Farewell “Fifa”, arrival of mixed teams, controversy… the famous football video game changes era

By Le Figaro with AFP

Published ,

EA Sports FC 24 DR

THE SPORT SCAN – Due to the end of the partnership between the publisher Electronic Arts and Fifa, the video game becomes “EA Sports FC 24” and it is released this Friday.

Don’t call him anymoreFifa» ! Renamed “EA Sports FC», the 2024 edition of the famous video game opens a new chapter in its history on Friday, with a controversy linked to the greater place given to women’s football. Among the new features most discussed on social networks is the possibility of bringing together players on the same virtual field in the very popular “Ultimate Team» which provokes the most reaction.

To the point of provoking controversy: Ada Hegerberg, 2018 Golden Ball, questioned the American publisher Electronic Arts (EA) on her Instagram account on Tuesday, after receiving insults from a player complaining about a bug affecting the Norwegian star in the game. EA reacted immediately by announcing on X (formerly Twitter) the opening of an investigation into the “issue» affecting Ada Hegerberg’s avatar and temporarily removing it from the game, accessible early for certain players. “This is not a question of morality, nor a question of cause” but “a faithful representation of the real world of football», David Jackson, vice-president of the EA SPORTS FC brand, defended to AFP about the rise of women’s football in the game.

More than 20 billion dollars in turnover in 30 years

Undisputed leader of the genre with some 150 million players last year, thanks in particular to its licenses (real names of players, teams, stadiums, competitions, etc.), the series has been developed by Electronic Arts since 1993. But EA and the International Football Federation (FIFA) announced in May that they had ended their collaboration due to financial demands deemed too high by the sporting body. The managers of the American publisher have decided to abandon this partnership and change the name of the game, even though it has generated, in almost 30 years, more than 20 billion dollars in turnover, according to New York Times.

When we were called Fifa, we were unable to express our potential due to the limits of the rights we held», explains David Jackson, who wants to evolve the series towards “a global football platform powered by video games. Now that we have this name, it’s all on us», Underlines the manager, insisting on the fact that the new game has been designed to remain familiar to regulars while offering players new experiences. “The Fifa license no longer exists and the game will not feature the World Cup but, apart from that, the functionalities are practically unchanged, if not improved», Tells AFP Mat Piscatella, video game analyst at Circana. He expects that “FC24» is among the 10 best-selling video games this year in the United States.

Customers may wait to make sure that only the name changes.

Charlotte Micault

EA has still retained its agreements with all other leagues and federations which allow it to offer more than 19,000 existing players, 30 championships and 700 official teams. Another more consensual new feature: players will be able to receive the prestigious Golden Ball in the “Career», thanks to a partnership with France Football magazine, during an animation where Eric Cantona presents the distinction. Enough to allow “FC24» to maintain the lead in the ranking of the best-selling games in Europe? “Customers may wait to make sure that only the name changes. What we are certain of is that at the end of the year, we will remain at an equivalent level of sales» to that of the latest editions, anticipates to AFP Charlotte Micault, director of multimedia products at the distributor Fnac-Darty.

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