Why FIFA 21 abandoning Pro Clubs is a huge mistake - Dexerto
FIFA

Why FIFA 21 abandoning Pro Clubs is a huge mistake

Published: 13/Aug/2020 13:18 Updated: 13/Aug/2020 15:30

by David Purcell

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EA SPORTS appear to have put a lot of energy into revamping fundamental gameplay and Ultimate Team in FIFA 21, adding a raft of new features for the FUT community to enjoy. But once again, Pro Clubs players feel like outcasts. 

The FIFA 20 version of the game mode left much to be desired, and it was only right at the very end of the title’s life cycle, really, that many creators got around to playing it regularly. Its lack of general development and growth has been abundantly clear for some time.

Several pitch notes have now been released for the next iteration. These have revealed sweeping changes for Ultimate Team, including Co-Op mode, stadium features, FUT promos, and much more. On that front, the dev team appear to have smashed it out of the park. Even the community interaction with a string of Q&A sessions on Twitter have been a revelation. That’s the sort of thing people want to see.

But a few days later, on August 11, another slim set of notes fell off the hype train and they weren’t pretty. It was for Pro Clubs. No trailer and no Q&A followed.

Pro Clubs needed more

FIFA 21 Pro Clubs AI customisation
EA SPORTS
FIFA 21 Pro Clubs players will be able to customize all of their AIs as well.

The game mode has had the same division setup and player traits system for years now. It’s barely changed.

Jump into other EA games like UFC or Madden and you will see a much more comprehensive create a player layout. Yet, FIFA players have been left to celebrate new hairstyles and beards as fresh ‘features’ for far too long. They want something ambitious to rope them in.

This year, the pitch notes unveiled two main changes. They’re not bad, either. AI customization has been introduced, allowing us to edit all of those useless looking players that make up the numbers when you hit the pitch. That, and some custom tactics options so you can impose some sort of playstyle on your squad. Other modes have had this for years, mind you.

There was a trend at the end of FIFA 20, led by some of the biggest YouTubers in the space. A lot of them moved over to Pro Clubs looking for an interactive way to link up with each other, connect fanbases, and experiences. That’s why people love it. It’s a fun concept.

YouTuber MattHDGamer on Pro Clubs

YouTuber MattHDGamer
EA SPORTS
MattHDGamer creates FIFA content on YouTube most days for his loyal fanbase, and also wanted to see bigger things for Pro Clubs.

In an exclusive interview with Dexerto, Matt’ MattHDGamer’ Craig – who has 2.3 million subscribers on his YouTube channel – told us exactly what he wanted to see change. He said: “Pro Clubs is the most fun you can have in FIFA, especially when there’s a lot of your friends involved. Pro Clubs needs a massive revamp.

“Clubs needs brilliant challenges that can unlock cosmetic items. It needs far more stats to see how your pro is progressing. It also maybe needs a season pass of some sort that you can grind to earn special items. Clubs deserves the attention Ultimate Team gets.”

Now that we know what new features are coming, a massive revamp is hardly what we’re getting.

Ultimate Team doesn’t just do well because it makes the most money each year, but because more people play it. This section of the game will have a bigger development budget, larger vision, and everybody gets that. Although, as Matt finely puts it there, Clubs players really aren’t asking for much. A few more tweaks and updates would go a long way.

FIFA 21 Volta Football
EA SPORTS
VOLTA Football may turn out to be the natural replacement for Pro Clubs in the future – and that’s not what many players want to see.

Ironically, VOLTA Football appears to have emerged as a competing entity. Unlike last year, it will feature as an online mode in FIFA 21 and has introduced a boatload of new features. Unlockable items, player objectives, divisions, ranks, limited-time events – the list goes on.

It’s a very different experience, though.

It’s FIFA Street lite for those who haven’t played it, and doesn’t resemble usual gameplay we’ve come to expect from this franchise. Putting their eggs in the wrong basket here could be a mistake if the community react similarly to last year, where VOLTA was very much an afterthought.

YouTuber Manny on Pro Clubs

YouTuber Manny
EA SPORTS
Manny wanted to see accomplishments return, but that didn’t happen either.

MattHDGamer was not the only one hoping to see the mode shown a bit more love. Fellow British YouTuber Emmanuel John “Manny” Brown, who has over 1.7 million subscribers on his channel, also wanted more.

“For Pro Clubs, I would love to see accomplishments return,” he told us. “I think they made you want to play Clubs more than in the previous two games. Tournaments and match-winning incentives to get cool things for your club. For example, limited edition kits, boots or hairstyles.”

Accomplishments were a set of specific achievements in previous games. By completing specific challenges, you could unlock customizable accessories for your pro.

These guys are two of the biggest streamers the community has to offer. They both play Ultimate Team consistently, like most people, yet they also see a lack of progress being made in the other modes that can provide respite to the FUT grind.

FIFA 21 Pro Clubs tactics options
EA SPORTS
Pro Clubs tactics have been added, but fans have been using this stuff in other modes for years.

