Interesting blog post on how EA's FIFA game franchise got off the ground.

My son and his friends play lots of Xbox games and they play lots of Xbox sports game. But FIFA is their favorite. It is the game they come back to again and again and it is the game they play year round.

I have this theory, based on a sample size of one (my son Josh), that FIFA for Xbox is responsible for the surging interest in football (which we call soccer) here in the US.

All of my kids played youth soccer but they never loved playing the game. They all went for basketball as their game of choice. So they didn't really learn soccer by playing it.

But Josh has learned to understand the game, the players, the teams, and so much more about football/soccer from playing FIFA. And he watches the big matches on TV and he cheers for teams like Bayern Munich because he loves Franck Ribery. And he loves Franck Ribery because he's awesome in FIFA Xbox.

And his obsession with the sport has led me to become more interested in it over time. We've been in europe during the european cup and the world cup and have hung out in the bars and watched the matches with the locals. It is a great sport and a great experience.

And for us, all of this interst in and love of the game of football, originated with FIFA on Xbox. And I suspect that is true for lots of people in the US who grew up in the age of videogames.

So going back to the post that I linked to at the start of this post, EA didn't think FIFA was going to be popular. They didn't really care about the game. And yet it has become a monster franchise for them and to my mind, one of the main reasons for the surging popularity of the game here in the US.

Like many big deals, it was ridiculed at the start. That's a sure sign you are on to something.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Also… Never under estimate foreign markets. So often, we play that down in the US.

    1. William Mougayar

      Yup. Worldwide and US-wide are different. Sometimes, they are the same, but not always.E.g. in WW Sports, Soccer is #1, baseball is #3, US football isn’t even on the top 10. In events, Le Mans is #1, followed by the Olympics, then World Soccer Cup, then #4 is the SuperBowl, then #5 is the NBA finals.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Which one day event in the world has the most beer consumption per capita? Answer—>Oktoberfest.What’s second? Answer—->Any day in the bleachers at Wrigley Field.

        1. William Mougayar

          Good trivia. #Drinking and #sports.

      2. JimHirshfield

        Interesting data. I like other person’s comment about social fabric.

      3. Cam MacRae

        Baseball at #3 surprises me.

          1. Cam MacRae

            Either rugby or F1.

      4. Richard Carlow

        I would love to see how these rankings were determined. Football/ Soccer is the most popular sport. But events? Is this attendance? Media coverage? Viewership? All would seemly give a different outcome. Hard to believe anything comes close to the World Cup for viewership and global media coverage.

          1. Richard Carlow

            Thanks William, I did come across this, but no criteria are outlined without the book.

    2. panterosa,

      Americans are oxymorons – while they hail from the globe, they explore it less than other nations.

      1. Richard

        ester dyson brought this up in a recent interview.

        1. panterosa,

          Did she mention foreign language study? I am amazed by how few languages americans speak compared to europeans first of all, but the rest of the world expects they will know at least 1 other language if not more. I speak 4 languages and I am an anomaly because it was not my major at all.

          1. Jeffrey Hartmann

            Just curious, which four? I speak functional Portuguese and am planning to learn Spanish and Italian time permiting and for me that seems quite doable. I find latin languages are relatively easy for me, but I can’t really see myself speaking much else fluently without a whole lot of effort. I have friends who speak Russian, Czech, Vietnamese, Arabic and Chinese and they are all so very alien to me.

          2. panterosa,

            English, Spanish, Italian, and French. I studied Latin too.I have a great ear for Hindi, which I got from watching Bollywood movies, and Portuguese from music. I am gifted in mimic. Want to do a calligraphic language like Chinese for visual radicals – would be extra groovy, but the sounds of Mandarin and Cantonese don’t make me want to speak it.

      2. pointsnfigures

        That’s because the globe comes here.

      3. JimHirshfield

        And yet I’m posting these thoughts from Montreal. Not disagreeing with you. I was lucky to have traveled and lived abroad as a child. Trying to give my kids a little taste of that.

