FIFA 21 was recently reported to have witnessed slumping physical sales for its opening week in the United Kingdom. That slump no longer matters following confirmation of its digital sales.
According to a new report by Games Industry earlier today, digital sales of FIFA 21 are the biggest in the history of the popular franchise with downloads reaching 31 percent over FIFA 20 from last year. This marks the first time that a FIFA game has seen more digital sales than physical sales, at least in the United Kingdom.
The increased digital sales can safely be attributed to the oncoming next-generation consoles as consumers are holding off until the launch of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Electronic Arts will be upgrading all digital copies on current-generation to their next-generation counterparts for free. It makes sense that consumers interested in purchasing either a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X are opting for a digital copy over a physical one in order to play FIFA 21 on next-generation hardware from day one or when the game is made available.
FIFA 21 hence becomes another reminder that digital purchases have seen a significant push in 2020. The percentage of digital sales over physical was already on the rise but due to COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns, consumers worldwide ended up choosing physical alone. That only helped push the format further.
Elsewhere, FIFA 21 continues to be heavily criticised for being nearly the same game as FIFA 20. Changes done between both installments are little and as far as fans are concerned, the new installment may as well be a re-release. It gets worse for the Nintendo Switch version because that game is exactly the same as FIFA 20. Electronic Arts has officially confirmed FIFA 21 Legacy Edition to feature “the same gameplay innovation from FIFA 20 without any new development or significant enhancements.”
FIFA 21 is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.