As EA divulge that FIFA 13 has sold over 12 million copies worldwide (23% more than FIFA 12 at this point last year) they reveal that work is already underway on FIFA 14 for the next generation of consoles (Gen 4), the Sony PlayStation 4 and the new Xbox (some think it’ll be called the Xbox 720, some the Xbox 8 but most reliable sources seem to agree that it’ll just be called “Xbox”).
FIFA 13 may have broken all the records but the FIFA series took a hit and lost a chunk of the market share during the transition to the current generation of consoles and had to rely on a strong recovery to bounce back to were they are today.
Electronic Arts CEO, John Riccitiello, is determined not to make the same mistake again and says EA are going to hit the ground running when the Sony PlayStation 4 and next generation of Xbox come out.
Talking about EA’s recent financial results he said,
“We’re also investing in Gen 4 console technologies and content. We’ve signalled that we’re working on the next editions of our two biggest franchises in Battlefield and FIFA. And, we look forward to discussing these programs and many others with you when we provide our fiscal year 14 guidance in May.”
EA COO, Peter Moore, chipped in saying:
“I’ll start with FIFA, an EA franchise that has emerged as one of the world’s top two or three games. The EA SPORTS team in Vancouver is absolutely crushing it on every format and in every market. Since FIFA 13 launched in September, we’ve sold through more than 12 million units. And in Europe, FIFA 13 was the #1 title in 2012, outselling all other games, including Call of Duty.
The digital performance for this franchise is particularly impressive. The number of gamers that actually play FIFA Ultimate Team grew 61% over last year’s offering. Additionally, the average revenue per paying user increased by approximately 30%. Both of these increases contributed to FIFA Ultimate Team revenue being up 136% year-over-year, and the holiday delivered the largest revenue day in the history of the service.”
The largest revenue day may have been when the most revered Team Of The Year players were released in Ultimate Team packs.
Digital content is something that the gaming industry as a whole is shifting towards to mitigate piracy, limit the second hand game market and provide “added value” services (basically more things for us to buy) and EA are certainly ahead of the game in the digital department with their Origin Store, Ultimate Team game mode and EA Sports Football Club Catalogue.
Digital net revenue for FIFA 13 (for example Ultimate Team FIFA points) is up 98 percent over FIFA 12 to over $100 million in the third quarter clearly demonstrating the popularity of Ultimate Team, the game mode that has contributed considerably to FIFA’s growth ahead of its competition.
The fact that EA are investing so much time and money into the next generation of the FIFA series is really exciting for the series and we could see big changes.
The extra processing power that will be at EA’s disposal should open up a whole lot of new possibilities for FIFA 14 and beyond and we’re eager to see what ideas the development team will come up with.
New possibilities should open up, not only with graphics but also with fundamental gameplay opportunities, AI intelligence processing and the ability to host a lot more advanced and in depth features.
There’s also rumours of new controller capabilities and design with in build LCD screens thrown in the mix. Maybe we’ll see the in game radar in the controller and new integration with the next generation of Xbox Kinect or PlayStation Move.
We’re eager to see what the next generation of FIFA will bring but it looks like we’ll have to wait till May to find out.
What would you like to see EA bring to FIFA 14 on the PlayStation 4 or next generation Xbox?