        1. panterosa,

          I gave my kid that in spades before I divorced, and started life as an entrepreneur. Sometimes I regret that I haven’t taken her traveling as much from 6-12 as from 0-6 because she would remember more now.#timeforsomerevenue!

          1. JimHirshfield

            I hear ya. Time and money.

          2. panterosa,

            Salud, amor, pesetas y tiempo para gastarlas. My favorite toast from Spain. I just spoke it into the Park Avenue tunnel microphone for the Loerzo Hemmer installation.My exec coach takes a practical view that I educated PantherKitty as to what life requires to make things work. That helps when I feel regretful. She has an idea and jumps online to see if there is a tradename to bag or competition in her market.

          3. JimHirshfield

            That’s a great toast… Cheers!Panther Kitty is your daughter?

          4. panterosa,

            @PantherKitty is indeed my daughter.She reads AVC when it applies to a subject she likes, and sometimes will comment. She knows the regulars, and who I’ve met IRL. She should have a twitter account for how quotable she is. It’s quite an experience having a a very wise old soul as a child

          5. JimHirshfield


    3. awaldstein

      Agree.Sports are one thing, business markets have never been closer to home than right now.Exception though as always is Asia. Tough back then, tough now for US companies.

    4. Mac

      Jim, is that a soccer ball I see floating around the Disqus homepage?

      1. JimHirshfield

        Could be. Dynamic.

  2. panterosa,

    XBox Football sounds like a gateway drug. I consider gateways things that you stumble through backward, and you are in deeper than you thought once you turn around, and in a place you did not expect to be.

    1. William Mougayar

      So, AVC is a gateway drug? For some, it is 🙂

      1. panterosa,

        Yeah. Look at how many people are here every day, even when they can barely fit it in. And then there are those having started their own blogs, or ramping up their blogging, or AVC related interests. This conversation was recently discussed on @awaldstein ‘s blog with @ccrystle.

        1. William Mougayar

          Some of us are community nomads.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Sometimes seems like a community OF nomads traveling around to blogs together.

          2. awaldstein

            Gd point.As we know from the circle of bloggers and commenters is very very small.The community of watchers crossing over to the same somewhat ingrained world, I bet very similar from on url to the other.First is fact, second is hypothetical.

          3. William Mougayar

            that’s within tech maybe. Isn’t the wine community made up of concentric circles, some overlapping, some not, and some are on blogs, others thrive on Facebook?

          4. awaldstein

            Wine is pretty well community-less online from a blog perspective. There are some really big ones but from a blog community perspective, not in my opinion. The largest international online wine community is on Facebook.

          5. panterosa,


          6. awaldstein

            Don’t get me started. That was the whole comment string (still going on BTW) from my Can’t Airlift Communities post so maybe we should punt back there.Disqus is NOT the community, avc is. Smart plumbing allows context to happen. It isn’t context in itself.

          7. panterosa,

            but can’t there be subtribes of disqus, like disqus/avc?I love the word punt, always makes me chuckle.

          8. awaldstein

            Life imitates High School so sub groups there are aplenty but Disqus contextually specific ones?I used to think so I don’t any longer .

          9. William Mougayar

            But Engagio had a chance to surface people connections between communities and therefore lubricate the cross-pollination.

          10. awaldstein

            I really liked engage.ioThe answer is I don’t know.What I was personally amazed at is how small the cross pollination was. At that is NOT because the threads are short because attention is.How many people truly blog with intensity and thought? How many can truly put in over an hour a day to participate in these communities? The commitment is large, the market of bandwidth small.No–I don’t think cross pollination was the discovery for me. The discovery is that this community was a magnet for others and drew people in rather than extended the connections out.

          11. Abdallah Al-Hakim

            I may be biased 🙂 but not having for the past several months really showed me how valuable it way in surfacing cool and interesting conversations. I am finding it very difficult to keep up with conversations across the social web and the disqus emails don’t seem to catch my attention

          12. awaldstein

            My strategy is don’t keep up.There are things that i search for. There is more that my networks bring to me. I try to drive my days by my focus and my needs with some flexibility thrown in.Disqus email don’t serve my personal needs mostly cause they are time lapsed and …Disqus is not my network, just a piece of it.Thanks for chiming in.I do agree, there was great potential though for certain.

