’ show, they knew their target audience.

Madden 21 is a little different. Madden 21’s demographics are not the same as Nickelodeon’s.

It is not clear if EA had a legal obligation to support the hookup.

And to be fair to them, they’ve limited it to one game mode and there are younger fans out there who will love it.

Deaf to your tone?

But that doesn’t stop Madden players from getting angry.

They consider the development time spent on these things a complete waste and fail to fix the core bugs that have plagued the game since September.

In the same week when this update went live, franchises were locked down for long periods of time, with PC versions taking days to resolve.

Adding content that doesn’t match your target audience, while having bugs and no updates on content that matches them, is a sure-fire way to disrupt your customers in the long run.