We are talking here about one of the most popular video games in the world. In 2021, FIFA sold about 325 million copies, while FIFA 22 topped disc sales in Britain, with revenues exceeding 4 billion pounds, or more than 5.4 billion dollars. As for the current year 2023 version, it recorded 10 million players entering during the first week of its launch.
Annually, the game generates billions in revenue from sales of copies and discs, in addition to about $ 1.2 billion achieved by the “FUT: FIFA Ultimate Team” phase, which is one of the mass phases in the game, according to 2020 data. That is what prompted the Guinness Book of Records. For listing the game as the world's best-selling sports video game.
2023: The final year of FIFA
The FIFA game was developed by the American company "EA Sports" (Electronic Arts), and it reached the market for the first time in 1993, and it was able to remain at the top of the best-selling and most popular sports video games for three decades, but this success will not guarantee the continuity of the game under the same brand. (FIFA) starting next year.
Game fans around the world know this, as the game will be released under the name “EA Sports FC” in 2024, as the partnership that began thirty years ago between “Electronic Arts” and the International Football Association “FIFA” It ended by 2022, while negotiations between the two parties reached a dead end.
The first edition of FIFA in 1993
The first edition of FIFA in 1993
There are many reasons behind the termination of this partnership, between the desire of the International Federation of Football Associations to double the amount of $ 150 million that it receives annually from the company, or its refusal to have its trademark exclusive to one game only, which limits its aspiration to sign other contracts with game developers. others.
In addition, the International Federation of Football Associations plans to enter the field of video games itself, and launch a sports video game called “FIFA” in 2024, which was expressed by the President of the International Federation of Football Associations, Gianni Infantino, by saying: “I assure you that The only real game named FIFA will be the best game available for gamers and football fans."
The FIFA name - which he suggested that the organization reclaim it for its own game - is the only original global title, and it will always be the best.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
In reality, and contrary to the wishes of "Infantino", the dominance of "Electronic Arts" in the markets seems difficult to argue with, and the company has nearly 300 other licensing agreements with giant entities, most notably the European Football Association (UEFA), as well as many clubs in All periodicals of the world.
It is true that dispensing with the name “FIFA” may mean the loss of some advantages, but it will not lead to a major change in the company’s policy, with regard to the names and forms of players, or in the use of the names of tournaments, stadiums, and major leagues.
“Everything you love about our games will remain a part of (EA SPORTS FC). There will be great experiences, tournaments, clubs and athletes,” was the comment of “EA Sports” on the news of breaking up the partnership with FIFA.
In general, the fans of the game realize that the dissolution of the partnership is not the first blow that Electronic Arts has faced during the past years. The company has gone through many crises over the course of three decades and has withstood amazingly, starting with the years of competition with the giant game "PES: Pro". Evolution Soccer), which hit the market in 1995 by the Japanese company "Konami".
In fact, the question of which is better between the two games remained hanging throughout the first decade of the current century, and behind every game there are enthusiastic fans.
Pace took root in the minds of the presence of great players, such as the Brazilians Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos, the Argentine Batistuta, the Italian Maldini, the Romanian Hagi, and others from whom Konami was able to obtain the rights to use their names, while the FIFA game was unable to present the players with real names. at that time.
Although it is difficult to obtain accurate data regarding the sales of the two games during that period, but roughly it can be said that the two games took the lead with slight differences, until the situation changed suddenly and dramatically in 2009, when the game “FIFA” launched the “Ultimate Team” phase, and they started From this date, the gap between the sales of the two games continued to widen in favor of FIFA, and then came the obvious flop of Konami with 2013, ending the era of the fiercest competition between two video games in the world.
The most popular and popular phase remains the "Fut Ultimate Team" phase, which is an interactive game phase between players from all over the world (networking sites)
Inside FIFA, there are several game phases, such as “Volta”, which is a street football game, as well as “Career mode”, which is a career-building phase, where you have to choose between a coach or a football player and upgrade it. To become the best in the world, or kick off mode to play a match with a friend.
