World Cup Hype Drives America to Number One Market for FIFA Games

world cup hype drives america to number one market for fifa games ea 2010 south africaDespite a heartbreaking loss at the World Cup, the current hype for soccer in America is hard to ignore. Unless you have been living in a cave, or perhaps in a dystopian, art-deco styled underwater city (just for example), odds are you know, or at least have heard something about the American team’s Cinderella run through the group stage of the World Cup that ended with a Hollywood-style game winning goal from Landon Donovan in stoppage time. In fact, many Americans might not have even known what stoppage or injury time were before they frantically watched it tick away, but they do now. Whether our new crush on footie turns out to be love or just lust, we will have to see, but it does look like gamers are getting behind the game, as America will soon be the top purchasers in the world of EA’s FIFA titles, the world’s best-selling, and best-rated soccer games.

“The U.S. market was our No. 4, in the world, four years ago,” Matt Bilbey, EA Sports’ VP of football said. “This year it will be our number one market.”

According to Kotaku, the surge in popularity towards footie, plus the addition of a second World-Cup-specific FIFA game, is expected to push the US from fourth to first. To be fair, other countries, such as England, that are fans of soccer to the point that you could get punched in the face for calling it “soccer”  have more choices, so the market is more heavily saturated. But this is America, and we are now number one in soccer! Take that, world!

The World Cup typically generates a spike in world-wide sales of soccer based video games, the US included, but this year’s run by the American team – even with the loss to Ghana – has sparked public interest in such a way that EA is banking on the game’s popularity to continue to grow up until the release of FIFA 11 in October. When the newest game is released, sales are expected to vault the US into first place in the soccer world. At least in terms of buying FIFA.

There is a flip side to the increase in American sales increasing based on a memorable World Cup showing. Countries where the national team was expected to do well but didn’t – *cough* France and Italy *cough*- sales are expected to take a hit as the national teams’ dismal showings are expected to leave a bad taste in the mouths of soccer fans.

“We are in the footballing gods’ hands,” Bilbey said. “Our French market is probably not going to do as well; soccer is now a dirty word in France for at least the next three or four weeks.”

For those that haven’t been following the World Cup, the French team – 2006 World Cup runners up – made headlines for numerous tantrums said to have come from a rampant overabundance of arrogance, leading to a near mutiny between players and coaches. It left France winless, and culminated with the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy vowing to investigate and find out what happened after the French were booted from the tournament. The defending champions Italy also failed to reach the knockout stage and returned home to headlines of “shame” and “humiliation.”.That is unlikely to help move video games.

Despite the loss, American soccer appears to be on the right track, and the fans are beginning to discover, or perhaps rediscover the game. Good news for the game, and great news for EA.

Product Review

Anybody seen my grenades? ‘Battlefield V’ shows up late and unprepared

Battlefield V’s War Stories give us a new perspective on World War II, but the game’s lack of polish across both its campaign and multiplayer modes are almost impossible to ignore.
Gaming

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Smart Home

How’s your Spanish, Alexa? Some Amazon Echo devices pick up a new language

Amazon's Alexa voice assistant and Echo devices are now available for customers in Mexico. Alexa has been customized for the Mexican market with local knowledge, a new voice, and support for the Spanish dialect spoken in Mexico.
Gaming

Struggling to survive 'Battlefield 5?' Our boot camp will keep you in the fight

Battlefield V's multiplayer component can be overwhelming, but you can succeed against the enemy with a little help. These are the tips and tricks you need to know to win in Battlefield V.
Gaming

What games were nominated for the The Game Awards 2018? Find out here

The Game Awards returns to Los Angeles for its fifth show this December. Here is everything we know about the event, including its location, where you can watch it, and games that were nominated.
Product Review

'Hitman 2' goes in for the kill with more of everything you love

IO Interactive and Warner Bros introduce us to ‘Hitman 2’, a sequel that embraces what made the series so unique and exceeds at delivering a more polished and complex experience.
Gaming

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro

SSDs are much faster than mechanical hard drives, which is what the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro come with. Here, we show you how to replace it with an SSD, which will allow you to boot to the OS faster and load games quicker.
Gaming

Faction-based PvP, new Vault openings coming to ‘Fallout 76’ after launch

Bethesda is already hard at work on post-launch content for Fallout 76, which launches November 14 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Faction-based PvP is in the works, and new vaults will open over time.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Anthem', including new details on Javelin classes

BioWare announced an upcoming action role-playing game called 'Anthem' at EA Play 2017. Here's everything we know about the game so far, including gameplay, DLC, and when you'll be able to play it.
Gaming

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Gaming

‘Tetris Effect’ makes the undying classic feel new again

Tetris is a game that everyone knows. The classic puzzler has appeared on just about every device since 1984. With music and visual flourishes, Tetris Effect remarkably manages to elevate the iconic game to new heights.
Gaming

Hacker finds Steam bug that unlocks free games, collects $20K for reporting it

Security researcher Artem Moskowsky discovered a Steam bug that allowed him to generate infinite free keys for any game. Instead of abusing the exploit, Moskowsky reported it to Valve, which gave him a $20,000 reward.
Gaming

‘Overwatch’ gunslinger Ashe is now available on all platforms

Blizzard announced Ashe as the latest Overwatch hero at BlizzCon 2018. The gunslinger has a history with McCree and makes use of a lever-action repeating rifle and a robotic sidekick.