Madden 20 gets closed beta, trailer and new scoreboard at E3 2019

The sports frenzy of E3 2019 is well underway, with Madden 20 dropping new details to follow the official reveal of stablemate FIFA 20. The specifics of those details? A new onscreen scoreboard, which fans have requested for yonks, confirmation of a closed beta coming next weekend, and a trailer for Face of the Franchise. Let’s get that looked at first:

Face of the Franchise is a new spin on Madden 20 career mode, with you taking on a created player and then steering him through college and onto a glittering, or Rex Grossman-esque, career as an NFL quarterback. It’s intriguing to see it up close, but there’s nothing revelatory in the above  footage – we already announced our excitement at being able to play as the Miami Hurricanes for the first time since NCAA 14 in our closer look at Madden 20 franchise mode.

Madden 20’s efforts at E3 2019 weren’t a waste, though. The community has requested EPSN overlays throughout matches for more than half a decade and while those aren’t forthcoming, we are at least getting a new in-match scoreboard which looks chunkier, clearer and generally more professional. Indeed, the less-is-more approach has been applied to menus across the game, and should make roster moves in franchise mode or card listing in MUT far less fiddly than in previous years.

Still, gameplay is paramount, and Madden 20 will need more than sexier menus to trigger the opening of wallets come its 2 August release date. To that end, the community will get to grips with it as soon as next weekend. E3 2019 saw EA confirm a closed beta for the gridiron sim, which it says can be accessed in one of four ways:

  • “Stop by our Madden booth [at EA Play].”
  • “From June 10 to June 14, we’ll give codes to select players on our social channels.”
  • “Our dev team will also spread the love. We’ll amplify posts from Twitter, and we’ll share codes with our communities. Check out MUTHEAD and Reddit (Madden Ultimate Team) for a chance to get a code.”
  • “Check your email associated with your EA Account for another chance to get access. If you’re a competitor in the Madden Championship Series, keep an extra eye on your inbox, because we’re sending out codes to randomly selected competitors.”

Sounds a bit of an arbitrary scramble, but it’s better than offering no access at all until release, and then having to fix a zillion bugs and exploits after the license-drenched horse has bolted. Note, however, that this is one short beta: it runs from midnight EST on Friday 15 June to midnight EST on Sunday 17 June. All modes other than MUT and Face Of The Franchise are playable, although only as four teams: New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, and LA Rams. 

Madden 20 is released on 2 August. For more potential improvements, check out 11 Madden 20 features that need adding according to fans. 

Ben Wilson

I'm GamesRadar's sports editor, and obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, AEW, and occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym – such as Chvrches, Bill Bryson, and Streets Of Rage 4. (All the Streets Of Rage games, actually.) Even after three decades I still have a soft spot for Euro Boss on the Amstrad CPC 464+.