EA Sports first released the Fifa football video games (“Fifa”) two weeks before Christmas in 1993. Since then, Fifa has become the most popular football game in the world and is listed in the Guinness World Records as the best-selling sports video game franchise. EA have unlocked the commercial potential of Fifa using online game modes such as Fifa Ultimate Team, a mode which encourages players to spend real money to create better teams, and this now generates more revenue than sales of the game itself. But it is only recently that EA have begun to expand their reach into the esports industry – and their latest moves may lead to fundamental change in EA’s relationship with their participants.
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