We did not suspect it, but it will be one of the soap operas in the video game industry in the coming months.
Two months remain until the end of 2021 and, if Barça does not prevent it with its rhythm of scandal and ridicule on a weekly basis, it is very likely that the biggest football pantomime of the year be it the one mounted by Florentino and company with the millionaire coup that was intended to be the foundation of the Super League. In the dantesque spectacle that we live in its bizarre presentation, Florentino allied with Pedrerol at the Chiringuito to present, in a disturbing exclusive, his plans to dominate continental football with a league “to rule them all, find them and tie them in the dark.” There, Uncle Floren left a curious statement that did not go unnoticed by lovers of new forms of entertainment and traditional football: The top football bosses are worried about losing their young audience. Meanwhile, FIFA, does what it does best: play gangsters with its namesake in the field of software and its main partner, EA Sports.
In modern football there are no good guys: there are only villainsDo you know what I learned from the entire Super League circus and the entire course of 2021? That in modern football there are no good guys: there are only villains. Who do you think is less bad? Florentino Pérez, Gianni Infantino or Aleksander Ceferin? Choose between the rotten UEFA, the FIFA that tricks worlds for Qatar or the tyrant millionaire clubs of Europe (who have only worried about the economic Fair Play when sheiks arrived from distant Arabia more millionaires than them) and lose in a parade of men of retirement age who believe themselves to be the navel of the world and who have not realized the power of other emerging forms of entertainment, such as video games or streaming platforms, until well into 2021. Now what? Well, FIFA has found it a good time to initiate hostilities with its virtual football clients.
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The bomb went off last week: what if FIFA stopped being called FIFA? At the gates of its 30th anniversary, a priori the news is striking, especially when the name is as established as Madden for the NFL or 2K for the NBA, but hides behind another new battle of millionaires that speaks little or nothing well of its own FIFA. To begin with, the fact that the highest body of world football negotiated an agreement in 2013 to ten years ahead for 150 million dollars a year when the FIFA saga was already billing its profits by billions speaks clearly of the International Federation of Association Football again: there is no one behind the wheel. Surprise! And do you know who has and always had the upper hand? Indeed: EA Sports.
So much so, that the company led by Andrew Wilson has closed an agreement with the most important body after the licensing of its products: FIFPro, the international federation of footballers, which guarantees it to have the rights of real athletes for the next few years. . Now they ask for 1,000 million every four years in a negotiation that has transpired to the media, playing tough on their partners after recognizing the value of the football video game in the economic ecosystem of FIFA in the unforgettable, for the wrong reasons, the year 2020. If the negotiation transcends the press, it is because the interests of the brands involved are not going in the same direction, and Although it is likely that none of the protagonists is the good one in the story, I have no doubt that the one with the most to lose is FIFA.
In fact, it has been said that FIFA is concerned about the monetization of EA Sports. What exactly are you worried about? I know that I enter the territory of speculation and the easy-going “think wrong and you will be right” but … Would you bet something that the reason for FIFA’s concern about monetization is to get more out of EA or to curb the exaggerated selling points for microtransactions of some of your clients? I would put my hand in the fire that things are going for the first option, but as I say, the publisher has everything to win and history, in fact, proves her right: there are not few annual sports video games that have changed name and, far from surviving, they have continued to prosper.
Moving FIFA away from video games does not seem like the most optimal plan in 2021Let’s talk about the competition: when the International Superstar Soccer saga migrated its name to Pro Evolution Soccer it sounded strange to all of us. However, how long did it take us to get to the name with quality shots of Batustita and Adriano made in Konami from the early 2000s? Many cried, months before knowing the tragic launch that awaited him with his new name, when it was decided to rename PES eFootball, for something would be. The FIFA player will become a player of EA Sports FC, FIFPro or Perico de los Palotes Fútbol, whether Infantino and his gulfs are or not. The FIFA name is worth money, but all the projects around the software and the brand are also worth money, such as the FIFA eNations, the FIFA eClub World Cup, the FIFA eChallengerSeries or the FIFA eContinental Cup. Keeping FIFA away from video games does not seem like the most optimal plan these days.
Value the unquestionable value of the alliance between video games and football beyond the name with which the box of PS5, Xbox Series X or the shabby Legacy Edition of Nintendo Switch will hit the shelves is capital. The current battle should be about ensuring that the youngest continue to enjoy video games and football, guaranteeing them a safe and adapted gaming environment, but that is not on the roadmap of any of the protagonists. What does seem guaranteed is a new ridicule from FIFA. I find it amazing that may believe that the brand name has more power than the playable experience itself, but nothing that surprises me when we speak of an organization with such deteriorated credibility as, literally, the walls of a certain stadium in Les Corts.
More about: FIFA 22, Fifa, FIFA 22: Ultimate Team and Soccer.