Opinion: FIFA’s new soccer game is unlikely to compete with EA’s.
Highlights of the story
- FIFA is building its own soccer simulator after ending its 30-year collaboration with EA, but the decision will backfire.
- The governing body’s new title will not displace EA Sports FC despite its globally recognized branding.
- The lack of experience and short time to develop a game will make it very difficult to compete with EA Sports’ better products.
- The American publisher is also in talks to acquire major licenses such as the Premier League, making it an uphill battle for the new FIFA.
Football is arguably the biggest sport and one of the most popular forms of entertainment on the planet. With the exception of a few countries, it is the most widespread sport in every region of the world. Millions of people play it every day, and billions tune in to watch its biggest event, the FIFA World Cup Final. finished 1.5 billion people 2022 saw the final edition, which is about 20% of our planet’s population.
When a piece of entertainment becomes popular in this way, it diversifies from the original medium into other profit-oriented enterprises. There are football-themed movies, TV shows, merchandise, toys, clothing lines, and countless others. All of these properties are commercial endeavors that bring more money to the game. And, the third-party soccer adaptations that have been most successful in this venture are video games.
There are several gaming franchises based on the beautiful game that release games every year. Pro Evolution Soccer (now called eFootball), Rocket League, and Soccer Manager are all popular soccer games worldwide. Many new developers are also creating future football titles such as UFL from a European studio Strikers Inc.
But, without a doubt, the biggest and most profitable video game in sports is none other than EA’s FIFA series. The first title in the franchise, called FIFA International Soccer, came back in 1993 and, as they say, the rest is history. FIFA has become very popular not only in the sports genre but also in the gaming industry.
It has become a cultural phenomenon around the planet, breaking sales records everywhere. FIFA 12 is still there The fastest selling sports title of all time3.2 million units were sold in a week. The most recent entry in the franchise, FIFA 23, is also set to become the best-selling FIFA game in history. Hence, the hype and cultural impact of the series has grown even decades later.
Since its first release 30 years ago, the series has become the best-selling sports video game franchise in history. It has sold surprisingly well. 325 million copies Over three decades, putting it at number 7 among the best-selling video game series of all time. Considering that only mega-franchises like Mario, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Pokemon surpass it, FIFA has solidified its legendary status in the gaming world.
But, the historically important video game series has been splitting into two parts since this year.
Why FIFA and EA are going their separate ways
You’d expect FIFA and Electronic Arts, the two entities behind the franchise, to continue making games together given their success. But, the American publisher and soccer’s premier governing body have been unable to reach an agreement regarding the use of its brand name. Reports say. FIFA needed $1 billion. Every four years let EA use its universally recognized title.
However, EA considered these financial terms a bit excessive and instead decided not to renew their license with FIFA. As a result of this disagreement, these two parties are going their separate ways from July 2023. EA will continue to make football simulation games, but they will. Called EA Sports FC. now on
On the other hand, FIFA has its globally recognizable four letters and Put them on another video game. Developed by a different studio. EA Sports vice president David Jackson said fans will only Can’t remember FIFA name and World Cup mode. Football title every 4 years. Other things will remain the same and it confirms what EA CEO Andrew Wilson said earlier about the partnership.
Although the company is wrong about FIFA being. Four letters on a box, this does not mean that the Federation has the upper hand. Certainly, EA is reducing brand recognition and value among everyday consumers. But, the publisher is also the only party that knows how to consistently deliver a money-making football simulator annually.
So, a new FIFA game with this mysterious new developer isn’t going to end EA’s dominance in the genre. In my opinion, EA Sports FC will rule and I will explain why.
FIFA’s new soccer game won’t drop EA Sports FC.
As I mentioned earlier, FIFA has a widely known trademark name that everyone is used to by it. It is possible that many buyers will not care about the developing studio and will just choose the most recognizable football game. This soccer title has been called FIFA for the past three decades and, as the statistics above show, has dominated the genre.
So, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that some of that appeal and a portion of the fan base will carry over to the new studio’s game based on the FIFA branding. But, that will only last so long in this modern information age if the game is a hot mess. In this age of social media, word spreads fast, especially about gaming. Even if fans don’t care about developers changing their favorite football simulator, they’ll be offended.
EA has more experience.
A domestic FIFA name can only to a certain extent garner the goodwill of a new federation title. And, you don’t have to be a genius to know that making a sports game from scratch isn’t easy. For that reason, I feel like a brand new FIFA won’t match EA Sports’ long-running series. Although it is losing its trademark branding, the studio has been making successful football simulators for over 30 years.
Its position as the genre’s leading product in 2023 isn’t the result of a year or two of game development. But, it is a combination of development of mechanics, new ideas and more over a few decades. FIFA 23 has so many features to make the game feel like a realistic sim that you would need a separate article to detail them.
EA added gameplay mechanics like HyperMotion2 and technical dribbling to FIFA 23 among other features to further improve realism. And, in addition to this soccer sim’s physics, the studio is improving 39 mainline entries every year. Therefore, Electronic Arts has the experience and knowledge to produce a complete football game every year.
I’m not even talking about the game being good or bad, that’s subjective. But, a FIFA video game must contain all the gameplay elements to successfully simulate a soccer match. EA Sports has them because it has been working on the franchise since before the launch of PlayStation. So, to assume that a new FIFA developer will be able to reach the level of EA’s football simulation in just 2 years is absurd.
Surely, whoever this studio is, they’ll be able to make an in-depth soccer game with the right resources. But, it won’t be as detailed as EA Sports’ title because it doesn’t have as much time to develop. Of course, I could be proven wrong and the new FIFA game could reach a new level of sports realism in video games while still being a timeless masterpiece.
But, the logical odds are against the federation, especially if it hires a developer not associated with sports games. Game development isn’t easy, especially when your main competitor has dominated the genre for three decades.
EA is already taking steps to stop FIFA.
Apart from all this, Electronic Arts has already started approaching the biggest leagues for exclusive licensing. has been an American publisher. Negotiations with the Premier League To enter into a licensing partnership for the next 6 years. EA Sports is paying the massively popular league $588 million, or $96 million annually, for its rights.
To put it in perspective, this amount is more than twice the previous agreement between the two. Hence, the company is leaving no room for failure in its bid to retain the rights to the biggest football league on the planet. If you’re not familiar with why this is important, licenses allow these games to use the league’s players, broadcasting, stadiums and trophies. Players want their soccer sim to be realistic, and these licenses deliver just that.
Another reason why licenses are so heavily weighted is FIFA’s biggest rival, PES. The EA game outsells its counterpart every year, mainly because the latter doesn’t have a major league to attract fans. If the publisher finalizes this deal with the Premier League while retaining other licenses, FIFA will have an uphill battle. Football fans also don’t have much faith in the governing body because of the current situation Corruption scandals.
When you consider all of this, agreeing to a new deal with EA seems like a better option. Most long-term players would prefer to see a reconciliation between the two sides so that the FIFA brand can live on in its original form. But, it seems that the ship has sailed and we will definitely see two big football simulators in the near future. The options aren’t always bad, but only time will tell which one comes out on top.
Was this article helpful?
Thanks! Share your feedback with us. ⚡
How can we improve this post? Help us. ✍