          13. Donna Brewington White

            I miss it too Abdallah.

          14. William Mougayar

            true. so we are a tribe inside of a community maybe.

          15. Donna Brewington White

            Tribe. That sounds about right.

          16. panterosa,

            I want a venn diagram of this, a visual, of how it developed. I have recently connected to ‘s creator. If you see how they have real time mapped a tree of life it will give you shivers of coolness pure visual explanation. The first time I saw it I wrote him a love letter. I wanted to build a similar thing, but his is fractal based so he solved how it works better than I would have.If you see it then you can see how it could map @fredwilson:disqus’s blog followers.Sorry, it’s such a dataviz geek moment for me I am almost drooling.

        2. awaldstein

          One of the better discussions on community we’ve had anywhere in a long while.Fred– In case you didn’t catch this one it was hands down the best articulation of what Disqus is about from Daniel. I’ve always felt that he had the chutzpah to articulate his vision. He did so well here.

          1. fredwilson

            I will go check it out now. Thanks for pointing me to it

          2. IG

            ‘you can’t airlift communities’…

          3. awaldstein

            Good one–49K Yemenite Jews.Of course not at all what I’m talking about in my post. Not discrete physical communities but connected networks with flash communities around discussions.

    2. ShanaC

      hahaha. Actually, gateways are important – they start the process of learning things

      1. panterosa,

        teach knitting or crochet, then coding….

  3. kidmercury

    i’m not buying fifa being responsible for the emergence of soccer/football in the US. previous video games that were huge include mike tyson’s punchout, EA’s NHL videogames, and sonic the hedgehog. boxing remains of limited interest, as does hockey; hedgehogs have not soared in popularity. because of the economic/political scam known as globalization (one world government stuff), as well as the more legitimate trend of internationalization (internet, greater interest in other cultures for reasons besides economic exploitation), i suspect interest in soccer/football has grown.stuff that gets straight up dissed and mocked may in fact succeed, but nothing can succeed until the time is right. proper timing is vital.

  4. jason wright

    football is the open source sport, and the US is living an a walled garden.

  5. Seenator

    People’s ridicule may not be a sign of success – after all there could be many more ridiculed games/startups that actually never go anywhere.I think of it at “nobody knows anything” phenomenon in movies.…We gave try a bunch of things, keep an open mind & pray furiously for the black swan 🙂

  6. Jeff T.

    FIFA has been introducing US kids to soccer for years because it has always been one of the best sports games on any platform. Going all the way back to the original Nintendo NES, it was the best sports game. I think it finally got some competition from Madden on the original PS, and now I would guess those are the two most dominant sports games on the market.Soccer surging in the US is probably due to a bit of people in the first NES generation playing FIFA, and now their kids, coupled with the fact that the US team is starting to be a little more respectable in world play as well. (that’s my guess, from my single data point… me)

  7. andrewjude

    Football has always been an amazing (and addictive sport). If I’m honest with you it is probably more tribal than other sports and somewhat of a religion in Europe esp the UK, Spain, Germany.The US is so far behind in terms of understanding why this is a great sport.

  8. William Mougayar

    OK, but could this be also related to the fact that the US was still the last bastion where soccer hadn’t taken hold yet? Soccer is the #1 sport worldwide after all.

  9. William Mougayar

    …and EA’s FIFA was developed in Vancouver, Canada. Yeah!

  10. kenberger

    The other huge point here is that games can be a highly effective means of learning.I am researching an Italy trip coming up, and was just told that you’ll know the streets and sites of Rome if you simply play some xbox adventure game (can’t remember the name now). Sort of a joke, but sort of true.Likewise, I have most of the world map (as it looked in the late 70s) forever etched in mind from playing Risk as a kid.

    1. panterosa,

      I still don’t get how some people think play and games aren’t learning.Someone should make a game of Boccacio’s Decameron, the section where there is a world trip which actually happens around the streets of Florence. Like Via dell’Africa etc.

