EA has released a new trailer for FIFA 21 and also revealed the upcoming series entry's box art, and online reaction has been mixed, to say the least.
The cover features Kylian Mbappé of Paris Saint-Germain. As one of the world's finest players, it's little surprise to see him on the box - multiple times, in fact.
However, the cover (PS4 version below) has come in for criticism. The collection of images shown is presumably designed to evoke the mixed media collage style of the trailer, but for many fans it looks like something cobbled together in Microsoft Paint for a school project back in the mid '90s:
It should be noted that the Switch version (one of EA's 'Legacy' editions which will rinse and repeat the previous entry with only team and kit changes) hasn't been shown specifically. However, it's logical to assume it will follow the pattern of previous generations and feature the same image adapted to the slimmer profile of Switch's boxes.
Here is a sample of some of the sentiments expressed on Twitter:
Taken in isolation, it's easy to make fun of the cover but having three different editions (only available on other platforms, mind) side-by-side arguably provides some design coherency, perhaps? Here's an alternative opinion:
Elsewhere, the FAQ section on the FIFA 21 website reiterates the harsh reality of the upcoming entry for Nintendo Switch owners. Here it is, straight from the horse's mouth:
What will be included in FIFA 21 on Nintendo Switch?
The FIFA 21 Legacy Edition on Nintendo Switch features the latest kits and squad updates for the upcoming season, updated presentation (in-game menus and broadcast overlays), but no new game modes or gameplay innovations.
The box art might be an open goal to poke fun at for players on other platforms, but the fact that the game on Switch will feature "no new game modes or gameplay innovations" is rather sobering for Nintendo-only gamers. And however bad you think it is, in the grand scheme of things FIFA 21's box art isn't anywhere near as bad as these terrible covers, is it?
Here's the new trailer, for the masochists among you who want to see the kind of experience you won't be getting on Switch in October. There's not much gameplay footage, but still. Hmm.
What's your opinion on this cover? Are you a fan or is this yet another reason to skip the Switch entry? Let us know in the usual place. Also, feel free to congratulate us on not using the word 'football' or 'soccer' in this entire post. See, everyone's happy! Oh, hang on...
The memes are strong with this one 😂
Christ that is ugly. Ignoring the design even the phots they used are ugly.
That’s some high quality PowerPoint skill that EA is showing.
The real question is: is this better than Real Madrid: The Game’s box art?
When a designer can't get inspired by reference material...so just uses that instead.
It does look rather ugly. The 2K21 box arts are incredible looking as well so it’s a bit of a letdown for FIFA to show off this monstrosity.
It looks extremely hideous but maybe that appeals to the type of person who buys the same game every year. I wouldn't know.
At least with a PowerPoint you can add those groovy transitions, this is just......bad.
Maybe their designers don't have any software at home? So they're getting retro with MS paint, nice.
In the future year of 20XX, EA's entire graphic design team will be replaced by the CEO's kid.
Don't worry she just got a new set of crayons!
The mock up with the added '& Knuckles' and 'new Funky mode' made me laugh. It needs a 'featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series' at the bottom though, along with a 'sponsored by Mountain Dew'.
They floated the same look for UFC 4. I have seen EA Sports pull covers at the last minute and change them up many times though.
The Mario Odyssey 2 mock-up made me spit my coffee all over my screen, keyboard and house.
That is bad.
If you look at the trailer, the mixed media collage is pretty darn cool.
But the cover actually downplays the collage aesthetic, so it just looks like a bunch of pictures stacked together with no rhyme or reason.
I enjoyed this one as well.
Ang Lee took his expertise in graphic design from the 2003 Hulk film and decided to bring it to sports game covers.
The next fifa box art will have fifa 21 in comic sans
Oh, I remember playing the "red sock" moment in Teddy '21! So emotional, considering that the graphics had been largely black, white, and grayscale up to that point.
Companies have been trying to steer customers away from physical copies toward downloads (since they can't be resold). It seems EA has found a new approach by turning the box into something you really wouldn't want to own.
I wonder how many FIFA 20 Legacy Edition copies EA sold at that $59.99 MSRP.
It’s FIFA so it’s crap inside and out!
EA will only sell a few hundred copies on the Switch anyways...
For me it's simple. As this is pretty much the 2018 game (that I have) I'll keep playing that until a true update arrives on the Switch.
Until then, EA won't see my money.
And, at this point, I could not care less about the cover.
Ha. Looks like the way high-school textbooks are designed as well.
That box-art is actually atrocious, and I say this as someone who doesnt really care that much about box-arts lol
@OorWullie I avoid EA games out of principle, but... if Funky is playable in this new release, I will have to buy. Funky needs a boost in his self-esteem.
I don't know about you, but my PowerPoint presentations look way better than that.
