Two retailers' listings now peg FIFA 11 for an earlier North American release date - September 28 - which would seem to resolve a packed October schedule for EA Sports that must now accommodate EA Sports MMA.
Officially, no North American release date has yet been sent up for FIFA 11 though I have contacted EA Sports Canada. GameStop and Amazon list the game with a September 28 release; Best Buy lists it for October 19.
The ramifications are clear: NBA Elite 11 is fixed to an October 5 release date that is set by the NBA (it also governs NBA Jam), and by a competitor that will come out on that day, NBA 2K11. November is a wasteland for sports, as evidenced by NCAA Basketball 10, pinched by a release date set against pre-holiday mammoth releases. Plus you don't want to delay a proven best-seller like FIFA. So when EA Sports MMA was given its October 19 release date at E3, the smart money had FIFA moving earlier, not later.