With Summer underway, it’s about that time of year where we start to get new details for the annualized sports titles. Madden NFL 21 is set to be the last entry in the series before the full transition to the next generation of consoles later this year. With that, EA Sports is looking to end this current generation with a bang. It’s been revealed that Madden 21’s Face of the Franchise game mode will see the return of high school, college, the combine, and some brand new NFL storylines.
It wasn’t long ago that we got our first look at Madden 21’s cover athlete Lamar Jackson in all his MVP glory. Now, we’ve got some insight as to what to expect from the game’s new mode. EA Sports posted an extensive piece to their website where they detail all of the new features. “In the Face of the Franchise section, you will see the chapters of your career detailed out starting in high school.” Players will be able to choose a highschool logo and name, and then set out on their journey to be a superstar. The player will then go through college, eventually going on to participate in the NFL combine and get drafted to league.
This isn’t the first time the Madden franchise has tried its hand at a more narrative-based story mode. Madden 18 and 19’s Longshot mode sought out to tell an emotional story centered on an up and coming superstar. However, Face of the Franchise looks to up the ante. The story will no longer stop once players reach the NFL. In fact, the post on EA’s website lists 8 potential storylines that a player may experience through their journey in the pros. For those that want to be completely blind to these twists and turns, we recommend that you don’t read this section of the website.
Face of the Franchise will also see some high-profile talent make their way into Madden 21. Actor Tye Sheridan stars as Tommy Matthews, a rival and friend to the player that will appear throughout their career. Snoop Dogg and Rich Eisen will also pop up in Face of the Franchise mode, playing themselves.
Madden 21’s Face of the Franchise mode will exist separately from the classic Franchise mode that players have become familiar with, which will be receiving a small number of tweaks and changes. Madden 21 is set to release later this Summer on August 25.
EVO Online canceled & Mr. Wizard to leave company amid sexual misconduct allegations
In the wake of various victims of sexual and toxic abuse and harassment coming forth to speak on their experiences, a bombshell hit today. An accuser came forth with allegations against EVO CEO Joey “Mr Wizard” Cuellar. EVO Onlline has since been canceled, and the EVO organizaiton has announced they will be parting ways with Cuellar as Tony Cannon takes his place as acting EVO CEO.
The matter began when late on July 1, 2020, FGC competitor Mikey “Crackpr0n” Pham posted a detailed account of a 2001 situation in which Joey Cuellar allegedly goaded Pham into showing him his penis, for which Cuellar apparently gave Pham $20. Pham was also reportedly 17 years old at the time of the incident. In the wake of the allegations on July 2, 2020, the EVO organization released a statement announcing that Cuellar had been placed on administrative leave as a third-party investigation was carried out. That was not enough for some. It wasn’t far after that both NetherRealm Studios and Capcom announced they would pulling Street Fighter 5 and Mortal Kombat 11 respectively from EVO Online events.
— Capcom Fighters (@CapcomFighters) July 2, 2020
Cuellar finally spoke to the allegations late on July 2, 2020 as well. He did not deny what he was accused of and instead offered an apology to the fighting game community at large.
“I’m sorry,” Cuellar wrote. “I never meant to hurt anyone. I was young and reckless and did things I’m not proud of. I have been growing and maturing over the past 20 years, but that doesn’t excuse anything. All I have been trying to do is become a better person. Once again, I’m truly sorry.”
Nonetheless, following the accusations and Cuellar’s statement, the EVO organization saw fit to officially begin cutting ties with Mr. Wizard. As Cuellar exits the company, EVO co-founder Tony Cannon will take his place in ongoing operations. EVO Online has also been cancelled and refunds for any purchases made on the event will be processed in the upcoming days.
— EVO (@EVO) July 3, 2020
Accusations against Cuellar come alongside a wave of victims coming out against sexual and toxic abusers across the gaming industry. The Smash Bros competitive scene in particular saw a number of high profile players accused of sexual misconduct, with Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, Richard “Keitaro” King Jr., D’Ron “D1” Maingrette, and Jason “ANTi” Bates among the names with credible accusations against them. Nairo was dropped from NRG Esports and ANTi has been dropped from T1 following the allegations against them.
EVO finds itself in a sorry state this year. EVO Online was a solid attempt at shifting the competition to a digital format, but as change happens in the industry and victims come forth to share stories, EVO could not find itself outside the wake of accusations. Nonetheless, as Tony Cannon steps in where Cuellar left off, hopefully the marquee fighting game organization and event can become a better, safer place for the community it serves.
Off-Roading Simulation Game ‘MudRunner’ Is Coming to Mobile as ‘MudRunner Mobile’ This Month with Pre-Orders Now Live on the App Store
Saber Interactive and Focus Home Interactive brought out MudRunner to consoles and PC back in 2017 as an off-roading simulation game. In MudRunner players were tasked with transporting logs to a destination across various open maps and access to nothing but a map and a compass. Each map played differently and there were also various vehicles. MudRunner Mobile from Focus Home Interactive has gone live for pre-order on the App Store revealing some details for the release and the price alongside a release date. MudRunner Mobile includes 15 open world maps and 16 vehicles. Watch the trailer for the original release below:
MudRunner Mobile releases on July 15th for $5.99. While it does mention in app purchases on the App Store listing, as of this writing, they are limited to a single DLC which is free. I never got around to playing this on any console and it looks like a fun pickup and play experience. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can pre-order MudRunner Mobile on the App Store for iOS here and on Google Play for Android here (not live yet). The store pages even have some screenshots of how the game interface looks for touch. Check out the official website for the game here. Have you played MudRunner or SnowRunner on any platform before?
The Internet Has Declared War On The U.S. Army Esports Discord Channel
The military has long had a foot in gaming, most notably as a recruitment tool with efforts like the early 2000s’ America’s Army series. The army’s gaming arm came back into the public eye this week, after the U.S. Army’s esports account tweeted “UwU” in response to a tweet by chat app Discord.
The tweet went viral, with many criticizing the army’s use of the esports initiative as a recruitment tool to target young people.
uwu pwease enwist and commit waw cwimes uwu
— jay is antifascist, pro-Black lives (@shutupfish) June 30, 2020
Soon, a new speedrun challenge spawned on Twitter where users competed to get banned from the US Army esports Discord server the fastest, Polygon reported. The server was flooded with users posting in an effort to try and get banned–while some posted classic “copypasta” text, others simply linked to the Wikipedia page for “United States war crimes.”
Most videos showed users achieving bans within 20 seconds, with the mods clearly active to keep up with the influx of new users.
The main functionality of the Discord channel has now been disabled. While it’s still possible to join the server, reacting to the rules message no longer grants access to the main chat channels–though the number of reactions continues to tick up as users attempt to join.
According to Polygon, the Discord channel was originally disabled with a message by a moderator called “UwU” reading “Temporarily disabled. Thanks for the fun tonight!” That message was later replaced with one reading “Have a bit more patience while we finalize some back end stuff in the server in order to make it an enjoyable place for you all to game. We apologize for the inconvenience to those that are legit wanting to join us. Trolls make things fun for everyone!”
As at the time of writing, the latest message in the Discord’s welcome channel simply reads “This page is intentionally disabled…”
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