While there are still no hard sales figures for EA Sports FC 24, it so far sounds like the game is doing very well for itself, without the FIFA branding attached to it.
Just last week, it was revealed that the game’s early access period attracted more players than FIFA 23’s, and now it’s confirmed that those numbers only shot up following EA Sports FC 24’s launch on September 29.
Within its first week, more than 11.3 million people worldwide, including EA Play subscribers, played the new football game, which is a million more than FIFA 23 managed within the same timeframe.
As a reminder, FIFA 23 had 10.3 million players in its first week and was considered the biggest launch in the series’ history. So, EA Sports FC 24 has broken that record already – although oddly EA doesn’t mention that detail.
Physical UK sales are 30% less than FIFA 23’s, but given EA’s date it’s safe to assume the game is performing well financially and is making most of its money through digital sales.
In addition, EA Sports FC Mobile 24, the successor to the mobile FIFA games, saw 2.2 million installations on its first day, with over 11.2 million people having downloaded it in its first 10 days.
‘We’re thrilled to have so many fans jumping into The World’s Game in both EA Sports FC 24 and FC Mobile in just the first few days since launch,’ says EA Sports president Cam Weber.
‘In addition to welcoming back millions of our longtime players, new players in FC 24 are up nearly 20% year over year, showing the excitement of football fans everywhere to join the Club. We are building the world’s biggest football community through EA Sports FC, and we’re just getting started.’
Elsewhere, in an interview with Time Extension, EA’s former vice president of European marketing Tom Stone shared some interesting history regarding EA and the FIFA organisation’s partnership.
It turns out, ahead of the 1997 renewal of the licence, ISL (the company responsible for licensing the FIFA branding at the time) was snooping for a new partner and contacted Sony to see if it wanted exclusive worldwide rights.
However, the then president of Sony Europe Chris Deering contacted Stone directly, promising not to agree to such a deal unless EA couldn’t work things out with FIFA.
‘I said, ‘You have got to be effing joking. Seriously? ISL has approached you and asked if you would like an exclusive worldwide license for FIFA? After everything we’ve done for them?’ I was really cross,’ admits Stone.
‘But Chris said to me, ‘I will not sign that deal unless you can’t come to terms with FIFA. That’s your deal. You created that.’ Obviously, Chris was looking ‘big picture’ at the support that EA gave to PlayStation worldwide. I think that would have been an interesting conversation had Sony signed that deal, though. I think EA would have responded quite badly to that.’
One Marc Aubanel, who worked as a producer on the FIFA games in the 90s, adds that EA had been considering dropping the FIFA branding long before it finally did, since ‘We knew we were doing way more for FIFA than they were doing for us from a branding standpoint.’
As for why they didn’t part ways at the time, Aubanel says it was ‘because marketing was petrified about losing that brand awareness. We’d built so much equity in that brand. We were tired of paying for it, but every time we had to renegotiate with FIFA, they just didn’t want to take that risk of having to rebrand it.’
Maybe things would’ve turned out differently had EA ended its partnership sooner but, if EA Sports FC 24’s player figures are anything to go by, it’s a risk that is so far paying off.
EA Sports FC 24 is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
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