FIFA recently announced its first four games after its long-term partnership with EA ended, and these new games make EA games look really consumer friendly. All four ‘games’ are blockchain projects built with Web 3.0 for the 2022 World Cup.
The new FIFA games:
AI League: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition
This is a 4-on-4 casual football game with AI-controlled characters. However, it features “player input at dun and tactical moments.” It will include a 10-week prediction component that will offer “digital and physical prizes” to players who correctly predict the outcomes of real-life matches.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in the Upland Metaverse
Made in collaboration with Uplandme, this ‘game’ is set in the Upland, a blockchain-based metaverse where players can buy and sell virtual properties. Users can collect “official FIFA World Cup digital assets” such as “legendary video highlights of the tournament” and then travel to a virtual World Cup Lusail Stadium and Village to buy digital items.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on Phygtl
Created in collaboration with Phygtl, this would be a ‘game’ that lets football fans “augment a golden-globe-football from the palm of their hands into their real-life environment.” Users can “own a limited fragment of it” to attach to different FIFA World Cup pictures and video moments.
Matchday Challenge: FIDA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition
This is a “casual social prediction game based on football cards,” which sounds similar to the previous FIFA Ultimate Team modes from EA.
Are these FIFA games even real games?
EA is known among gamers for making terrible video game decisions when it comes to monetization. Compared with the newly announced FIFA games, EA games now look pretty consumer-friendly. It’s evident that only two out of the four new ‘games’ are real video games so far.
The AI League and Matchday Challenge titles sound like actual video game titles that fans probably will enjoy playing. Based on the descriptions, they are likely higher up on the pay-to-win scale than most gamers will be happy with. However, the descriptions make it clear there is actual gameplay here.
FIFA’s second game with the Upland Metaverse doesn’t mention gameplay in the description, and the ‘gameplay’ for the Phygtl game is pretty sad. It seems obvious these are not real video games. The Upland Metaverse project is for buying and selling digital assets, while the Phygtl project seems like a mobile app highlighting AR technology. It could be that there’s some fantastic gameplay for both apps, but this doesn’t seem likely.
FIFA is making EA look better and better
EA might no longer be making FIFA-branded games, but they will keep making football/soccer games under the EA Sports FC brand instead. FIFA has also stated they intend to keep developing FIFA-licensed sports simulation games along with other types of games for football fans. FIFA company president Gianni Infantino has also suggested that only games with the FIFA branding will be credible to football fans and will be the “best” games.
FIFA is very confident in itself, and that’s a fair stance. The FIFA brand is a big name that carries a lot of power. However, they are underestimating gamers, EA, and the video game industry.
Is the FIFA Branding that important for EA?
FIFA feels very confident its branding is essential to selling a football/soccer video game. It’s been previously reported that FIFA wanted more money from EA, which was part of the reason for their partnership ending. A report from the New York Times revealed that FIFA demanded EA double its payment for the FIFA branding to $2.5 billion over the next decade.
EA has decades of experience working on sports simulation titles from a wide range of sports, giving them access to a lot of industry talent. While FIFA has a big name and a large budget, it’s unclear if they have the connections necessary to create strong video game titles. The ones they’ve just announced don’t give gamers confidence in them.
It might be more challenging for EA to continue creating football games without FIFA branding, but football teams are already confirming their place in the upcoming game. While EA is just a developer and publisher, it’s also made connections with different sports teams, putting them in a powerful position.
Does EA need FIFA to create good sports simulation games?
No. EA is strong independently in all aspects.
Does FIFA need EA to make its sports simulation games?
FIFA is a big-name brand, but it still needs to be clarified that they understand what gamers want, how to monetize games, or what studio they will partner with next. Considering that FIFA is looking to get a lot of money from a game development studio to use its branding, this limits the number of companies FIFA would want to work with.