Electronic Arts revealed this week that the next installment in the UEFA Euro franchise, due to be released around the same time the 2012 European Football Championship kicks off this summer, is going to be a little different to previous releases in the series.
Since the first video game based on the official championship was launched in 1996, each game launched every four years has been a full retail game. UEFA Euro 2012 will be the first in the franchise to come as DLC for another EA Sports game.
Steve Frost, communications manager at EA, tells Gamasutra that the franchise's move to digital DLC comes due to the huge popularity of FIFA 12, noting that FIFA 12 is the best-selling FIFA game ever, having now sold over 10 million units.
"We felt this was the best way to extend that experience and deliver fresh new content to our fans," he explains. EA's vision for FIFA 12 is to hold year-round engagement for the title through live services and fresh content, and UEFA Euro 2012 falls into this camp.
The UEFA Euro 2012 DLC will utilize the same gameplay and engine that powers FIFA 12, while offering something that FIFA 12 has not yet provided -- real-life matches and updates based on the real European Football Championship.
The company's hope is that the DLC will not only re-engage FIFA 12 players who have moved away from the title since its launch, but also bring in new players who have not yet picked the main game up.
"We expect footy fans will want the opportunity to play UEFA Euro 2012 and experience what it takes to win the tournament under the same conditions their favourite nation will face in the weeks ahead," explains Frost.
"We expect that some fans who may not have FIFA 12 will want to play Euro 2012 and therefore purchase both, but the bigger opportunity for us is to offer our loyal and passionate FIFA fans new content," he continued.