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Electronic Arts launches ‘FC 24’ soccer game in fresh start after FIFA split

A smartphone with the Electronic Arts logo is seen in front of a displayed stock graph in this illustration taken September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Electronic Arts (EA.O) released its first soccer game sans FIFA on Friday, wagering “FC 24” will keep its best-selling series going and protect it from a downturn.

EA’s nearly three-decade alliance with FIFA terminated last year amid media claims that the videogame developer was asked to boost its $150 million annual payments to FIFA.
The FIFA brand had more exposure and marketing power than “FC 24”. According to some experts, EA’s $32 billion market worth and sales depend on the game’s performance.

“The end of such a high-profile partnership… creates an uncertain future for the publisher,” said NYU Stern School of Business lecturer Joost Van Dreunen in his newsletter.

“Gamers, who fear a franchise weakening, and investors, worried about EA’s revenue, are watching closely.”

With cross-platform play and HyperMotion V technology that uses actual video to create in-game movements, EA has sought to make “FC 24” more appealing.

The US regular version costs $69.99, and the ultimate edition costs $99.99.

Analysts also think the FIFA split will boost “FC 24″‘s marketing budget, which owns rights to most soccer leagues, clubs, and players.

“EA spent under 10% in marketing before losing FIFA, and they’re able to probably double that to 16%,” said Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities.

“The company is expecting a small decline, like 5%, so I’m confident sales won’t suffer.”

Pachter also noted the franchise’s Ultimate Team game feature, which sells over a billion dollars yearly by letting players buy card packs to construct their teams.

While Apex Legends and other EA titles struggle post-pandemic, this has helped. After missing net bookings forecasts last quarter, the firm laid off 6% of its workers in March.

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