EA Sports’ new football franchise EA Sports FC is seeing a concerning 30% decline in physical sales compared to last year’s FIFA 23, according to data tweeted by industry analyst Christopher Dring. The drop comes after Electronic Arts lost the FIFA branding following decades of partnership with the global football organisation.
FIFA 23 marked the final release carrying the longstanding FIFA name before EA moved forward with its rebranded EA Sports FC series. Riding fans’ anticipation around the end of an era, FIFA 23 was predicted to become the best-selling entry ever. Now its successor FC 24 faces the tough task of retaining audience interest without the familiar namesake.
While still successful overall, early numbers show FC 24 struggling to match 23’s lofty sales heights. The 30% decrease in physical copies sold represents a worrying trend for EA, despite anticipating some drop due to the rebranding.
However, Dring did note the Switch version of the game is outperforming 23’s Switch sales so far. He attributed this to FIFA on Switch using the same game engine and assets as previous years, while FC 24 marks a proper new release for Nintendo’s console. This implies brand recognition isn’t the sole factor in the slippage.
Lack of Gameplay Changes Called Out in Reviews
Several issues may be converging to slow adoption of the revamped series. Harsh review bombing by disillusioned fans severely hurt the new footy title’s review scores. Many critiques argue the game lacks innovation in gameplay and content. As an annualised sports franchise, the football gaming series has long faced accusations of coasting on minor updates and they never upgrade their famous servers.
The publisher faces extra pressure establishing their new franchise as a successful brand successor. But declining sales numbers suggest the transition isn’t going as smoothly as hoped. While the FIFA association is gone, fans still expect fresh features worthy of a new $60 odd purchase. All the older titles recently got pulled from digital stores without any warning to fans. This shows clearly how the developers want to move on to pastures new.
Electronic Arts likely anticipated some growing pains pivoting from a 30-year legacy brand. But the degree of this early slump may force EA Sports to reevaluate its content strategy for future FC titles. Relying on roster changes, league licenses and server upgrades is no longer enough – more fundamental changes to reinvigorate the pitch action itself seem essential to winning back skeptical players.
EA FC 24 is out now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.
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