US Men Failing To Qualify For World Cup Won't Affect FIFA Sales Much, EA Says
"Does it heighten their enjoyment if their national team is participating? Of course."
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The United States Men's National Team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, marking the first time the side didn't qualify for the event since 1986. Electronic Arts puts out a World Cup edition of its FIFA game timed with the event every four years to capitalize on the increased interest in the world's most popular sport. The fact that the USMNT failed to qualify won't have a meaningful impact on sales next year, however, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said during an earnings call today.
Wilson pointed out that there could be some impact but overall, because soccer/football is so massively popular on a global basis, the USMNT failing to qualify is basically a non-issue as it relates to FIFA game sales for the World Cup edition.
"The World Cup is the world's largest sporting event and it is followed by all people around the world who love soccer or football depending on what they call it where they come from," Wilson said. "Does it heighten their enjoyment if their national team is participating? Of course. But we don't see people stopping watching a World Cup just because their team is not there. As you think about the US in particular, we are a very multicultural country."
Additionally, some of the most widely played teams in FIFA are from Spain and the UK; Spain and England have already qualified, so that bodes well for the new game. "The most-played teams are from Spain and the UK, and the most-played players are also non-American players. So we don't expect a huge impact [from the USMNT failing to qualify]," Wilson said.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup takes place in June-July 2018. If history is any indication, you can expect EA to release its video game for the tournament a few months earlier.
For more on EA's latest earnings report today, check out the stories below: