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‘It’s NOT in the Game’ – Commemoration and Commerce in EA Sports FIFA Franchise

Donald, Iain

Authors



Abstract

In 2023 witnessed a seismic shift in the world of virtual football as the licensing agreement between EA Sports and FIFA (the governing body of football) that had existed since 1993 came to an end and it was announced that going forward FIFA (the game) would be known as EA Sports FC (BBC, 2022). The franchise and the ecosystem that built up around the game would now morph and evolve separate and distinct from the governing body but remain representative of the sport that body represents. The video games themselves became historical artefacts that represent both a record and an interpretation of successes and failures of football teams and players from each year past. The complex licensing agreements that underpin the game – in 2023 the franchise boasts more than 300 agreements in place with Leagues, Clubs, Player Organisations, Players and Ex-Players, and Stadiums – remain. This chapter will consider how those agreements reflect changes in the real-world. From players changing teams and nationalities, clubs re-developing or moving Stadiums, Players and Ex-players being added or removed for a variety of reasons, the game has had to reflect the intricacies of the real world with a measured approach to an avid fanbase of game players and football fans. The result is that each release of the game and the data associated became both historical and ahistorical records. Data that can tell stories that both reflect the real-world winners and losers but can present a fiction that creates new myths and new histories.

Citation

Donald, I. ‘It’s NOT in the Game’ – Commemoration and Commerce in EA Sports FIFA Franchise. In The Interactive Past Re-Imagined: New Horizons of Video Games, History, and Archaeology. Sidestone Press

Deposit Date Jul 1, 2024
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Book Title The Interactive Past Re-Imagined: New Horizons of Video Games, History, and Archaeology
Publisher URL https://sidestone.com/
Contract Date Jul 31, 2024