Yes, sometimes we have the balls, sometimes a little less so. Yet in the BBC court we see two players (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-65244351) one is FIFA the other one is EA. So whilst we got on April 24th ‘Fifa no more? EA Sports rebrands its biggest game’. Yes it has been 2 weeks, but I do not particularly care about FIFA, so I left it alone. Yet this afternoon a few thoughts fell through. They came up in the first hour I noticed it, actually they came up about 5 minutes after the announcement that EA was going to drop FIFA. There was a plan for them, I had no doubt about that and 2 weeks ago we got the gist. “the developer behind one of the most successful franchises in gaming history, moves on to its new football game, EA Sports FC.” Just like Fortnite having its spasms, EA has a plan to avoid FIFA costs and I reckon that they wanna keep all 5 billion of that revenue. And we get “Mr Jackson emphasised that more than 19,000 footballers, 700 teams and 30 leagues will still be represented in the game, despite the split from football’s governing body.” Yet the larger impact is one some are not realising. How are these all represented? The IP of football shirts are partially set things like “the FIFA online store for officially licensed national team kits” are in many places, as such EA has issues. They are ‘focussed’ on “EA has also unveiled its FC Futures programme, which it says will support grassroots football projects across the world” which I personally see as ‘the party line’, but FIFA has its claws in its field, so the player is in for a surprise or two. Now, this is not necessarily bad, but the history of the loot-box is fresh, they need a new approach and I have no idea how they will go about that part. Also FIFA was way too big with 700 teams, so what gives there?
And then we saw the game in a dangerous setting “The new Fifa game, Fifa 25, 26, 27 and so on, will always be the best e-game for any girl or boy”, and as this becomes an E-game, parents better realise that this comes at a cost. I reckon EA will play it softly and slowly change their grip from silk glove into a vice. Five billion is nothing to be sneered at and no matter how slow it happens, it will happen. We will see all the excuses, all the ‘mis communications’ but no that FIFA is cut off, EA will play a very different game. Some will be thrown by “everything you know and love from the modern FIFA games, including Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs, and VOLTA. You can expect the same attention to detail and number of official licenses, too.” In this I am not certain, but I need to see evidence before making that call and EA is playing this close to the chest at present.
And here is the kicker, as far as I can tell, at present there is no confirmed news on whether EA will follow the free-to-play route with EA Sports FC or not. This matters, because an E-sport that is not free to play could easily start at $5 a week, that is almost $25 a month making the game a lot more expensive whist after month 2 EA will be raking in the money. If it is free to play, the player will need to rely on premium packs at $7 each, so how does that math work out for you? 700 teams, 19000 players. How many packs will that be? Perhaps the player has one free team (depending on where they are) the rest not so much. And this is a problem, but also this view is speculative. EA is keeping its hand closed, so until they reveal we really do not know.
The larger stage is ‘avoided being seen’ with “We do see ourselves as the world’s game. And as a result, we need to meet players and fans, where they are. This is a great embodiment of our commitment to football in general.” You see, I did (and still do) see loot-boxes as non-gambling. Yet FIFA was in a stage of exploitation and now that they cannot ‘hide’ behind the FIFA brand they have a much larger issue, because like most companies, they are hesitant to give away the 5 billion in revenue, even though they keep most of it now, they aren’t Amazon or Google (who wasted billions) EA has a bottom line, it has revenue depending shareholders, so if this goes south there will be a culling in EA management.
Yet until the ACTUAL announcements come (not all the speculations we see everywhere) we will have to wait and as the game is expected to come in late September, I expect that the whole enchilada will be revealed no later than July, so roughly 8 weeks away, but that too is speculation from my side.