Real Opinions: FIFA’s back catalogue is a goldmine for EA

With so much love for retro FIFA games, why are EA not serving up their iconic games to fans?

Rob Leane by Rob Leane
real opinions classic fifa games

The FIFA franchise is a massive success, especially from a financial standpoint, but could EA be doing more with its huge back-catalogue of classic FIFA games? Absolutely!

The churn that sees a fresh FIFA game released every year means that a lot of players rush to the new one, annually, whilst throwing out their old one or bringing it to CEX for a couple of quid.

It’s a cycle that will continue with FIFA 21.

Everyone loves seeing classic football clips shared by trendy sports outlets like Mundial, though, which suggests there could be a huge market for classic FIFA games if they’re reshared with a new lick of paint.

Let’s have a think about what EA could do with the old FIFA data, then, which must be gathering virtual dust on the company’s servers…

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EA could make a free ‘FIFA Classic’ game

Imagine if there was a game called FIFA Classic which allowed players to jump back into sporting history and play with their favourite footballers from yesteryear.

fifa 14 gameplay
HELLO OLD FRIEND: Who doesn’t want to play FIFA 14 again!?

Even just allowing players to pick a year from FIFA history and jump into an online Exhibition Match with their friends using classic players would be amazing.

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Imagine if that game was free, like Fortnite or Call Of Duty: Warzone… people would go mad for it! And EA could make loads of money by selling advertising space in a game like that and allowing players to pay for extra kits and perks.

EA could go even further!

What if players could pick their favourite XI from their team’s entire roster since FIFA began, and use them in online matches against their friends?

That could make for some epic Exhibition matches: for example, if you were a Spurs fan, you could pit your all-time favourite Tottenham Hotspur squad against your mate’s choices!

HARRY KANE fifa
DREAM TEAM: Kane, Bale, & Van Der Vaart… If only

Or what if players could start a Career Mode in the era of FIFA 2000 and play through the modern-day, with real-life players coming up through their youth systems?

We’ve seen similar ideas be hugely popular with Football Manager modders, and EA is in a position to make an official way for fans to play through their club’s history.

What is stopping this from happening?

If a journalist sat at home in his pyjamas can come up with this concept, you’ve got to assume that similar ideas have been dreamed up at EA a million times over. So why doesn’t a game like this exist?

Perhaps there are rights issues, meaning that EA cannot reuse classic kits and players for anything new. But has the company tried to renegotiate with the relevant rights holders?

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Right now, with football shut down due to Coronavirus, it is a great time to try and make those deals with clubs and leagues around the globe. After all, who wouldn’t want an extra revenue stream right now?

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Will it ever happen?

It wouldn’t be totally unheard of for EA to look back into FIFA history – classic players show up all the time in Ultimate Team, and there’s already a franchise called FIFA Online that allows players in a lot of Asian territories to play each other online using teams full of classic footballers.

There must be a reason why FIFA Online hasn’t been released in the UK, and perhaps it does come to rights. And maybe there are technical issues which would make a full collection of classic FIFA games hard to compile.

But still, we can dream! And until FIFA Classic becomes a reality, I’ll be sat here daydreaming about which players would be in my all-time Spurs team…

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Rob Leane

Rob Leane is the Editor In Chief of StealthOptional.com, a gaming tech website, which is part of The Gfinity Network alongside RealSport101.com. His first console was a Sega Mega Drive and his favourite game ever is Knights Of The Old Republic.