The ripple effects of the NFL’s Washington franchise removing their long-standing racist nickname are vast and wide. Among the many industries that have to adjust their products to account for it is video games. Specifically, EA Sports’ Madden NFL 21 game that is set to release on August 25.
According to The Verge, EA is removing the nickname prior to launch from all versions except for discs, which have already been created. However, they will be offering a software update that can be used to replace the old name with the new name, whenever Dan Snyder makes whatever terrible decision he makes about it.
“We are pleased to see Washington’s decision to change their team name and visual identity,” an EA spokesperson confirmed to The Verge. “We are quickly working to update Madden NFL 21 to feature a generic Washington team, while we await final word on the updated team name and logo design.” The update removing all Redskins references will be prepared for launch, but it will require players who buy the game on a disc to connect to the internet to download and install it as the game is in the “final stages of preparation before shipping.”
While Washington will be generic when the game launches, changes to the name and logo will be downloaded automatically once the team announces a new identity. This will also include “audio/commentary updates; motion graphics and presentation updates; stadium art, environments, crowd gear, and signage updates; and uniform updates.”
EA did admit that there could be some outdated references to the old Washington name in random parts of the game but they remain committed to removing the name entirely when identified as well as moving forward.
Washington owner Dan Snyder, who is also a little preoccupied with some other internal concerns at the moment, begrudgingly announced that the franchise will create a new name and logo but has not put any kind of timetable on that decision. However, it would be insane for the franchise to not have a name in place before the start of the 2020-2021 NFL season (assuming that happens).