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Towards a Monopoly: Examining FIFA’s Dominance in Simulated Football

Published in University of Bremen
2020
Volume: 12
   
Issue: 1
Pages: 49 - 76
Abstract

Simulating the world’s most popular sport is big business and the most popular titles in the industry are Electronic Arts’ FIFA (2015-2019) franchise and Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) (2015-2019). A rivalry that begun in 1995, the last 24 years have seen the games modify, adapt and transform the way sports simulators are made. In the pursuit of digitally recreating the magic from the football pitch, the two titles have garnered extremely loyal fanbases that include some fans whose gaming practices are limited to playing just one of these games. This article aims to analyze the success of FIFA and the decline of PES in the last decade when reviewers of games and industry observers have repeatedly found PES to be the better game. It begins by comparing review scores of the last eleven iterations of the two franchises and then uses a multi-pronged approach to identify the various dimensions that allow FIFA to thrive as a game despite offering a comparatively poor gameplay experience to its players. This paper uses a multipronged approach to identify and analyze the various dimensions that has enabled FIFA as a franchise to create a near monopoly in the simulated football/soccer genre. By close reading streams of players of the game, formally analyzing the last five iterations of the FIFA franchise and then juxtaposing the two frames to examine FIFA as a hybrid cross-media product/service, this paper looks at the various non-play related elements that make it successful. The paper identifies and analyses the various dimensions that make FIFA a service that has allowed the franchise to create a near monopoly in the simulated football/soccer genre

About the journal
JournalGamevionments
PublisherUniversity of Bremen
ISSN1610-0875
Open AccessYes