MCV's Associate Editor on why sports games licences remain crucial and the FIFA video games are such a hit.

OPINION: FIFA, EA and the power of sports licensing

2013 marks 20 years of the FIFA video game franchise.

EA released the first game in the series back in July 1993, with David Platt on its prestigious cover.

Since then, EA has released nearly 60 games (including spin-offs) and sold over 125m units. The latest title in the series, FIFA 13, is the most successful one yet, shifting 14.5m games in record time.

It’s no wonder EA felt it necessarily to extend the licence for another ten years.

Although licences in games have a chequered history (just look at the commercial performance of the latest James Bond and Marvel games), for sport games licences remain crucial.

FIFA today is one of the best video games money can buy, but that’s not always been the case. In fact, for almost ten years the best football game on the market was Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer. Yet despite not always being the best football game, FIFA has always been the biggest seller. And that’s because it was the only game to have all the players, all the grounds and all the leagues.

And EA is now going beyond video games…

Read the full EA/FIFA opinion piece here.

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