Will EA Sports FC Be Less Legitimate Than EA Sports FIFA?
As ridiculous as this headline might sound, having “FIFA” in the franchise’s title over the decades had given it an aura of legitimacy as the “official” football video game, but now that “EA Sports FIFA” has been changed to “EA SPORTS FC”, is there reason to worry that the franchise won’t reach as great a height as it did before or have as wide an audience as it did with FIFA because it seems less legitimate?
As an eight-year-old,my friends and I stumbled upon a game centre, where I had my first gaming experience with Pro Evolution Soccer 5 on the Xbox, popularly known as “Winning Eleven”. It is one of the most memorable moments in my life because it brought me into the world of gaming and everything that was brought with it; good and bad.
Sometime after that I heard about FIFA 07 and just by the name alone, I was eager to play it. Play it I did, and it surpassed my expectations. I just couldn’t get enough of it, and the rest is history.
I’m certain many others have similar stories to this and have some sentimentality or nostalgia towards the franchise. Many others may not have any sentimentality towards the franchise but still perceive it as the world’s official football video game. So, does the name change and total rebrand away from FIFA make the new games yet to come inferior or less legitimate? It most definitely could, here are two reasons why.
Firstly, the pull the FIFA name had. Most gamers, and I would argue peeple, know ‘FIFA: the video game’ more than they know ‘FIFA: the football governing body’, but being directly linked with each other did a lot of good for both parties, more so EA Sports FIFA. Football is the most popular sport in the world, so being perceived as the most popular sport’s video game for decades wasn’t a bad reputation for the games to have at all.
EA Sports FIFA is the fifth best-selling video game franchise and the best-selling sports video game franchise in the world; selling over 325 million copies as at 2021 since it’s first release (FIFA International Soccer) in 1983 according to Wikipedia.
I am definitely not insinuating that this success was solely due to ‘FIFA’ being in the name but it most certainly had something to do with it. The game was practically recognized as the legitimate and official football video game because of ‘FIFA’ being in the title and the exclusive rights it got from world football’s governing body.
To the billions of people who love football and most of the millions who play video games, EA Sports FIFA was “the game” to play. Due to this, there is a real chance that EA Sports FC will seem to be less legitimate as compared to EA Sports FIFA since it is practically no longer football’s official video game.
Secondly, even though this is a forced rebrand resulting from world football’s governing body, FIFA, asking for as much as double the amount of their then current licensing agreement with EA Sports in order to renew the license, and their unwillingness to give certain rights exclusively to EA Sports (see YouTube video above for more information), there is still legitimate reason to be worried about this rebrand after the disaster that was eFootball’s launch during their rebrand from Pro Evolution Soccer (PES).
There is certainly worry among sections of fans on whether EA Sports FC will be something entirely different by moving away from the features or gameplay that were prevalent in the FIFA series and made it what it has been over the decades or enact some other drastic change.
What if EA Sports FC is a free-to-play online only game? What if you need to purchase teams or leagues in order to be able to play them? What if formerly free features like “Career Mode” are put behind a pay wall? What if it becomes a live service game? What if all the detail and attention is put even more into “Ultimate Team” and it’s related products while the other features are shunned? These are just some of the worries many fans have about EA Sports FC.
As it currently stands, if any of these worries from fans become a reality, EA Sports FC will be seen not only as less legitimate or official, it would also be seen as a downgrade from EA Sports FIFA and will forever be in the great shadow EA Sports FIFA has cast over the decades.
For now, though, we recently got our first look at EA Sports FC’s logo and news on the leagues and teams that have been licensed for it. More news and reveals have been announced to be coming our way in July so we wait with excitement, curiosity and a bit of worry as the answers to whether EA Sports FC will be less legitimate compared to EA Sports FIFA and whether it will keep the core of the franchise intact or not will inevitably come to us.
Tell us your thoughts on this in the comments while we all wait.