Sports gaming firm 2K Sports has reportedly expressed an interest in purchasing the FIFA gaming licence from EA Sports.
The relationship between FIFA and EA Sports has turned sour, sparked by the football’s governing body’s plans to charge $1 billion (£744,000) for the video game for the next four years.
This is nearly double the yearly rate EA Sports currently pay for the FIFA moniker in its titles.
A split became more likely when EA Sports trademarked the name of "EA Sports FC", and FIFA did not rule out the possibility of reaching out to rival game publishers for new deals.
According to The Metro, Strauss Zelnick, chairman and chief executive of 2K parent company Take-Two, was suspiciously non-committal about a purchase of the FIFA gaming licence.
"That’s a big step forward for us… we haven’t been in that sport before," he said when questioned on the reports by investors during an earnings call. "And erm, I think I’ll leave it at that today."
2K Sports already have a number of big-hitting titles in the gaming market, including NBA 2K series, PGA Tour 2K, and WWE 2K. They have also been more proactive than EA Sports in adding women’s sport to their titles.
With this in mind, GiveMeSport Women takes a look at what a 2K Sports purchase of the FIFA gaming licence could mean for women’s football.
2K Sports supporting women’s sport
2K Sports is not perfect when it comes to providing female representation in its titles, but it has proven to be better than EA Sports.
WNBA players and teams made their debut on NBA 2K20, with the league’s 12 teams playable in one-off competition and the MyLeague mode.
This year’s game saw the introduction of the W, sports video gaming’s first single-player career mode for a women’s team sport, while NBA 2K22 features WNBA legend Candace Parker as a cover star.
Parker, a two-time WNBA champion, became the league’s first player to be on the cover of the popular video game.
Conversely, women’s football fans have grown frustrated with the lack of opportunity to play as female stars on FIFA.
Women’s international teams were included on FIFA 2020 and 2021, a reaction to the obvious popularity of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Gamers can now play as women in FIFA 22’s Pro Clubs mode as well.
Alex Scott also became the first English-speaking female broadcaster on FIFA 2022, a major step forward for female representation on the game.
But, women’s domestic leagues are still absent from FIFA. Users are still unable to play as teams in the Women’s Super League or National Women’s Super League, for example, whether in the kick-off, manager or player career modes.
Women’s football fans have been calling out for the increased female representation on FIFA for some time now, and if EA Sports give up the licence, 2K Sports could make this a reality. Their track record certainly suggests this would be the case.
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