      1. kenberger

        will def look into that book, looks fascinating.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Add it to you project list, P.

    2. William Mougayar

      Risk was a great game I was addicted to, as well.

    3. Bear

      So true! My sense of direction around London was helped massively by all the hours spent driving round the landmarks and streets accurately mapped out in Metropolis Street Racer years ago

  11. Hugh Lang

    Just ordered my copy for PS3 based on this post! My kids play basketball and football both in real life and on the PS3. I hope this gets them into soccer someday.By the way, any opinions on PES 2013?

  12. jschless

    As a soccer obsessed American youth who has grown up in the video game age, I can completely attest to this. EA has built a phenomenal game year after which has only grown my love for the game.I will say, one of the other big transformations for me was seeing Chelsea play Aston Villa in Birmingham when I was 13 years old. What an amazing experience that was.Off to watch Chelsea’s first PL match, go blues.

  13. BlairMacGregor

    Great story Fred. I had a similar trajectory with soccer: played it when I was younger because it was pretty much the only thing you played at that age, then sort of grew out of it. Then lo and behold, years later, I too had friends playing FIFA, first for playstation than later for Xbox. They all had their own teams (mostly in England) that they had started playing seasons with and then watching. So one night I was playing FIFA and started looking through all the leagues and found Celtic in Scotland. At the time, I just picked them because I liked their jerseys. But as I read more about their history & heritage and the fact that they represented the Scottish & Irish diaspora (I’m Scottish on my dad’s side, Irish on my mom’s) it was kind of a perfect fit. Now five years later, I go and watch their games in the pub in Midtown and took a trip down to Philly last year when they played a friendly against Real Madrid. Just what I needed: another team to add to the sports here I already watch! But it’s been fun. And it really is interesting reading about the different leagues and their own particular idiosyncrasies & cultural sensibilities.Plus, NBC’s making the same kind of bet on football (soccer)’s popularity in the U.S. with this new Premier League deal. They’ve been ridiculed too for it. But I think they’ve made a wise choice.

    1. fredwilson

      i agree that NBC is doing a smart thing

    1. fredwilson

      i like how he pushes away the defender at the end right before kicking it in

      1. Tyler Hayes

        That is a dirty thread.

  14. Wells Baum

    Yes, the video games plus Fox Soccer which had been showing Premiership games in the States for a decade before NBC bought the rights. That was Murdoch’s vision.Also worth nothing the explosion of soccer talk in the Twitter stream. That has also led to increased awareness, not to mention the fact that our American players play in Europe.With all the cheating going on in Baseball and Football, plus ads, why wouldn’t you want to watch a continuous game where size doesn’t really matter.

    1. fredwilson

      great point about Murdoch/Fox and football

  15. Sofia Fenichell

    Living in Europe and having two young kids, I think what this blog is really about is social context. Football (soccer) in Europe is popular because it is part of the social fabric. It is a discussion point that brings people together. The same could be said of basketball in the United States. As there is no social context for Football in America, it had to be delivered via a utility that can provide that – in this case XBOX. That social context is now being translated into a sporting context (hopefully). This is really exciting to me as a concept because it is the power of the social web being repatriated to a physical sport.

    1. fredwilson

      great point

  16. Mac

    Ditto! My three sons introduced me to soccer and EA Sports. For years, Saturday mornings were spent watching them practice a sport I knew very little about and the afternoons were spent learning terms and names I had never heard before. However, I was so impressed with the international devotion, along with the growing interests in the USA, my first e-commerce venture was a niche on the back of the vast soccer ecosystem. (No. It did not end well)Most people aren’t aware that for many years the supply chain for worldwide soccer apparel and uniforms stretched across North and South Carolina: a region that “didn’t care about the game”, but made “monster” deals with FIFA.

    1. awaldstein

      Great commentVideo games and sports especially was always an global development community.EA bought studios everywhere.Eons ago, we had almost 2700 developers for Creaf. I think (memory not good on this) that 40% were international.

