Madden 21 Adds SpongeBob-Inspired Game Modes And Gear To Celebrate NFL Playoffs

EA and Nickelodeon have officially pulled back the curtain on their Madden-SpongeBob collaboration, revealing several new game modes for The Yard, along with exclusive gear and a new Reef-Top location.

At first blush, the collaboration between Madden 21 and SpongeBob doesn’t make much sense – Mr. SquarePants might be a professional bubble-blower, but his football skills leave a bit to be desired. However, there’s actually a good reason for the awkward partnership. This weekend marks the start of the NFL Playoffs, and one of the games will be broadcast on Nickelodeon, complete with kid-friendly content and halftime show.

The Nick-NFL mashup has spilled over into Madden 21, giving us a bunch of new content in The Yard. Here are some of the most interesting additions:

  • The Flying Dutchman’s Ghostly Grab: A game mode in which you’ll “fly high with the Dutchman and make incredible catches.” Snagging deep touchdowns and completions will earn you bonus points.
  • Sandy’s Rocket Arm Rally: Players can throw the ball more than 80 yards – turning every QB into a superpowered Patrick Mahomes.
  • The Goo Lagoon Bowl: “Navigate the goo in sloooow motion!”
  • SpongeBob Reef-Top: A new location in The Yard, complete with massive SpongeBob blimps and the Krusty Krab.
  • SpongeBob Gear: Compression sleeves, back protectors, and bikini bottom shorts are just some of the new equipment you’ll be able to unlock.

Patrick Mahomes with a Patrick Star-themed back protector is something I never expected to need in my life – but here we are anyway. Some fans on Twitter are disappointed with the update – claiming EA should instead fix its servers and franchise mode – but the SpongeBob content is bound to appeal to a large portion of its audience. After all, it’s SpongeBob. Who doesn’t like the guy?

Disappointed fans have reason for hope, though, as Madden 21 recently showed off a few franchise mode updates that will be dropping later this year. With any luck it’ll fix some of the complaints folks have about the game, but until then they can run around in The Yard and enjoy some nautical nonsense.

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Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn’t stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector — experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.

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