It’s almost that time again – no, not the World Cup final. We’re talking about the release of the annual FIFA game. While the details of FIFA 19 have been far and few to date, things should heat up in August as the title prepares for its September release date.
The game’s cover star, Cristiano Ronaldo, has also just thrown his own spanner into the works. Yesterday, he announced that he’ll be leaving Real Madrid and joining Juventus in a deal that’s worth more money than most of us will see in our lives.
This undoubtedly has ramifications for FIFA 19. First off, the box art and marketing campaign will have to change in the next few weeks. So far, the trailer and promo artwork featured Ronaldo in his Real Madrid gear doing all his trademark moves and surrounded by his Madrid cohorts. This will likely be altered to him in his new Juventus kit and surrounded by his latest teammates.
With the world of football transfers being a business in itself, this is nothing new. Last year’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 suffered a similar problem when Neymar moved from Barcelona to PSG, while he and his Barca teammates were a big part of the marketing for the title. However, his move came after the game had already been released. Naturally, the developers couldn’t change the box art of the physical copies, but they did adjust the intro screen and other promotional items to remove Neymar.
The biggest issue that FIFA 19 might experience due to the Ronaldo transfer is in The Journey mode. If it features Alex Hunter interacting with Ronaldo at Madrid, it’ll need to be changed – or Ronaldo will need to be replaced by one of his former teammates. Fortunately, there’s still time for EA Sports to act and it isn’t a week before release.
While Ronaldo’s move to Juventus shouldn’t delay the release of FIFA 19, it’s a headache that EA Sports probably wishes it didn’t have. Football. Bloody football, eh?