      1. Mac

        Thanks. The contributions of the “global development community” have long been crucial to product development across many markets.

  17. pointsnfigures

    Was in Europe all summer of 2006. Watched Italian cup games in Italy, France team playing in France, the English side in London. I was amazed how quiet it was compared to an American bar watching a game.Was with some Spaniards and Frogs when Spain played France. Figured it was like the GB Packers and The Chicago Bears with a lot of rivalry, and back and forth. They quietly watched the game.Still don’t get soccer. Great in shape athletes, but way to much whining and faking. Prefer ice hockey, rugby if I want to watch alternative sports to the big three.

  18. SD

    I think the games certainly play a role. As the “big” US sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) TV rights get bid up, it makes sense to go after a sport that is relatively inexpensive and available, and one that has a built in audience of people that have spent money on the video games.I would also argue that the video games have profoundly influenced TV coverage of major sports – everything from the way plays get diagrammed in Madden football, to the way the camera angles work, to the cut scenes in between plays…Networks have made the TV coverage much more immersive (like the video games).

  19. Donna Brewington White

    Funny, my parents told me that same thing about being ridiculed — as a person.I wonder how many of us in this community were the oddball kids.

  20. David Petersen

    Ribery!The FIFA release date (usually late September) is the new Christmas in my neighborhood. There is something about the gameplay that is more fun than madden / nba live / hockey. Often fans of those sports prefer video game soccer.I’ve seen friend after friend get introduced to FIFA, fall in love, start following European football, find their favorite players.. and then slowly lose interest because the season is so meandering with so many trophies. You think the BCS is bad? At least there is a climax to the season and a single champion. But I 100% agree with Fred that the video game is spreading love for the sport in the US. Along with the ability to watch games in HD, see highlights on youtube, and read about the sport on, I had to retire from the game in 2012 due to work commitments but if anyone on here wants to play me, my xbox username is customsbroker.

  21. Dave W Baldwin

    Glad you guys are doing this. Getting over to the cup and participating should be on many a bucket list.

  22. Felix

    Some people say that soccer video games will push the first World Wide Cup in the upcoming years for USA. In any case, what amazed me is how programmers copycat the real tactical movements of the key individual players like Lionel Messi or Franck Ribery. Sometime, when you look thru the distance, you need to double check if the play is a videogame or real game. That strategy is starting to take off in some countries to get more fans, more viewers on the matches.

  23. Brandon Marker

    DEFINITELY responsible for a part of the surge. I would have never started watching without FIFA influencing me.The reason why your son and friend keep going back is the rhythm (its a steady flow) of teamwork. Talking but not talking to each other. FIFA has IMPRESSIVE game dynamics.

  24. Salt Shaker

    I worked for a leading sports media company for many years. We did considerable marketing research w/ sports fans 12+, from the light, casual enthusist to the diehard fan. It wasn’t too surprising that 12-17 and 18-24 yr. olds were disproportionately engaged w/ sports video games. The real enlightenment came from the realization that attending live sporting events for that demo was seriously on the decline because of escalating tix prices. Particularly in this economy, families and young adults can ill afford attending even modestly priced sporting events when you combine the cost of transportation, concessions, etc., with tix pricing. Combined w/ the continued erosion of TV viewing and digital growth, you get almost by default sports immersion w/ video (and fantasy) games among young adults. The pro leagues have failed to embrace this relationship outside of licensing their IT to companies such as EA Sports, Sony, etc. The pro leagues are still beholden to traditional ways of doing biz rather than flipping the model and directly (not indirectly via licensing) using the power of video games to drive fan attentiveness, engagement and monetization.

  25. Donna Brewington White

    I am really curious as to how kids like Josh draw the line on gaming vs other activities, namely academics. I went from being a parent who thought video games other than educational were an anathema to actually embracing them. Which made it easier to sleep at night since I was placing people at videogame companies. (Which actually started by recruiting people out of videogame companies to work for educational toy/game companies.)It was a little heartbreaking recently to have to discontinue the Xbox live subscription because my 12 y.o. was becoming consumed and the daily battle was wearying. I only see this as temporary until we redirect. I actually love hearing him interacting with his friends online. And my idea of educational has transformed over the years.On another note I’ve been hanging out with him some in the EDM room on at his request — people thought he was kidding when he called me Mom. I love how he hasn’t figured out the “cool” thing yet.

