As FIFA 21 was released on October 6, 2020, football fans had a lot of expectations and anticipation for the game. However, one of the most significant disappointments was that players couldn’t play with Juventus’ superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
The reason behind Ronaldo’s absence in FIFA 21 is due to a licensing issue between EA Sports and Juventus. Konami, the Japanese video game developer and publisher, has exclusive rights to Juventus’ name, logo, and stadium in its game eFootball PES 2021. This effectively means that EA Sports was not legally allowed to use Juventus’ official name, logo, and stadium in FIFA 21.
While EA Sports could still use Juventus’ actual players, they weren’t able to include Cristiano Ronaldo in the game without acquiring a separate licensing agreement with the player himself. For FIFA 21, EA Sports decided not to include him in the game, rather than securing a separate licensing agreement.
This isn’t the first time that Ronaldo has been absent from the FIFA franchise. In 2018, Ronaldo was removed from the cover of FIFA 19 for a similar reason. The licensing issue between EA Sports and Juventus resulted in Ronaldo being replaced by Neymar Jr. on the cover of the game.
Another point to consider regarding Ronaldo’s absence is that he is an official ambassador for Konami’s eFootball PES 2021. This means that he has a direct financial interest in the game and would not be inclined to provide licensing rights to EA Sports.
Despite Ronaldo’s absence from FIFA 21, the game still has a vast array of football stars available to play with, including Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., and Kylian Mbappé. EA Sports also has the rights to the official names, logos, and stadiums of all other major football leagues and teams worldwide.
In conclusion, the licensing issue between EA Sports and Juventus, coupled with Ronaldo’s ambassadorship for Konami’s eFootball PES 2021, are the reasons why fans cannot play with Cristiano Ronaldo in FIFA 21. While it is undoubtedly a significant loss for the game, players can still enjoy the vast array of other football stars available in FIFA 21.