FIFA: Where does football's biggest gaming franchise go next?

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FIFA and EA Sports have announced their split, with EA Sports FC set to strive forward as the flagship football game.

With EA moving ahead with their own game, where does this leave FIFA?

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From being one of the world's best-known games to now sailing without a vessel, where does the gaming future lie for football's main governing body?

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Direct Competition

FIFA could easily go back into the sphere of annual releases and compete with EA Sports FC.

Gianni Infantino made it very clear in his statement following the split that FIFA had no intention of backing away, and made it clear that FIFA would remain the best regardless of other factors eg. licenses and gameplay.

However, FIFA could find themselves wavering if certain leagues and competitions opt to go exclusive with EA Sports.

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DON'T CRY BECAUSE IT'S OVER - EA and FIFA are no more

FIFA pulling away from EA Sports simply means that international teams in their traditional sense would not be included in future games, but how many of us truly opt to use national teams over domestic sides?

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FIFA are banking on their clout to get them over the line, but history has rarely been kind to those that believe a race is won before it is run.

FIFA would need to massively distance themselves from EA Sports FC's model in order to compete, as there simply is no room at the top of the market for two top-priced football games, as has been proven in the past.

Mobile Arena

FIFA could look to break away from console gaming entirely, focussing on the ever-growing mobile gaming sphere.

There is undoubtedly a space in the market for a top free-to-play football game on mobile, but handheld gaming wouldn't exactly draw in traditional console players.

The hardware involved in mobile production pales in comparison to its console counterpart, and FIFA could find themselves coming up short if direct comparisons were drawn.

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HANDHELD GAMING - Could FIFA switch their intention to mobile gaming?

There is the potential to simplify their strategy and attack gaming in a more basic sense, taking inspiration from classic mobile games such as New Star Soccer and Score Hero.

With plenty of monetisation options, we wouldn't be surprised to see FIFA attack the mobile gaming landscape.

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The Metaverse

A buzzword in the gaming industry - and the world in general - right now is the metaverse.

What is the metaverse? Well, it's an ever-evolving virtual space where players can interact with a completely computer-generated environment, like The Sims, but a tad more immersive.

The metaverse could be a sphere that FIFA explores, enticing people to create their own professional football careers in a virtual world.

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THROW IT BACK - Could FIFA kick-start their own narrative-driven football series?

This idea certainly has its merits, but the metaverse represents slightly untested waters, and FIFA would be brave to put all their eggs in this particular basket.

That being said, all it takes is for one brave soul to take the plunge, and FIFA could easily become pioneers with their immersive take on a footballing career.

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Careful Considerations

With other options like story-driven games hanging in the air, FIFA now has the license to be incredibly creative with the direction of their next gaming franchise.

That being said, careful considerations will need to be made.

With EA Sports dominating the license game, FIFA's apparent determination to challenge them could lead to immediate defeat.

Plotting a timeline from this point and understanding what it is the player wants will be key to FIFA's future, otherwise it's hard to see past an EA Sports FC domination of the footballing game scene.