    1. fredwilson

      Josh is through his videogame addict years. Girls and other things have replaced it. But he and his buddies still play a fair bit.

  26. Zachariah Reitano

    Fred, I agree. However, FIFA may be responsible for even more than you attribute to it. I first played FIFA in elementary school and it is the game to which my friends and I consistently return. This past May, I graduated from Columbia University, where a large percentage of students are international. FIFA was the single source of entertainment that was easily integrated into our various schedules and which seamlessly bridged all cultural barriers. It brought students from all backgrounds together, unencumbered by differences in language, affluence or age. My friends from Columbia, Bolivia, France, England, and yes Brooklyn, all grew up playing it. It had sentimental value for each of us and provided a means for us to interact in a familiar format. We competed playing as our respective nations. We mirrored the World Cup in 10′ and had our own virtual winner. We even forced each other to write apology letters in the language of the winning team if the victor won by a margin greater than 3. Rarely did someone choose China.Indeed, FIFA did introduce us to soccer/football; yet, it also provided a mechanism to know one another and, ultimately, to form lasting bonds.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s awesome

  27. Emmanuel Bellity

    Just a reminder, Ribery is now going on trial on charges of soliciting the services of an underage prostitute (Zahia) I sure hope your son can find another soccer idol :)Mine was Jay-Jay Okocha when I was rooting for Paris Saint Germain

    1. Alban

      Thanks Emmanuel for the important reminder. And for those who don’t have an Xbox to play with, you can get close here :)…

  28. Jeffrey Hartmann

    I completely think you are right that a series of great football games on consoles has really helped increase the popularity of the game. In general though I think things like the American women winning as much as they do has helped a lot as well. I don’t really like watching sports on tv too much, but I think I’d have to say I enjoy football the most. (I do love sports live though, especially the Thunder and Oklahoma Sooners American Football)My wife is from Brazil and my favorite team is the Flamengo’s from Rio De Janeiro. I actually just got back from a trip to visit family there and got an official jersey for my b-day and it was a great gift for me. I really am excited about the world cup, and I think there is a good chance Brazil might win if they keep up their level of performance they had in the Confederations cup. I don’t think I’ll get to go, but it would be great to be in the country when that party is going on. When there is a world cup match with their team, the whole country pretty much shuts down for the day. Its pretty cool the love they have for the sport and their team.

  29. Geoff

    As Jyri Engeström would say it’s a social objec… t. Interestingly Twitter doesn’t get it at all. They thinks because you follow team X that you must also want to follow team Y. How little they know 🙁

  30. Pete Griffiths

    I have lived in the US for around 20 years. The progress soccer has made is remarkable. And the thing that people underestimate is the significance of immigration. A very high percentage of immigrants have soccer as their first sport (e.g. Hispanic). So I believe we will continue to see soccer making gains. (And it is an awesome sport 🙂

  31. Capitalistic

    Interesting post.”Like many big deals, it was ridiculed at the start. That’s a sure sign you are on to something.”How do you reconcile that with the number of ventures that aren’t ridiculed but are able to raise significant amount of capital? Perhaps “big ideas” are ridiculed because there aren’t any comparable ideas or there’s an elephant in the room situation, i.e. Yahoo pre Google, Microsoft pre- Apple 2.0?

  32. ccarella

    I have a similar theory that Tony Hawk skateboarding which started a hit franchise in ’99 is partially responsible for how large skate culture has grown today. Before that game, skating was still mostly on the fringes and afterwards Hawk was a global icon for an international sport.

  33. sbmiller5

    Josh’s experience is definitely not a one-off occurrence. I played soccer my entire youth and loved and followed the game. I’ve introduced many friends to Fifa and have five friends who actively follow soccer, only after being introduced through Fifa.It’s the only game I still play and a great way to keep in touch with friends across the country.

