Football has been for many years a source of inspiration for video game developers who created successful simulators. The best titles made it into the eSports arena and are played at the highest competitive level. FIFA has finally acknowledged the surging popularity of the games and is now opening up to electronic sports organizations. It has invited companies to bid for the media rights as it is now ready to host a plethora of eSports competitions.
The partnership between the football’s world governing body and EA Sports is expected to be mutually beneficial. The latter already have a very popular football simulator and are releasing new games of this type every year. Meanwhile, FIFA is trying to expand its fan base with young people, who are not as enthusiastic about football. Under these circumstances, video games could act as a magnet for millennials.
The eWorld Cup Approaches
FIFA has high expectations from its eSports World Cup of 2018 which will take place almost simultaneously with the real thing. The event will be televised and will take place in Barcelona in January, representing an important milestone for the industry. It is expected to be the biggest football eSports series in history and it will bring together 32 professional players competing for a big paycheck.
In anticipation of this major event, FIFA is running qualifiers, which represent an important source of excitement for the fans. The partnership with major broadcasters is only going to increase the interest for the qualifiers. Deals have already been signed with BBC, BT and Sky Sports and more media partners are likely to express their interest.