The verdict

High profile YouTubers and Twitch streamers have been a focus for EA for some time, using them as a platform to promote their game features. There’s no doubt that the demand is there for one of the most fun game modes to be reworked. The longer they wait for that, the more alienated they become.

There are only so many times can fans say “maybe next year,” and outside of the first few weeks of playing, it looks highly unlikely that FIFA 21 Pro Clubs is going to generate interest all year round. If anything, it will just be a pitstop for those dropping off Ultimate Team and Career Mode.

Maybe that works for some people, but for the community that plays this mode year in, year out, a tad more disappointment is all they have got to look forward to.

It’s the same mode with a new sticker on it. Let’s hope gameplay saves the day, because there’s not a lot of improvements to talk about.

FIFA

FIFA 21 Rulebreakers promo LIVE: player leaks, start time, predictions

Published: 23/Oct/2020 16:31 Updated: 23/Oct/2020 18:06

by Isaac McIntyre

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EA SPORTS has begun officially unveiling this year’s Halloween promo event for Ultimate Team, and it looks like we’ll actually be getting something a little out of the ordinary in FIFA 21… “Rulebreakers.” Here’s everything we know so far.

The last few years have seen Ultimate Scream rule the last weeks of October. The Halloween themed promo was trotted out in Ultimate Team for the last three years, but the special event’s ‘reign of terror’ seems to be coming to an end.

Instead, a new “Rulebreakers” promo is coming soon. 

EA SPORTS teased the event on Twitter on Oct. 21, with only three letters ⁠— two Rs and an S ⁠— and a fragmented FUT card. Soon after, Dexerto data miner FutWatch confirmed the hidden word would eventually spell out ‘Rulebreakers.’

The following day, Oct. 22, EA SPORTS confirmed the promo’s name. They also revealed, “Rulebreakers leave behind their previous styles of play and transform into different kinds of stars with game-changing stat updates.”

When will the “Rulebreakers” promo begin?

FIFA’s spooky Ultimate Team promo ⁠— or at least, what Dexerto assumes is replacing the Ultimate Scream event this time around ⁠— is still based around Halloween. That means the promo will start this week, on Friday, October 23.

The event should run for just over a week, past the Halloween weekend.

If the timing on the “Rulebreakers” promo is the same as FUT’s spooky Ultimate Scream, we should see it last for just over a week. That means any special packs, challenges, and promo deals that hit Ultimate Team will last until November 2.

We’ll likely get a first-look reveal of the new promo event, and an upgraded team along with it, ahead of that 6 pm Friday release time. Keep your eyes peeled on our Twitter accounts, @UltimateTeamUK, and @FutWatch, to see the news.

Rulebreakers predictions: new FIFA 21 upgrades?

Here’s where it gets a little tricky ⁠— EA SPORTS hasn’t really given us any clues about the potential upgrade team beyond the name. In fact, they haven’t even given us that yet, and we had to rely on Ultimate Team leaks to learn the truth.

It does sound like “Rulebreakers” could be one of two things. The first is those ‘destroyer’ players who pick up cards left and right, get stuck in on the pitch, and just rule the roost with their imposing presence in-game.

FIFA 21 richarlison
EA SPORTS
Everton striker Richarlison is a good Premier League shout for the “Rulebreakers” team.

The second could be more meta. The title, ‘Rulebreakers,’ could refer to cards featuring players out of position, and breaking the rules. Maybe we’ll see a 90+ pace center back ⁠— lord knows this meta needs one ⁠— or a 99 physical wingback upgrade.

This second suggestion is probably more likely, considering EA’s description of Rulebreakers: players will “leave behind their previous styles of play.”

EA has already confirmed two players for the promo too: Dries Mertens and Harry Kane. They also teased a third, a Brazillian star, but they have not yet confirmed it.

Confirmed ‘Rulebreaker’ players

FIFA Rulebreakers

  • Harry Kane
  • Aymerick Laporte
  • Douglas Costa
  • Dries Mertens
  • Radja Nainggolan
  • Lucas Ocampos
  • Marcos Llorente
  • Manuel Lazzari
  • Boubacar Kamara
  • Denzel Dumfries
  • Andre

Previous Predictions

  • Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
  • Diego Costa (Atlético Madrid)
  • Pepe (Arsenal)
  • Richarlison (Everton)
  • Erik Lamela (Tottenham)
  • David Luiz (Arsenal)
  • Luis Suarez (Atlético Madrid)
  • Harry Maguire (Manchester United)
  • Arturo Vidal (Juventus)
  • Nigel de Jong (Al-Shahania)
  • Hatem Ben Arfa (Bordeaux)
  • Radja Nainggolan (Inter Milan)

So there you have it ⁠— everything we know about FIFA 21’s new Rulebreakers Halloween promo so far. Make sure if you’ve got a few spare FUT coins you keep them in your back pocket; there could be some cracking cards on the way!

We’ll update this article when the promo begins. As always, stick with us on Twitter @UltimateTeamUK for all the latest FIFA news, updates, and content.