World footballing governing body FIFA has recently issued a statement about widening its gaming and esports portfolio. What they said about its former exclusive partner EA is not really surprising, given the current quality of the EA FIFA games for the past few years.
“FIFA is bullish and optimistic about its long-term future in gaming and esports following a comprehensive and strategic assessment of the gaming and interactive entertainment market. [It] is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights.
FIFA has also determined that the overlaps between virtual sport and FIFA’s football competitions must be more closely aligned. In this respect, FIFA is excited about using the FIFA World Cup (with four billion viewers) and FIFA Women’s World Cup (with an audience of 1.2 billion) as platforms to launch and integrate exciting new games and esports offerings.”
FIFA is now “engaging with various industry players, including developers, investors and analysts, to build out a long-term view of the gaming, esports, and interactive entertainment sector”.
In the mother of all coincidences, EA announced a week or so ago that it would look to re-brand the long-running FIFA series to something like “EA Sports FC”. To be fair, FIFA did ask for more money out of EA for holding onto the license longer. In any case, it’ll be interesting to hear what new FIFA-based football game will be announced next year, and from which company. Apart from Konami and Sega, who else would be a good fit to make a new football game?