When running back ratings leaked for EA Sports’ upcoming Madden 21 video game on Monday night, they were met with an abundance of backlash, mainly for one specific reason.
Saquon Barkley, arguably the league’s best running back, that is if you take the word of more than 50 NFL executives, scouts, coaches and players, was slapped with a god-awful rating of just 89-overall, tied for just the seventh-highest rated RB in the game.
However, the outcry over Barkley’s absurd placement within the top-10 players at his position has seemingly led to Madden updating Barkley’s rating overnight. While EA will likely not admit to the altering of ratings, Barkley’s bump from an 89-overall to a 91-overall is the only difference between the original leak via Madden School and the official ratings that were released on Tuesday.
Barkley’s two-point increase may still be too low for some. However, the bump does catapult him past the likes of Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Mixon and 2019 touchdown leader Aaron Jones, putting him in a tie with Dalvin Cook as the game’s 5th-best rated running back.
You can see top-10 running back ratings in it’s entirety below:
Fans, Teammates Voice Their Displeasure with Madden
While the fans may have led the charge in the rating alteration, they were far from the only ones to voice their displeasure with EA over their original rating blunder regarding Barkley. The running back’s teammate, Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton, took to Twitter upon the initial leak in search of answers after being in complete and utter disbelief of what he had just seen.
Upon the change, EA has received a few jabs from Twitter users, such as The GOAT House, who called the change “ridiculous” after the game was seemingly bullied into changing Barkley’s overall in under 24-hours.
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Positive Change Coming to Madden?
I would beg to differ with the fans that see these alterations as a negative. For years, Madden users have begged EA Sports to hear their input on the game. Yet, year-in and year-out Madden has essentially repacked the same game, added a few new uniforms and imported rookies, and slapped a $59.99 price tag on it.
Fans had seemingly seen enough of EA’s somewhat lazy approach to growing its features, getting the #FixMaddenFranchise hashtag trending to No. 1 in the United States on Twitter earlier this month. This came on the heels of Madden failing to add any notable updates to the highly popular game mode for the upcoming release.
Madden Executive Producer Seann Graddy acknowledged the movement in the video shown below.
Will the movement lead to any actual changes? That has yet to be seen and is somewhat concerning considering Graddy didn’t specify any details in his statement. With that said, at least we seem to be heading into a better direction where the consumer has a voice.