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Written by on October 1, 2019

The best-selling sports video game franchise of all time once again got an annual reboot.

Electronics Arts launched on Friday “FIFA 20,” the latest version of the video game phenomenon. The new game, named after soccer’s international governing body, touts a refreshed roster and a new mode called Volta that brings soccer matches to environments outside of the stadium, such as city streets. It’s available on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4.
Sports video games have regularly topped video game sales charts, with new titles added every year.
“New players, new rosters, new rules, teams and stadiums all encourage the annual release timing,” said Mat Piscatella, an analyst at NPD Group.

Players in the game look just like their real selves. EA’s motion capturing staff scans the heads of athletes to recreate their likenesses in the digital world.
Other popular sports titles, such as EA’s “NHL 20” and Take-Two’s “NBA 2K20,” launched earlier this month. For the first time ever, “NBA 2K” includes professional women athletes. “WWE 2K20” will launch in October.
Sports games beat out other titles regularly in every video game category, with the exception of action and shooting games, in the US.
The FIFA game, now in its 20th year, has created a subset of fanatics. People like 34-year-old Shane Solo, a social services worker in Washington, D.C., buy the title year after year. “It doesn’t feel like buying the same game,” Solo said.
He is one of the Reddit moderators for r/FIFA, an online community that has over 260,000 subscribers and gets about 2 million page views a day, according to data he pulled from Reddit. “There are FIFA die hards that will teach you things about the game that will take you to the next level,” said Solo.

EA said in 2018 the FIFA game franchise had sold 260 million copies since its inception. In a May securities filing, the company estimated that recent “FIFA” titles accounted for 14% of the company’s total net revenue in fiscal year 2018. It also mentioned “FIFA” in identifying risk factors — if anything harmed the “FIFA” franchise, EA’s financials could take a hit.
While “FIFA” is the best-selling sports video game globally, according to EA, American football franchise “Madden” tops charts in the United States. “NBA 2K” has done well for itself in the US, too. An “NBA 2K” title was the best-selling sports video game of the year for the past three years, according to NPD Group.
“We have stiff competition,” said Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York. “‘NBA 2K’ is not the biggest sports title on earth. That honor goes to our friends at EA with ‘FIFA.'”


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