EA Sports has announced that the yearly tradition of pumping out a bare-bones kick-about demo of the latest FIFA 21 isn’t happening this year.
In a tweet sharing the news, the mega-publisher pointed to pivoting its focus to pushing out the best full-fat version of the game rather than dedicating precious development resources to a demo. It reads;
“We aren’t releasing a demo for FIFA 21. Instead we’ve made the decision to focus our development team’s time on delivering the best full game experience for current & next-gen consoles. We look forward to EA PLAY members jumping in 10 days from now and launching the game Oct 9.”
While EA’s well-oiled PR machine flogging the idea of the ‘best full game experience’ bodes well for fans who remember last year’s disappointments, early previews suggest FIFA 21 won’t veer too far from tradition.
It’s likely we’re looking at yet another reskin of last year’s title with a roster update and few choice feature upgrades. With this in mind, I’m not quite sure what the extra time afforded by not pushing out a demo will add to the full game experience.
“So this is the FIFA upgrade as we have almost always known it, incrementally improving on last year’s version, tinkering with a few features here and there but fundamentally not messing with what is a feast of football.”
“FIFA 21 is a very minor upgrade over FIFA 20. This won’t come as a surprise to many, although it may disappoint. The Frostbite engine is still the foundation for the annual best-selling football game and as a result, unless you played last year’s instalment to death, you’re not going to instantly spot any big changes. In fact, the FIFA 21 beta feels like the smallest development jump year-on-year that the series has seen in a long time, which is saying something when it’s a series known for seemingly incremental changes as it is.”
IGN adds that while the revamped Career Mode is a step in the right direction , it feels like lip-service to demanding fans rather than a concerted improvement:
“My worry is that these are development decisions made because they feel like sops to a weary fanbase – window dressing for a mode that hasn’t changed a great deal in reality – not because they’ll turn Career mode into something legitimately new and exciting. If I was being kind, I’d say this was promising groundwork, a foundation to build on – I hope I still feel kind when the full game arrives.”
The bottom line is that we won’t be sampling FIFA 21 ahead of release to get a sense of whether it’s worth $60. We’re going in blind, and when it comes to FIFA, the final product tends to fall short of EA’s buzzwords and big-budget marketing. Business as usual, except we’ll be putting off the disappointment for a few weeks.