EA has severed ties with FIFA, which has had its consequences. Firstly, they had to change the name of their most iconic and best-selling game. This made many people think that their sales would be significantly affected since their audience is considered more casual, and many people might be unaware of this change and not buy the game this year. Something that many people will likely confirm when looking at the sales data in the UK.
According to data from Chris Ding of Games Industry, EA Sports FC had initial sales 30% lower in physical copies compared to FIFA 23. These numbers might seem concerning when viewed in isolation. However, there’s a catch. EA Sports FC is also the second biggest launch of 2023 in terms of physical copies sold in the UK, only behind The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, surpassing the highly successful Hogwarts Legacy.
This paints a very positive picture of EA Sports FC’s performance. While it might seem like what happens in the UK doesn’t necessarily reflect the rest of the world, the reality is that it serves as a good predictor for commercial trends across Europe. Historically, the UK market has been a good representation of what happens in the rest of the continent.
Furthermore, this isn’t even something new. Physical sales of FIFA have been declining for several years in favor of digital sales, in a consistent and gradual trend that is increasing over time. Moreover, EA was already expecting a decline in sales during the initial years, which ultimately probably falls within their expectations. Because if being the second biggest launch of the year isn’t enough for a game to succeed, even if it’s the game formerly known as FIFA, not having the license from the professional football governing body will be the least of their worries.