After three decades of dominating the football video game market, EA Sports FC has arrived as the new football simulator from Electronic Arts (EA). The game has been rebranded due to a reported disagreement over the cost of the licence to use the FIFA name, which has been synonymous with video games and real-life football for years.
The rebranding effort is a significant gamble for EA. The FIFA video game franchise was worth $513 million in net revenue in 2010, which grew to $2 billion by 2020. Removing the FIFA name and brand recognition poses challenges, especially in terms of maintaining authenticity and satisfying fans.
The success of the rebrand will ultimately be determined by the reactions of fans when the game is released. The fanbase's loyalty and support have been crucial to the franchise's success, and their feedback during the initial weeks will be telling.
Although much of the attention has been on the rebranding, the actual gameplay itself has received less focus in the press compared to previous releases. Reviewers have generally been favorable, with EA Sports FC 24 receiving a score of 77 out of 100 on Metacritic. The game is described as “the most playable FIFA in years” and “an encouraging new start for the EA Sports FC franchise.”
One of the key selling points of the FIFA series has been its access to football licenses, including player likenesses, accurate replica kits, and stadiums. Despite the name change, EA has assured fans that these licenses will still be featured in the game. More than 19,000 players, 700 teams, and 30 leagues will be represented, providing the realism that FIFA fans have come to expect.
Another unchanged element is the popular Ultimate Team game mode, which allows players to collect players and items to build their dream team. Ultimate Team generates more than 50% of the game's revenue and has been the subject of controversy due to in-game purchases and loot boxes. EA defends their approach, emphasizing player choice and offering parental controls to ensure responsible spending.
EA Sports FC 24 also includes a notable addition to the Ultimate Team mode: female players. This inclusion has been praised for normalizing the women's game and inspiring young players worldwide.
– Source 1: BBC News | Manchester City's Erling Haaland is the first cover star of the new football simulator
– Source 2: Ampere Analysis
– Source 3: Metacritic
– Source 4: GamesRadar+