The EA effect: How FIFA became the most popular football video game franchise

It’s hardly a secret that many of us can be a little football mad from time to time and with the sheer popularity of the sport amongst avid fans and casual watchers alike, it’s no surprise that video games have taken the sport and twisted it into something playable even for the most inactive among us. EA’s FIFA has proven time and time again to be one of the very few games that have stood the test of time. With such a loyal fan base purchasing the annual release, it is no surprise that it has maintained its position above the rest. The question remains, however, as to just how it’s holding it’s placed so firmly. Here, we are going to look at how FIFA became the most popular football video game franchise and why it remains that way to this day.

Annual Releases

The game mechanics are fairly simple at their base, offering newbies and professionals alike the chance to either start or continue playing with ease. However, there are also elements that change with every new release. Take the upcoming FIFA 19, for example – the new addition of the Champions League gives existing players an incentive to go out and buy the new game and with dribbling, shooting and general gameplay improvements, there’s always something to keep players investing in the next release. With legends and a ‘team of the season’ event added regularly throughout the year, the opportunities for new players are always there, keeping the fan base invested.

FUT Packs

Another feature that can be accredited to the success FIFA is the thrill of opening up FUT packs. With many iconic players available to pack at any given time, hours and hours can be spent opening packs to find the players you need to put together a key FIFA Ultimate Team roster. Using some of the main gambling-esque mechanics from some of the most noticeable online casino games, FIFA is able to keep you invested in the game by giving you highly rated players randomly with every pack. This then releases dopamine and adrenaline, keeping the player involved for longer in the hopes to experience the feeling again.

The Players

The player roster in every release of FIFA constantly changes, with leading players being introduced, ranked more highly and even delegated in extreme cases. As a result, the allure of new players is pulling in more and more gamers and with the footballers themselves even promoting the game, it’s right there for them to see without the need for overexposure. However, as one of the leading gaming companies in the world, EA certainly have the budget behind them to promote FIFA and with a unique ranking system, a player catalogue to envy and stable servers, they’re easily put ahead of their competitors such as Pro Evolution Soccer.


Similar to a lot of leading games within the industry, FIFA benefits from the promotion that it gains from influencers on YouTube and a variety of other platforms. With notable YouTubers with a following of millions making their start on the platform playing FIFA, such as W2S and Fangs, this puts EA in a very unique position, as these videos encourage younger audiences to buy the game and try to get the best packs. EA can then capitalise off of this publicity with elements such as brand deals, influencer marketing and more.

With an ever-changing user experience and reliable servers to utilise, it is easy to see why FIFA has remained at the top of the charts for so long when it comes to sports gaming, regardless of the platform of choice. Whether you are playing on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or even the mobile app, you are always guaranteed a unique user experience with every game.


The EA effect: How FIFA became the most popular football video game franchise

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