'FIFA 21' comes to Google Stadia on March 17th

Another way to play 'the beautiful game.'


EA is bringing more than one football game to Stadia. Today, the publisher announced that FIFA 21, the latest entry in ‘the beautiful game’ franchise, will available to stream from March 17th. It will join Madden NFL 21, a very different kind of football game, which was added to the service on January 28th. The streamable port should work on all Stadia-supported devices, including Chromecast Ultra dongles, Android phones and tablets, the Chrome browser, and iOS devices — either through Google’s official web application, or a fan-made app such as Stadium. For now, it’s unclear if the game will have a temporary free trial similar to Madden NFL 21 at launch.

The announcement isn’t a huge surprise. Last April, the company name-dropped three titles that would be coming to Stadia in the future: Madden NFL 21, FIFA 21 and the Respawn-developed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The latter was released on November 24th, more than a year after its debut on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. FIFA 21, meanwhile, came out last October for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch. Enhanced versions for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S and X consoles were then released a couple of months later. EA hasn’t revealed the nature of its Stadia port, but we’re guessing it’s based on the existing PC version.

For Google, it’s a massive release. Stadia’s library has a number of high-profile sports titles, including NBA 2K21, but its overall library pales in comparison to Steam and the console marketplaces run by Sony and Microsoft. Every addition should help the platform’s store — which still doesn’t have any kind of search functionality — feel a little less threadbare. It’s particularly important now that Google has shut down its first-party development studios in Montreal and Los Angeles. In a blog post, Stadia chief Phil Harrison said that the company would be focusing instead on third-party developers and publishers. Without companies like EA, it has little to offer Stadia customers, including monthly Pro subscribers.