No Euro 2020 expansion pack available for FIFA 21

EA Sports has confirmed that it will not be making a downloadable expansion pack available in FIFA 21 for the UEFA Euro 2020 championships this summer. EA Sports has regularly released video games specifically for major soccer tournaments such as the European Championships and the World Cup, but on this occasion has decided against an officially licensed expansion pack.

FIFA 18 was designed to include a FIFA 2018 World Cup downloadable expansion pack, but FIFA 16 did not have the luxury of an expansion pack for the last Euro 2016 championships. It’s a major disappointment for FIFA 21 fans and soccer fans in general, given the heightened anticipation for this summer’s championships. Already the expert tipsters and handicappers are analysing all the factors of the upcoming tournament, while many online bookmakers are also readying their promotion packages for fans to use throughout the championships.

So, having waited such a long time for the next competitive international soccer tournament, why has EA Sports taken this decision not to incorporate a Euro 2020 mode? The reason is rather straightforward and relates to one of FIFA’s direct competitors, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES). The developers of PES, Konami, managed to bag exclusive rights with UEFA to provide the official European Championship video game for 2021. eFootball PES 2021 incorporates a Euro 2020 tournament mode.

FIFA and EA Sports have been unable to contemplate developing a European Championship video game since 2019, when Konami’s partnership with UEFA was first revealed. In addition, Konami also secured official licensing rights for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, which also explains why FIFA was unable to do anything for the previous championships too.

What can we expect from the Euro 2020 update for eFootball PES 2021?

Konami will also be making its Euro 2020 update downloadable for all eFootball PES 2021 owners. First and foremost, once they’ve downloaded the pack, players will notice Euro 2020 available in Cup Mode, allowing gamers to play out their own version of this summer’s championships.

Players will be able to take control of any of the 55 teams that are members of the UEFA federation. Every national team will have its squad fully updated in line with the players expected to feature at this summer’s finals, along with the latest official kit designs – both home and away. Konami has also designed London’s Wembley Stadium and Russia’s Saint Petersburg Stadium for inclusion in the update, with the former set to stage both semi-finals and the Euro 2020 final in real life.

Players will also be able to count on other clever additions to create a more immersive Euro 2020 gaming experience, with the official Euro 2020 matchday ball included, along with the official Henri Delaunay trophy that’s iconic among European soccer fans. The latter is arguably the second best known soccer trophy after the World Cup Jules Rimet trophy, which was recently case modded by Suchao Modding & Design.

eFootball PES 2021 is available to purchase as a standalone game, while PES 2020 owners can also download the Euro 2020 expansion pack as a ‘Season Update’.

What are the best European Championship video games in living memory?

You might be surprised to read that spin-off video games, inspired by summer European Championships, date back as far as 1992. These summer releases not only celebrate the Euros, they also help soccer fanatics to overcome their lack of domestic soccer action, given that the close season runs through the heart of the summer for most European domestic leagues. If you’ve never dabbled with a dedicated European Championship video game in the past, let’s look at some of the best licensed – and unlicensed – releases of our generation.

We’ll begin by going back to the 1992 release of European Championship 1992, which took the Atari, Amiga and PC gamers by storm. Building on the hugely successful arcade version of World Cup ’90 from Tecmo, this 1992 version was unlicensed but hugely playable. With ground-breaking (at the time) side-scrolling gaming and the chance to take control of 25 European nations, it was as immersive as soccer video gaming could get in the early 90s.

Four years later and UEFA Euro 96 England proved to be a massive hit for desktop PC gamers, as well as Sega Saturn owners. Released in celebration of England staging the Euros for the first time, Gremlin Interactive’s version was the first 3D soccer game available on PC or home consoles – complete with immersive commentary from legendary British figure, Barry Davies.

The year before, the classic Sensible Soccer franchise also looked to develop a game that could be played in celebration of the upcoming Euro 96 finals in England. Sensible Soccer: European Championship Edition was unlicensed like European Championship 1992, but there has always been an air of playability and immersion with the Sensible Soccer series. Unlike its competitors, Sensible Soccer maintained its top-down gameplay, which became synonymous with the franchise. It still harbors a community of active players in the modern day, given its editable nature and the chance to update team squads and more.

Let’s also consider some of the best fully licensed spin-offs in recent times. The UEFA Euro 2012 was a hotly anticipated release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Available for the paltry sum of £16, gamers were able to play at any of the official stadia across Ukraine and Poland in the finals. It was also possible to control some of the lesser-known teams and try to battle for qualification into the tournament for the first time. The downside to controlling the squads that had not qualified for Euro 2012 in real life was that they contained fictional player names.

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The most recent licensed expansion pack for a video game was in 2016 for UEFA Euro 2016 on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was downloadable for PES 2016 owners without paying a thing. It lacked the immersivity of UEFA Euro 2012, partly because of Konami’s head-scratching licensing deal with UEFA which meant that only 15 of the 24 teams included had their official kits. Meanwhile the expansion pack was only permitted to include one official host stadium – Paris’ Stade de France.

One thing is for sure, fans of the eFootball PES 2021 game will surely have their fingers crossed that this year’s license gives Konami the freedom to cover all aspects of this summer’s finals.