‘FIFA 21' isn’t working for many gamers on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S

Accessing the upgraded game should be free for those who bought the PS4 and Xbox One versions, but the process isn't going as smooth as everyone hoped.

Electronic Arts surprised FIFA 21 players by releasing the next-generation version of the game a day earlier than its December 4 release. But four days later, many gamers who should be able to download the upgraded version of the game for free under EA's "dual entitlement" program still aren't able to do so — and the company's silence has only made the issue more frustrating.

Twitter is full of complaints from gamers who purchased FIFA 21 for Xbox One or Playstation 4 but haven't been able to access the Xbox Series X and PS5 version without having to pay again. EA reported a similar issue has been fixed for Madden 21's dual entitlement program with PS5 players outside of North America but has yet to resolve the issue for FIFA 21.

Curiously, EA has only acknowledged the FIFA 21 issue for PS5 players, but Xbox players have also reported the same inability to upgrade. Apart from one tweet, EA has yet to comment further on the issue and hasn't given an expected timeline for a fix.

Customer service hasn't been much help — I personally haven't been able to upgrade FIFA 21 from Xbox One to Xbox Series X, and my call to EA's customer service line Friday didn't provide any satisfying answers. The person I spoke to confirmed other players were also unable to upgrade and said the company is collecting "samples" on the issue. I was essentially told to hang tight and hope that I'd be able to download the next-gen game within a day or two. As of Monday morning, I still haven't been able to do so.

EA had promised its dual entitlement would allow FIFA 21 and Madden 21 players to download the next-gen version of the game if they had already purchased it for the previous consoles. For diskless players, the games should have been available to download for free without any additional steps. Those who purchased a disk for the previous console would need to insert it in their new one to launch the games, and if they upgraded to a diskless console, they'd still have access to the game for free by validating their purchase through EA.

Input has reached out for comment from EA and will update with a response if we receive one.

Twitter is still full of complaints — The @EAHelp Twitter account has received numerous complaints over the weekend about the dual entitlement program failing to work as promised. Their frustration is reasonable, as the game they paid for still isn't accessible four days after it was supposed to be. With how slim the lineup of games for Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 is, the lack of access to FIFA 21 becomes even more disheartening.