EA spent most of its FIFA time this E3 bigging up the European Champion's League, fresh to the upcoming FIFA 19 after Pro Evolution Soccer lost the license, and in a rather predictable stunt wheeled the cup itself out on stage. There was a trailer, an “epic vision” according to the bloke on stage, of how the game will bring the competition to life, apparently through emphasising the 'stories' of individual players like Ronaldo. As part of this, the Champion's League will feature across the game's modes: in much-loved story mode The Journey as well as FIFA Ultimate Team.
So FIFA’s really turning the screws on Pro Evo. There was no detail on the gameplay changes, beyond the usual lines about them being based on fan feedback, and the launch date of September 28th was confirmed.
With the World Cup starting in a few days, EA bigged-up FIFA 18's World Cup update (on all platforms) which allows you to play with alll the teams that have qualified as well as those that haven’t, which is rather odd but fair enough. There was a rather winning dig at England fans from EA’s Icelandic co-presenter, but I missed the exact transcription while thinking about how World Cup games used to be separate releases, and now we all get one for free. Folk like to paint EA as the villain, and often with good reason, but in many ways FIFA is a remarkable series.
And EA isn't done. The FIFA 18 world cup mode comes alongside a trial of FIFA 18 across all platforms, that allows players to download and play the full game for free. This comes with the tagline "Every team. Every stadium. Play it free.", though much more impressive was a line that closed the competition, about “20 million people from 60 countries playing competitively this year.”