Attention Madden fans – the standard edition of Madden NFL 23 will not include a free PS5 or Xbox Series X|S update.
If you pick up the standard version of Madden 23 on PS4 or Xbox One, you will not be able to upgrade to the PS5 or Xbox Series X|S version later. According to an EA blog post (opens in new tab)you’ll need to buy the game a second time to get your hands on its next-gen version.
Only those who purchase Madden NFL 23 All Madden Edition will qualify for a free next-gen upgrade as part of EA’s Dual Entitlement program. But this special edition costs $99.99 / £89.99 / AU$149.95. That’s a big chunk of the standard version’s price of $59.99 / £59.99 / AU$99.95 on PS4 and Xbox One.
keep the rhythm
Madden 23’s pricing structure matches what we saw last year with the release of FIFA 22. Those who purchased the standard edition of EA’s flagship sports game were unable to upgrade to the next-gen consoles and instead had than relying on the expensive FIFA 22 Ultimate Edition to play on both generations of hardware.
It is far from the norm among video game publishers. Many high-end updates are offered for free or sold for a small fee. Few publishers make players buy a brand new copy of a game they already own, just to switch between console generations.
Ubisoft released free next-gen updates for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6 and Watch Dogs: Legion when the new consoles launched in 2020. Activision offers a cross-gen version of Call of Duty: Vanguard for $10 / £10 / AU$10 extra, and Elden Ring also includes a free upgrade. When the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S native versions of Cyberpunk 2077 were released earlier this year, the update was distributed to all players in an automatic, free update.
However, it’s not unheard of for EA to offer free next-gen updates. FIFA 21 included a free update for PS5 and Xbox Series X right away. Likewise, the next-gen update for Battlefield 2042 was initially only offered to those who purchased the Gold Edition of the game. But a free update was later given to everyone who owned a standard digital edition of the shooter.
Don’t expect a similar story with Madden 23, though. As one of EA’s top esports games, it will continue to attract players despite high upgrade costs. At least we can wait for its pileups, though we’re still waiting for a final word on the Madden 23 cross-platform situation.