Microsoft debuted game footage and trailers from several publishers with their latest Inside Xbox episode, which as received backlash over the lack of gameplay actually displayed and favoring the use of cinematic trailers. One move that is being received favorably for its consumer-friendly use is “Smart Delivery” where a game purchased on the Xbox One will receive a free upgrade on the Xbox Series X for that person.
Electronic Arts revealed some in-game footage of the next installment of their yearly Madden franchise, Madden NFL 21. The trailer ended with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes claiming that purchasing Madden NFL 21 on Xbox One will get a free Xbox Series X upgrade when the purchaser upgrades their console. Yet people did notice that the trailer lacked any definitive claim that Madden NFL 21 will be supporting Smart Delivery.
Electronic Arts released a blog post clarifying their stance on Smart Delivery for Madden NFL 21. Responding to a question, Electronic Arts stated that the free upgrade is only available in a limited timed window. Anyone who wants to redeem the free upgrade must purchase Madden NFL 21 by Dec. 31, 2020, and then purchase an Xbox Series X by March 31, 2021. This means that players only have a three-month window at the latest date to purchase the game to upgrade to the next generation console.
Electronic Arts is not required to participate in Smart Delivery for Xbox Series X or even giving a free upgrade. Although Electronic Arts has gotten criticism for the far less generous service and for releasing the trailer that did not explicitly state the time window to redeem the update. With the trailer being released alongside other games participated in Smart Delivery and lack of transparency, some have claimed the act was intentionally meant to be deceptive.
Electronic Arts will reveal their stance on similar service to Smart Delivery for PlayStation with EA PLAY Live on June 11.