Football has been bringing people together for years, but during a global pandemic, in which real life games have been halted or cancelled altogether, many have turned to get their kicks from a videogame – something Electronic Arts’ recent FY 2022 Q3 earnings call has highlighted more than ever.
FIFA 21, which was released in the height of the pandemic, was the first FIFA game to launch with online co-op features in Ultimate Team, allowing you and a friend to tackle the likes of Squad Battles and Division Rivals as a team. This feature was so successful that it was carried over to FIFA 22, and, according to EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson, that helped make the game the highest selling title in the western world in 2021.
As you can imagine, that means a whole load of virtual football matches have been played over the last year across both games, and the data wizards over at EA have been busy analysing those matches. According to the report slides, players have scored more than 22.3 billion goals across both games in a single year – that’s what you call liquid football.
To put that into context, in the entire history of the Premier League – that’s from 1992 onwards – only 11,480 goals have been scored. In other words, you have been nearly two million times more proactive than the strikers currently earning millions.
There’s no breakdown of where these goals were scored and in what mode, but it’s a huge number that was achieved during an impressive year for EA on the whole. Yes, Battlefield 2042 is considered as a failed launch title – and one that the company is committed to fixing – but it’s clear FIFA is doing numbers for the company, alongside the likes of Apex Legends.
In fact, in a prepared statement made to the investors on the call, CFO Blake Jorgenson says unit sales of FIFA 22 are “up double-digits” over last year, making it “the strongest FIFA launch ever measured from launch.”
It’s a game that the company has identified as a driving factor heading into the next quarter and given how many goals we’ve been firing into the net so far, that’s hardly a surprise.