If EA opted to add a Switch-exclusive new Funky Mode to the FIFA 22 Legacy Edition, many people would overlook the fact it's a Legacy Edition.
At least it spawned some funny memes.
mbappe cool im on front of fifa awsome. sees it in shop. WTF is this garbage.
From a designers point of view I have to say that the NFL, UFC and FIFA 21 designs are really great and stylish. But I think the core audience might not understand that fashion-magazine approach.
Not sure why NL keeps covering EA FIFA news at this point 🙄
People are going to eat that trailer up. Cover, not that much. It is horrid.
I posted this on a Discord server and someone thought it was a meme.
I am NOT a fan of annual sports games. I can quite happily troll the internet for hours over those games and fans who feel the need to pay full price for each iteration...
But that cover art is more of a troll than I can ever do. I hope they put more effort into the game than they did with the box-art.
@Yanina I agree. If it was a fashion magazine or ad then I'd say they got it spot on. But the problem is, it's not. It's a AAA game, for some reason, but AAA nonetheless. As a result, they failed to hit the mark.
I love when game nerds think they're the expert at everything.
I never really got the hate for ugly Switch icons but this is in its own league. They’ve scored an own goal here.
I unironically kinda like the FIFA 22 and SMO2 mockups, though. Kinda, but unironically nonetheless. And as someone who grew up with Famicom clones and bootleg cartridges, I'm that much harder to baffle with cover art design.
(Yes, depicted in the link above is Duck Tales)
(Edit: Had to remove a naughty word before reposting!)
They could put anything on the cover, it will still be one of the best-selling titles of the year.
I think the very lazy high school style box art reflects the quality of the product perfectly.
@status-204 I’m not sure if you’re trying to be funny or if you’re being serious but either way I would recommend removing your comment.
I'm tempted by Teddy 21, but will wait for reviews first.
graphic design is my passion
@RPGamer The art monkeys must've been messing with my ctrl-Cs and ctrl-Vs. Cheers
IDK, I think it represents the quality of the series pretty well, ngl.
someone screwed up head of marketing is sick. Product of working from home, i honestly believe someone uploaded the wrong image.
The intern that designed that must very sad right now
Box art designer: "It's a work in progress. So what photo should I use?"
EA higher-up: "PERFECT! Use that jumbled mess as the box art!"
@BenAV I like the cut of your jib!
Well, I like them................
Why on Earth are people still playing Fifa I will never know...
It even started to meme but still going to sell crap load of ... well ... crap again.
Giving me some strong Mary Katherine Gallagher vibes.
Hopefully one of these years EA will finally put a REAL football game on the Switch with Madden.
lol theyre pulling a "sonic movie" and joining together to meme and joke on it. wonder it'll be enough for them to redesign it
And what's wrong with Powerpoint may I ask?
@Blooper987 Just looked that game up and the Fifa box art is better.
@doctorhino At least this one has proper lighting compared to the UFC one. The pic of Maz and Adesanya in the center of the UFC cover is absolutely horrible, IMHO!
Wow this looks like I made it... and I was joking....
It's a perfect reflection of the quality of the game.
@LavaTwilight I guarantee you that half the purchasers are kids who are fans of the sort and don't have a real sense of money since their parents buy them everything
It's EA why bother?
I've no interest in football or football games, but... I actually think this design is refreshing breathe of fresh air. Just because something isn't conventional, doesn't make it bad. Its far more interesting than the typical, single male protagonist photo stretched across the entire canvas + logo text.
I'm a graphic designer who has worked on projects in the entertainment industry, but of course differing valid opinions are available.
I gotta give it to them, EA are marketing geniuses. Look at all the free exposure people are giving a cover it probably took an intern 1 minute to paste together.
The amount of time that took to make that cover is the equal amount of time they spent on new features.
@Cosats absolutely nothing, when used in the right context, such as school projects or business meetings, etc. For any kind of game however, it's completely not the sort of program to design your box art.
@Yanina exactly, all the fuss is honestly quite pointless. I guess many are bored and haven’t got anything better to do with there time. Pretty sure that the vast majority of people complaining haven’t ever designed a single business card in their lives.
Did they accidentally submit the mood board to print instead of the actual cover design?
I want to try FIFA, but that is a lot of money for a roster update. Maybe I will just find a used copy of the first Legacy edition and use my imagination.
Apparently it's not limited to FIFA either; UFC 4 also sports a similar styled-game cover: https://www.ebgames.com.au/product/ps4/259920-ea-sports-ufc-4
Not entirely sure what EA Sports is going for here, but as others have said, it's attracting attention if nothing else.
Fifa 21 - Versace edition 😂
Be happy when FIFA has a 21 rating and gambling warning labels. Might even happen before release in the UK
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