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Microsoft and FIFA: Odd?

Microsoft have just announced that they are releasing the One in Europe with FIFA 14 free. It is fantastic yet odd move. Why has Microsoft gone for a sports game when sports games are a hard sell for a new system. I will explain

FIFA is a big franchise in Europe (I would now I live in the UK) and FIFA always sell well despite a lot of the time FIFA is a rehash of an old game. Everyone loves to get their mates together and play against each other. They also like acting out their childhood dream of playing and managing their favourite team. It seems, on the surface, that the FIFA addition was a good move for the One. But deeper down it doesn't make that big of a difference.

The big important factor is the One's release date. The effect FIFA will have for the One really depends on Microsoft releasing this bundle when FIFA ships in late September. At the moment signs are pointing to a November release date with no clue how far into November it is. With news that the One will not release, until 2014, in some key European markets(1) and the fact Microsoft didn't even announce a release date at their Gamescom conference(2) suggests a mid to late November release date.

Another important factor is what really sells FIFA. The big sell for these games is the fact you can play with friends. It is so apart of FIFA that without it FIFA just wouldn't sell. Obviously, FIFA 14 has this but there is another part to consider; controllers are not cheap which is even more important when the One isn't exactly cheap right now. The majority of FIFA owners already have a 360 or PS3 which they can play with friends and are more than likely have two controllers already (if they bought FIFA before). Next generation version are always going to suffer for this reason. A controller is usually £50 ish but on Amazon they are priced at £89(3) which I assume will decrease near launch. This added cost makes this, and all next generation versions, so expensive it isn't worth the price. FIFA 14 will launch on current systems and I can, pretty much, guarantee a lot will go for that version as they can play it with their mates at a lower cost.

The third point is the "while stocks last bit" (4) in the tweet. That wording could be taken in multiple ways but the way I look at it is they have a limited amount of stock available for this bundle. I may be wrong but considering Microsoft pre-orders are already starting to sell out (5); how many units are being made available for this bundle to have a big impact. Combine that with a potential late November launch, they are not going to have the time to restock before the big Christmas push

It is fantastic Microsoft did this but they would have had a better chance with COD or a non sports game. Sports games are based around the idea you play with your friends. Sure the Xbox brand comes with the Ultimate Team Legends as an exclusive (6) but is that enough considering this is on the 360 as well. Microsoft console isn't cheap if you add the (necessary extra controller) on top of the price to properly play FIFA 14.


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BillytheBarbarian1704d ago

Fifa is bigger than Madden. It makes perfect sense. It's the only way they can compete to get some of the UK market.

Kayant1704d ago

And the fact that UTL is exclusive (Don't know if timed) to the Xbox platform.

BlueBlood171704d ago

It's a bonus little novel mode, nothing game changing (lol)

kingdip901704d ago

Xbox and EA seem to have a very special relationship, especially right now. I know that when I need saving I turn to my best friend. Heck they have swapped so mant staff members in the past I'm sure they all have each other on speed dial

_FantasmA_1704d ago

They both have a common interest: World domination by way of monopoly so that they can rape wallets while updating the numbers on their yearly games. They want to do the least amount of work and maximize profit so they can kill gaming and turn into a business. M$ and EA are a pair of testicles and money is the **** they hang from.

HammadTheBeast1704d ago

It's free for XbO pre-orders only.

tokugawa1704d ago

full damage control

and how is that crow tasting after your predictions and attempted downplaying yesterday??? rofl.

fanboys really are annoying and stupid

XboxFun1704d ago

Uh oh, Hammad did you incorrectly predict the future?

I don't think I'll be able to trust you with your predictions anymore.

What I love is all the agrees Hammad and Pimp got.

pacostacos1704d ago (Edited 1704d ago )

im suprised dude still has 5 bubs

HammadTheBeast1704d ago

I'm sorry, I was taught by Jedi Patcher.

MacDonagh1704d ago


People in Europe love Fifa. I really didn't care much for Fifa 13 but I did enjoy playing with my online pro. Would it be enough for me to go out and purchase a Xbox One? I dunno. It's something to chew over I guess.

thorstein1704d ago

PS4 plus FIFA (and Driveclub) = 399 Euros or 349 pounds. Plus 59 for FIFA = 450 Euros or 400 pounds.

X1 plus FIFA = 499.99 or 429 pounds.

How is 499.99 Euros genius when you can get a console and game for 50 Euros less? Or in the UK for 30 pounds less?

MacDonagh1703d ago

Because the average gamer/fifa/COD player don't care about price. A lot of FIFA players I met have active clubs that they would like to carry over to the next Xbox iteration which is were all their friends are.

Microsoft know that Fifa draws a lot of people in. EA also know that the microtransactions that take place in their game due to ULtimate Team and buying card packs will easily refund any loss they would take from selling it separately.

It's a genius move. Evilly genius.

Odin6661702d ago

It's not genius if the price is still isn't right and the fact that it is only available for 'TIER 1' EU countries not to mention that it is only available to to Tier 1 European countries who preordered Xbone makes it even a PR disaster.

Ashlen1703d ago (Edited 1703d ago )

It's not that odd given Microsfts track record of only changing to get more pre-orders.

You only have to do a brief check of EU Amazon pre-orders to see that as bad as MS is doing vs Sony in America they are literally doing 2 to 8 times less pre-orders comparatively in almost all European nations.

As little as I can understand why an American would buy a Xbox there is even less reason for a European as half the Xbox features won't even work for them. Not to mention that it's not even going to be available to half of Europe so chances are the player base will be almost nil for match making.

It all doesn't really matter though PS4 is pretty much a done deal in Europe.

iamnsuperman1703d ago (Edited 1703d ago )

I get the inclusion of a free game. That is not what I am saying. It is the FIFA that is confusing. Like the reasons I mentioned above FIFA is an odd choice considering sports games are going to be a hard sell for any new console owner if they (which they most likely will have) have the previous generation consoles and FIFA in Europe is the thing you don't usually wait for. It is an odd bundle to make people pre-order an Xbox One

I feel no-one in this comment section or any comment section is thinking about the factors I just mentioned. I think they would have had a better chance with a non sports related game. It may be free but to play FIFA properly you are going to need more than one controller as that is the core FIFA experience (local multiplayer) as well as thinking about the release date issue.

Ashlen1703d ago

I am not clicking disagree.

But I disagree that a shooter would have been a better choice. FIFA is way more popular (except for COD and that's not EA) and a more social game than shooters in Europe.

And even though neither of them will ever admit it the scrapped DRM can almost guaranteed be attributed to a makeshift alliance between the two.

And on a deeper level I think it is to some extent EA who is pushing this. It's like the counter weight for EA/Microsft vs Ubisoft/Sony.

I haven't really seen anyone talk much about it but one of the big things I saw happen yesterday was the Ubisoft Sony Pictures partnership to start making movies.

Sony is making a Gran Turismo movie and Ubisoft is making an Assassins Creed movie and they also talked about a Watch Dogs movie. The two of them are making huge steps into the larger entertainment arena together. It's a pretty big deal for them.

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