This season’s version of the football game was initially scheduled for September but will not be released until October
Usually scheduled for a late September release, this year’s edition has been pushed back until October on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
What has caused these delays and what should we expect from FIFA 21 this year?
When is FIFA 21 released?
In previous years, each edition of FIFA was usually launched in September, closer to the kick-off times of various domestic leagues around the world.
This year, however, the launch date on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has been pushed back until October, while there is still no official release date for FIFA 21 on next-gen consoles, despite both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X hitting shelves in November.
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.
— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) September 21, 2020
Why was FIFA 21 delayed?
FIFA 21 was pushed back from its initial late September 2020 release date due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The global pandemic initially caused cancellations for competitive gaming and esports, with EA Sports forced to suspend the FIFA 20 Global Series and cancel numerous events in the FUT Champions Cup calendar.
The E3 video game conference scheduled for June was cancelled for the first time in the event’s history, which was usually when EA Sports revealed information about the new FIFA release.
EA was also forced to shut down offices in Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul and Milan, while it advised all its employees in North America, Europe and Australia to work from home.
These closures and remote working have led to delays around the production of marquee titles such as the Last of Us Part II and FIFA 21, which saw their intended release dates pushed back.
When will FIFA 21 reviews appear online?
Gamers will first get their hands on a digital copy of FIFA 21 from October 1 when EA Play and Origin Access allows users to get a 10-hour trial of the game.
The full game will also become available for download on October 6 for anybody who pre-ordered the Champions Edition or Ultimate Edition of FIFA 21.
Video game magazines and websites usually receive the game in advance to allow them to review it ahead of its general release, but with the lack of a demo and the delays because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is expected that review copies will also be delayed.
As a result, reviews may not start appearing online until the end of September or even the start of October when the EA Play and Origin Access trial period begins.