- FIFA and EA Sports split last year after almost 30 years
- AI League first detailed ahead of Qatar 2022 World Cup
FIFA has launched the open beta of AI League, a mobile video game that marks the first title launched by the governing body of world football since it split from publisher EA Sports last year.
AI League is not a simulation in the style of the best-selling FIFA series, but a ‘4 vs 4’ casual soccer game between AI-controlled characters. Players act as coaches, setting tactics, training players, and intervening at specific moments during a match.
The game, which features Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup branding despite the tournament ending last December, is currently available on Google’s Android mobile operating system, with an iOS version coming soon. .
Developed by Altered State Machine, the AI League first unveiled details last November, along with a host of Web 3.0 and Metaverse applications designed to increase fan engagement and appeal to younger audiences.
Other initiatives include a partnership with the Upland Metaverse, the Roblox environment, and the Matchday Challenge, a social prediction game based on tradable cards.
Sports pro says…
Fifa’s split with EA Sports sent shockwaves across the sports and gaming world. The 30-year partnership was a seemingly minimal effort, a powerful fan engagement tool, and a lucrative revenue stream for FIFA. Meanwhile, the FIFA series has become a commercial mogul for EA Sports, generating billions of dollars through its Ultimate Team game mode.
However, the dynamics have changed significantly in the last decade of the relationship, especially as Fifa lacked intellectual property (IP) outside of its brand name and World Cup tournaments. FIFA as a game was definitely bigger than FIFA as a brand.
Aside from FIFA’s growing financial demands, one of the reasons behind the separation is EA’s desire to host more esports tournaments and release non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on the series. bottom. FIFA believed that such exclusivity would prevent it from pursuing other digital opportunities that could generate even more revenue.
EA Sports’ dominance of the pure soccer simulation market means FIFA has little choice of alternative licensees. But given the direction FIFA is headed after EA, and what the organization and many other rights holders see as the future of the fan, why should the AI League want Web 3.0 and rights to create Metaverse titles? It provides an indicator of how enthusiastic you were to keep engagement.
It remains to be seen whether that earnings will be able to make up for EA’s losses as a partner.