The football season is over, but we’re just coming into the start of the Madden 19 release date hype as we should learn a lot about the next Madden NFL game this Spring. The 2018 Madden release will arrive as Madden 19 and even though it is early, we know decent amount about what you can expect from this new NFL game for the PS4 and Xbox One.
With at least 50% of gamers playing the Longshot Story Mode on Madden 18, there is a very good chance that it will return for Madden 19. With nearly 75% of all players trying Ultimate Team and over a third of players spending money on packs and in-game purchases you can count on an even bigger focus on Ultimate Team for Madden 19.
Madden 19 Release Date
The Madden 19 release date is likely coming in August. Every year EA releases the new Madden game in August just ahead of the start of the NFL season. This comes as a way to build hype for the game and it ties into promotions with the NFL and with companies like Frito Lay. For over a decade the new Madden release date landed in August and that will not change this year.
Count on a Madden 19 release date on August 24th for a special edition that allows you to play ahead of the general release. A full release for the standard edition will come on August 28th unless there is a massive change to how EA does things.
Generally we see EA Access members get the game five days before the general release day, so that could mean an extra early Madden 19 release date on August 20th for EA Access members on Xbox One. There is no EA Access for the PS4. This used to be the full game, but last year we saw that only a small portion of the Longshot story mode was available in this early release.
Madden 19 Features & Graphics
We saw the Madden 18 game arrive with Xbox One X enhanced graphics this year and we will definitely see better graphics on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X with the Madden 19 release. This means you will play in 4K and you will have HDR support which helps make the stadiums and players look more realistic. Expect to see EA build on the foundation they had in Madden 18. It helps that Madden shares the engine with FIFA and Battlefield games, so progress in one game can carry over to other games.
The Longshot Story mode saw at least 50% of players try the new mode, which means it will likely come back with a second season. We’re hoping this is a brand new story and that EA is able to build in more player controls to the game to liven it up some.
Madden Ultimate Team in Madden 19 will remain a major focus as it is a huge source of revenue for EA. The Ultimate Team in Madden 18 felt better overall, addressing many of the tasks that took too long to do in the management side while playing Madden 17, but ultimately was very grindy for the first few months. If EA plans on keeping the grind as a “feature” we hope they are able to streamline playing multiple games and challenges without exiting a game, picking a game, pressing a twice and then sitting through an intro. It would also be nice if the announcers didn’t talk like it is the first quarter while you are in a 4th quarter situation.
Expect to see fine tuning of the difficulty options in Madden 19 and to see more focus on the QB position again, which will hopefully make Target Passing useful, or move it to the bench with the Vision Cone.
It’s time for EA to deliver a completely revamped Franchise Mode that is in line with experience gamers get on EA’s NHL game. We’re hoping to hear more specifics on this, but likely won’t until summer arrives.
One other area to look at is better player AI in Madden 19, as your team will become a bigger role in the success or loss of a match.
Madden 19 Cover
After years of voting, EA decided to put Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski on the cover of Madden 18 and Madden 17 with no player vote. EA may continue the trend this year, picking a player for the cover instead of allowing fans to choose.
Expect to see EA announce the Madden 19 cover athlete in May, 2018 along with a few other details about the game.
Madden 19 Editions
You can expect two main Madden 19 editions available when the game releases in August. A standard Madden 19 edition that is $59.99 and a Madden 19 Special Edition that is $79.99. Last year the special edition was the G.O.A.T. edition, but with no Tom Brady on the cover this version will likely come with a new name. There is a chance that you will see a special digital only edition with even more bonus items, but that is unclear at this stage since EA dropped that option in 2017.
The Madden 19 Special Edition will include special Madden Ultimate Team bonuses and will allow you to play Madden 19 three days early if EA sticks with what worked for Madden 18.
Madden 19 Demo
Do not expect a Madden 19 demo that allows you to try the game for free ahead of the release date. There is also no need for a Madden 19 beta, unless EA shakes things up dramatically.
Instead you will be able to buy EA Access for $5 a month or $30 a year and you can expect to play Madden 19 five days early. We’ll have more on this as EA addresses the inclusion of Madden 19 in EA Access Trials, likely at E3 in June.
Madden 19 Consoles
We know that you will be able to play Madden 19 on the PS4 and Xbox One. This also goes for the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X. If Sony decides to deliver a PS5 this year then Madden 19 will definitely be on it.
You will not be able to play Madden 19 on the Xbox 360 or PS3. EA stopped making Madden for these consoles and there is no reason to bring it back. If you own one of these and want to play a new Madden game you will need to upgrade.
The big question mark is on a possible Madden 19 Switch release date. EA delivered FIFA 18 for the Switch, but did not put Madden on Nintendo’s portable console. One point in favor is that the Nintendo Switch is selling well and in May 2017 the publisher said it plans to wait and see how wide the Switch’s reach is before committing to more than one or two games. Expect to learn about this in May or at E3 2018 in June.