  34. Dave Pinsen

    It’s an interesting theory, but there are some other factors that have contributed to the growing popularity of soccer here. The biggest one might have been the start of broadcasting live Premier League games here (first on Fox last year and now on NBC). Another factor is the new Fox Soccer Channel (which borrows some studio craft from Fox NFL). Also, the recent success of the US national team (on a 12 win streak), and European teams playing pre-season friendlies here, etc.

  35. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    Fred, you probably have seen this video but if not then you should check it out. NBC did a very clever marketing campaigns “American Coach in London” with Jason Sudeikis. It is worth a watch

  36. matthughes

    Vladimir Guerrero — the great Dominican right fielder who spent most of his career with the Expos & Angels — actually said that early in his career (late 90s) most of his advanced research on pitchers was done playing video games.I specifically remember that he learned how Tom Glavine would work outside early in the count and then bust a hitter inside when he got ahead – which was exactly the way Glavine pitched.It’s cool enough that kids are learning about sports through video games but it’s entirely amazing that a pro athlete is scouting his opponent through the same medium.

  37. FlavioGomes

    The beautiful game

  38. Bill

    Great thing about sports video games is that they are not shooters, first person or otherwise, at least as a parent. I do agree about FIFA broadening availability. There are a lot of players and teams who I learned about or started to perk up and listen when their names came up because of FIFA. I find myself liking teams and players that I’ve played seasons with.On the West Coast, I think broader soccer availability on TV has been at least as important though. Premier League soccer is on when I wake up so I watch more games than I ever did before, particularly when we are outside of football season. Baseball lost its appeal for me many years ago.

  39. Chimpwithcans

    You can add me to the sample. I learned all i know about soccer from FIFA and Football Manager games (I know quite a lot now!)They capture the essence of the sport like no other game I have tried.

  40. zackmansfield

    no doubt FIFA has provided the context needed to allow you and your son to enjoy the Beautiful Game. Analog for many is how fantasy football has created insatiable appetite for NFL, even amongst those who didn’t traditionally consider themselves big (american) football fans.I think one of the more interesting trends is the growing communities of soccer die-hards who are supporting not only european teams but their local MLS side. Check out Seattle or Portland on a MLS gameday and you could just as easily think you are in London. Will be interesting to see if other markets take off in similar ways in the next 5-10 years

  41. Ella Blackburn

    So going back to the post that I linked to at the start of this post, EA didn’t think FIFA was going to be popular. They didn’t really care about the game. And yet it has become a monster franchise for them and to my mind, one of the main reasons for the surging popularity of the game here in the US.donde descargar spybubble

  42. Marc-Oliver

    I don’t really know where this myth came from, but having worked at EA for the FIFA franchise, I can say one thing; there is no “let’s try it out and see what happens mode”. EA knew from the start that this game is going to be a huge success in South America, the UK and in other European Countries. Other soccer video games provided the data to support the investment & effort. Another truth is, that EA needed several years to finally beat Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer. Technically, PES was years ahead and they also had better developers, they just didn’t invest in licensing players & leagues – which was bad for marketing later. Once EA caught up and also had well known players on their cover – competition was pretty much dead. From a monetization perspective: FIFA became only successful after the introduction of Ultimate Team. Almost 20 years after first launch. … and with a little help from the UK market – mostly. Not sure if it helped shape the soccer movement in North America though. The US Team in 2002 and some media coverage had some influence too, I guess.

  43. Daniel Kjellsson

    I think you’re onto something very interesting; I can imagine FIFA on Xbox being a stronger marketing tool for football/soccer in the U.S (and other countries that are slowly developing an appreciation for the game) than any David Beckham-ish signing could ever be. But the most interesting question here is: “What is sport?”Fred’s son is looking at the “real” Franck Ribery coloured by how the man is performing in the video game. That obviously means Electronic Arts (creator of the FIFA games) has the power to create superstars themselves. I bet agents are already pitching to the game developers to make the players they represent better in the video game.I also wrote this post, titled “The next David Beckham is a video game player”: