The sports game’s digital performance was significant more impressive than its physical sales.
FIFA 21 launched last month, and in certain markets of the world, that means that no matter what other game comes out that same week, FIFA will invariably debut on top of the sales charts. That’s truer for the UK than most regions, and sure enough FIFA 21 topped last week’s UK sales charts. But even though it enjoyed the biggest physical launch of the year, its physical sales were still significantly down from FIFA 20, suggesting a downward trajectory for physical sales for the series.
Most assumed that it’s making up for that with its digital sales, and that does seem to be the case. As revealed in the data for digital sales in the UK last week provided by the GSD (via GamesIndustry), FIFA 21 topped the digital charts as well, and in fact sold almost a third as much as FIFA 20 did digitally at launch. In fact, the digital sales’ sharp increase “almost makes up for” the decline in physical sales, as GamesIndustry’s report. Interestingly enough, FIFA 21 is also the first game in the series that has seen more digital sales than physical sales at launch.
EA have been steering harder into digital territory over the years, and sure enough, it’s become their preferred way of interacting with consumers (which is true for various other publishers as well). EA have said in the past that they foresee FIFA digital sales continue to grow as time goes on, so this must not come as too much of a surprise to them.
FIFA 21 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch (though only as a Legacy Edition release on the latter). You can read our review of the game through here.
FIFA 21 will also be coming to the PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S when the consoles launch in November. A Stadia version is announced as well, but has no set release date yet.