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EA Sports’ latest batch of covers have been the subject of intense scrutiny; there are some who love the scattershot design, and others who hate them. So what exactly is going on? Why do they look like that? The answer, in hindsight, is a glaring one: coronavirus. Of course!

“Generally a global pandemic is a bad thing,” explained Shawn Hubbard, the official photographer of the NFL team the Baltimore Ravens. “However, when [EA Sports] wasn’t able to do its annual cover shoot, they came to the Ravens and I to use my image library to create these covers.”

Quarterback Lamar Jackson is the star of Madden NFL 21 this year, and he’s shown in various poses as part of a scrapbook-style design. The covers for EA Sports UFC 4 and FIFA 21 are similar.

Under normal circumstances, EA Sports would have rented out a studio, put the athletes in front of a green screen, and done a professional photoshoot to create the assets for its covers. This year, due to the pandemic, that wasn’t possible, so this is what it came up with. Honestly, we like the covers!

[source twitter.com, via polygon.com]