Online gaming and the world of sports have been overlapped for many years. FIFA, as the world’s most popular game, will naturally make its way into the world of gambling. There are just too many opportunities for fun gamesmanship to pass up the partnership!
So what exactly is FIFA’s place in the world of online gaming? Let’s take a look at the influence that this still-expanding sport has had on the digital landscape.
In 2016, the number one selling video game was FIFA 17, which sold 10.03 million units around the world. FIFA 18 has sold more than 24 million copies to date. Overall, the franchise has more than 260 million units sold with the mobile version boasting more than 193 million downloads. This represents one of the most successful franchises not only in the history of sports titles, but in the history of gaming as a whole.
The world of gaming and FIFA actually came to odds during the release of FIFA 2019. One of video gaming’s new and most popular advancements came in the form of real time power ups that changed gaming parameters in many ways. These powerups are random in nature, but they were able to affect gameplay substantially. As such, they were made illegal in some countries such as Belgium.
The phenomenon eventually came to be known as “lootboxing.” Because of the success that FIFA enjoyed despite all of the controversy, other gaming companies began lootboxing in their games. Even online operators like Casumo casino incorporated versions of this idea in their games. Both FIFA and many international gambling organization are working together to ease the regulations for lootboxing on FIFA, and now that the practice is normalised in genres like RPGs and strategy games, things are looking up for the international franchise.
The WestThe last huge market that FIFA has to crack is the Western market, most notably the United States. Because the US has the fiercest competition for football in the form of the Big 3 (baseball, American football and basketball), football has had trouble achieving the same kind of popularity that it has in other markets outside of North America. (Canada also has hockey as its number one sport, which keeps the country from getting into football in the same way as the rest of the world.)
However, the recent win of the United States women’s team in the real life FIFA Women’s World Cup opens the door wide for FIFA to gain a new level of popularity in the West. This is the fourth title that the women have won, but none with so much fanfare. Players from the team are finding themselves with modeling contracts and in political arguments with President Donald Trump. If the phrase “all publicity is good publicity” is true in any form, then more people than ever are probably tuned in to the sport than ever before in the West. In a digital world that is more connected than ever, the West will be the future of FIFA.
Online gaming will continue to grow, and in large part this is because of what FIFA is bringing to the industry. There is a huge culture around the sport, and that culture is making its way into the world of gaming. With barriers coming down across the world, including in the seminal market of the United States, we can expect to see more demand in the very near future. Technology is also making it easier than ever for fans everywhere to watch their favourite players from anywhere in the world.