However, the most popular and popular stage remains the "Fut Ultimate Team" stage, which is an interactive game stage between players from all over the world, with the aim of forming a strong team that can compete in the game, and this stage achieves profits exceeding one billion dollars annually.
Despite the popularity of this phase, criticism always gets to him, to the extent that Donovan Hunt, known in FIFA circles as "TEKKZ", and he is one of the Ultimate Team champions, stated that he finds no fun in the game, that it is full of randomness, and every match is a possibility. 50:50, meaning that the probability of winning and losing is equal regardless of the level of the players.
The resentment is not limited to Donovan alone, many of the game's fans believe that the presence of "Electronic Arts" without a real competitor in the world of football video games has made the company brutal and do whatever it wants without fear of the consequences of its actions, especially in the "Ultimate Team" phase, and the matter has reached For some football video game fans to announce their wish that there is a competitor on the scene who can make EA less greedy, or a competitor that offers a good game that allows moving to it.
Pay the money you become the hero
Despite its fame, there are many drawbacks to the "Ultimate Team" phase, but the most prominent one is that the player has to pay more money in order to form a strong team.
After purchasing the game version, whose price ranges between 60-90 US dollars, players pay to buy packages from the game store, hoping that these packages contain distinctive elements that can be used in team formation, meaning that the initial amount paid in the game version is only Just beginning.
The problem is that these packages depend on luck and you cannot see their content, and therefore they are more like gambling and betting, which put the company two years ago in front of currents of accusation, as many parents objected to inculcating the idea of gambling in the minds of children, just as others explained that their children misappropriated credit cards. Parents are required to purchase these packages from the game, demanding that these packages be removed or that the idea of paying for them be cancelled.
This, in particular, raises a lot of controversy.
On the one hand, the Supreme Court in the Netherlands decided that buying packages in the “FIFA” game does not constitute a form of gambling, in reversal of an earlier lower court ruling that had decided that these packages are a form of gambling, and the company must remove them or pay Half a million euros for every week you don't comply with the decision.
In Belgium, the authorities decided to ban the package purchase system, and after a period of procrastination, "EA" complied. A report by the British government's Digital and Cultural Affairs Committee recommended that games that include surprise boxes should be considered gambling, and thus ban their sale to children specifically.
During that campaign, the company decided to calm down and close the sails until the wind passed, and changed the packages in the FIFA 21 version to make it possible to view and see the elements in it before making a purchase, which means that there is no gambling characteristic, but this did not last long, and by version 22 it returned. The situation is almost as it was, and sometimes it happens in a subtle way, where a hidden package is placed inside the viewable package.
The company not only puts the packages in front of the players in the purchase store, but also indirectly advertises them, by giving celebrities special packages and packages, and reviewing the moments of opening these distinctive packages in video clips, which always gives the viewer the hope of obtaining similar packages upon purchase. .
Likewise, the premium items will not play with the same quality throughout the season, and each item - unannounced - has what we can call a validity period, as the company seems to reduce the quality of this item after a period of time, which is what FIFA players call "nerve", what It makes the purchase of new packages essential to outlast the competition throughout the season.
All this and we have not yet talked about "script", which is a term familiar to FIFA players, which refers to a sudden and unjustified drop in the team's capabilities against the opposing team during the match, which makes a loss possible regardless of the level of professionalism of any player and the strength of his team.
The term indicates that the outcome of the match is decided in favor of one of the players before the start of the match, meaning that the outcome of the match is like a type of written text in advance.
Many accuse FIFA of interfering through scripts in matches in the "Ultimate Team" phase, with the aim of seducing beginners or average performers to continue playing by making gains against professionals sometimes, while the game tickles feelings with videos of "Be the hero", because Beginners and intermediates usually ignore entering this stage because they know that they will be defeated in any case in front of the professionals there, which is like a gambling table that seduces the beginner to continue playing.
Despite that, the game offers an outlet for young people and children that cannot be overlooked. Therefore, many game fans hope that the next year's version will come with better developments that compensate for the game's abandonment of the name "FIFA", and that the company will review its policies of its own volition, without waiting for the emergence of a competitor. forces her to do so.