Madden 22 release date, cover athlete, trailers and news

Looking for everything you need to know about Madden 22? Then you’re in the right place. Few things are as reliable as a new Madden launch. Every summer (between June and August), American football fans head to stores both physical and digital to pick up the latest, and still only, annual NFL sim on the market. Madden is so popular in recent years that its past two launches have been the biggest in series history. 

It's early days for this year’s Madden hype cycle, but that's not to say we know nothing about Madden 22. We can already reasonably speculate on things like the Madden 22 cover athlete and the Madden 22 release date. 

So, whether you're itching to kick off with new rookies like Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, or you can't wait to get your new Ultimate Team off the ground, here's everything we know so far about Madden 22.

Madden 22: what you need to know

  • What is it? The next annual installment of the Madden football series
  • When can I play it? Likely sometime in August, barring delay
  • What can I play it on? Likely Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC

Madden 22 release date

Madden 21(Madden 22)

(Image credit: EA)

EA is yet to reveal the Madden release date, but that information is pretty reliably predictable. The last several iterations of the game have launched in early to mid-August, so we can be reasonably sure that's once again the target EA is aiming for. It aligns nicely with the start of preseason football and the winding down of training camps, which is peak NFL hype season. 

Though that launch window is important to EA, the publisher may be dealing with a revised schedule due to the pandemic, which has slowed seemingly all game dev projects by varying amounts of time. We saw MLB The Show 21 launch a few weeks after its real-life counterpart's Opening Day, so it may be safer to assume Madden will launch a bit later this summer, putting it closer to its past launch window of late August - or perhaps even beyond that.

Madden 22 trailers

Madden 21

(Image credit: EA)

While no trailers have been shown publicly just yet, EA has a scheduled earnings call with investors in May. Historically, EA has paired its investor meetings with marketing campaigns, choosing to inform both its financial backers and customers almost in unison. While many expect the next Battlefield to be revealed in May at that earnings call, it's possible that's when EA will start talking publicly about Madden 22 as well. As soon as it does, we'll be sure to include any trailers right here.

If EA doesn't open up about Madden 22 there, it's a surefire bet to be shown at EA Play Live or a similar E3-adjacent showcase later this summer. The marketing windows have shrunken over the years for Madden, perhaps because the game essentially sells itself and EA wants to encourage players to spend in-game money on Madden 21 for as long as possible, so it wouldn't be unprecedented if the publisher remains tight-lipped until just eight or nine weeks before it launches.

Madden 22 cover athlete

Madden 21

(Image credit: EA)

The cover star is often the first thing we learn about Madden annually, so it's no wonder we're left guessing when EA hasn't said much about this yet. However, a seemingly credible rumor does point to one particular player getting the nod as this year's Madden cover star.

According to a leaked photo from a Pennsylvania GameStop, one customer saw a pre-order infographic intended for GameStop employees which suggested this year's cover star will be the most recent 2,000 yard rusher, Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans. The image was shared by TikTok user @jordanr03 and the cover art, if fake, is a great facsimile of the recent style the Madden box art design team took on beginning with Madden 21. 

Henry makes a lot of sense for multiple reasons. For one, EA likes to put some of the game's biggest stars on the cover. It tried a fan vote back in the Madden 12 days, and it landed flash-in-the-pan running back Peyton Hillis on the cover after the passionate Browns fans borderline-trolled the publisher by overwhelming the tally with votes for Hillis.

More recently, EA has not let outsiders make such major marketing decisions for the brand, so it's gone with safe picks like Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Lamar Jackson. Henry is building a Hall of Fame-level career for himself after pulling off three consecutive exceptional seasons including back-to-back years as the rushing champion and his most recent season which landed him as just the eighth player to ever rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Henry may very well be rated 99 overall when the game launches, so he'd make a great fit, especially if this year's new features will emphasize the ground game.

On top of his athletic accolades, there may just be something neat and tidy about putting Derrick Henry, who wears jersey number 22, on the cover of Madden 22.

If the Henry leak is a fake or perhaps the decision isn't yet final, other possible candidates include Russell Wilson, Aaron Donald, or DeAndre Hopkins, all of whom play in the NFC West but undeniably sit as some of the most likely heir-apparents to Lamar Jackson's soon-to-be-vacated throne as Madden cover star.

Madden 21 news and rumors

Madden 21

(Image credit: EA)

We've rounded up all the latest news and rumors surround Madden 22, below: 

Improved Franchise mode?
With last year's game, Tiburon righted some perceived wrongs according to the fans by committing three sizeable post-launch patches to the game's Franchise mode, which has taken a backseat in the series' recent history thanks in large part to the ultra-lucrative Madden Ultimate Team mode. Lots of fans would be happy to see the squeaky-wheel Franchise mode get even more oil with this summer's follow-up. 

Executive Producer Sean Graddy said that's the team's intent following the third and final Franchise update to Madden 21. "“We see your ‘fix Madden franchise tweets and we understand your frustration,” said Grady in a Twitter video you can watch below. “The franchise community is critically important to us and we appreciate your passion for Madden NFL. We’re reading your feedback and we clearly understand that you want more. We’ve seen your request for details around what the franchise community can expect moving forwards, and while I don’t have a lot of details I can share right now, I can tell you that our team is actively working on bolstering plans to support the franchise in Madden 21 and beyond.”

See more

The Yard returning?
There's also the expectation that The Yard will return after a promising debut last year. The Yard is the new arcade mode that plays closer to the days of NFL Street than a true-to-life simulation. The mode is flashy, fast, and fun. Not for nothing, it also offers an alternate route for microtransactions by allowing EA to sell cosmetics. This is helpful since EA's Ultimate Team economy, which has been likened to gambling, may keep getting banned in countries around the world like it already has been in The Netherlands and Belgium.

Look for Madden 22 to continue to focus on its main pillars of Ultimate Team, Franchise, Face of the Franchise - the game's story mode - and probably a return of The Yard. Superstar KO and The Yard serve overlapping fandoms, but EA did allow them to coexist last year rather than ditch the older mode for the newer one, so hopefully both return once more. As EA opens up a bit more about new modes, changes to the game's story, and other new ways to play Madden 22, we'll be sure to cover it all here. 

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