Madden NFL 21's Cover Is Very Different This Year, And There Is A Good Reason Why

The cover for this year's game is not like the rest, and the Baltimore Ravens explain why.

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Madden NFL 21's cover is striking and unique. In fact, it's perhaps the biggest departure from the norm in the history of the franchise. As it turns out, there is a good reason for that.

Under normal circumstances, EA Sports would conduct an in-person photo shoot with the year's cover athlete--this year's it's Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens. A physical photo shoot wasn't possible this year due to COVID-19. So EA Sports contacted the Baltimore Ravens and asked if they could use some of team photographer Shawn Hubbard's photos. Hubbard said on the Ravens website that it was a "huge honor" to work with EA on this, even if he doesn't have much familiarity with the game series.

Madden NFL 21 box art with Lamar Jackson
Madden NFL 21 box art with Lamar Jackson
Gallery image 1Gallery image 2

"We were on lockdown with COVID and I know they usually have a shoot for it. It just wasn't something I expected with all the other bad news happening. … I'm a little embarrassed to say that I've never played Madden--ever. Maybe they'll send me a copy and I'll get started," Hubbard said.

In addition to Hubbard's shots, the Madden 21 cover features some images from the Associated Press. In total, there are five pictures of Jackson on the standard edition cover of Madden 21. The game's Deluxe and MVP editions feature additional photos of Jackson which are meant to collectively showcase Jackson's strength, athleticism, and easy-going nature.

The box art also showcases the words "generation rising," which is meant to reflect how Jackson is a new type of QB who is taking the position to new levels with his play-making and skills.

Madden NFL 21 launches on August 28 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For the first time in franchise history, the game will be available on Steam.

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