News Article

EA Attempts to Justify Selling Last Year's FIFA as a New Game

Posted by Damien McFerran

Money for old rope

"Year on year, Wii has just dropped, and clearly we don’t make games for it anymore,” said Electronic Arts chief operating officer Peter Moore in a recent interview. Moore's words are turning out to have more truth to them than you might imagine, especially if the recent FIFA 13 on Wii is anything to go by.

Purchasers of the game have noticed a rather worrying feature - it's actually the same game as last year's edition, with very minor changes like a different title screen, new music and, er, slightly different socks.

Wired decided to probe EA regarding this shocking turn of events, and got a rather neutral reply:

In a comment emailed to Wired, an Electronic Arts spokesperson mostly dodged the question, saying that FIFA 13 has “the same great gameplay” and that EA “felt it was important to continue to offer fans the opportunity to play an authentic football experience on Wii.”

Although it's just another sports game in North America, FIFA is a massive seller elsewhere in the world. Across all formats, FIFA 13 has shifted an amazing 4.5 million copies in just 5 days, inspiring EA to brand it the biggest launch in the history of sports games.

Below is the shocking evidence - FIFA 12 screens compared to FIFA 13 screens, as grabbed by Nintendo Gamer:

[via wired.com, nintendo-gamer.net]

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User Comments (64)

C-Olimar

#2

C-Olimar said:

Well, people will still buy it. EA make a bigger profit by not putting any effort at all into the Wii version, and after all, that's all that matters, right?

Xilef

#3

Xilef said:

So they want to give Fifa players an oppertunity to still play the games on the Wii... By selling them the same game?

Mollutje

#5

Mollutje said:

God dammit I hate EA.. I'm not even remotely interested in their games, but as a company in general they just make me sick.

Marios-love-child

#9

Marios-love-child said:

The only reason I can see anyone buying this is if they have no plans to buy a Wii U anytime soon.

I would normally get it for the PS3 but I'm waiting for the Wii U version (which is being billed as the best version across all formats)

Haywired

#10

Haywired said:

Not that I'm defending it, but considering that even during the Wii's heyday, FIFA games sold far more on 360 and PS3 than on Wii, then I would imagine that recent sales would be so pitiful as to not really bother.

PS. I wonder if any non-Brits get the photo?

RupeeClock

#11

RupeeClock said:

I can see why they would do this, they need some more funds, they're gonna have a multi-platform release for the Wii even though they're now shifting focus to the Wii U.

But that doesn't excuse exploitation of the consumer, at all. Arguably you can shift just as much blame onto Nintendo for actually allowing them to publish such a title on their system.

Drewroxsox

#12

Drewroxsox said:

Sorry to tell you guys, but the Wii is on life support, and is almost dead, so I can see why they wouldn't want to develop a new game for it. The Wii version probably doesn't make as much money as the games on other platforms anyway. If you love FIFA games, buy them on the WiiU or some other console besides the Wii.

BenAV

#13

BenAV said:

Not wanting to publish games on the system is fair enough... but not publishing games doesn't mean publishing the same game again. :P
They should either develop a new game for the system or not publish one at all.

Xilef

#15

Xilef said:

@Andrewroxsox We know the Wii is on its way out and we understand if a developer doens't want to make a game for it now. But that doesn't mean you can simply re-skin an old game and release it again.

sillygostly

#17

sillygostly said:

@Jumbif Can't really fault Nintendo on this one. They review so many games that they wouldn't have noticed the shameful similarities between Fifa 12 and 13. It's not their responsibility, really. If there are customers stupid enough to fork over top dollar for what is basically the same game year in and year out then they deserve to be $40-$60 poorer.

sillygostly

#19

sillygostly said:

After all these years, I finally bought a Fifa game this year (Fifa 12 for the 3DS) and I was p'ed off that the Turkish teams were excluded (I'm of Turkish descent, after all), and the 3D effect was just deplorable. The game didn't appear to be in 3D at all. It just looked as though EA effed around with the second display and hoped for the best as it looked as if some objects were popping out when they should have appeared to be caved in. Plus, there were many occasions where the two displays were completely identical aside from the camera being situated a few frames to the left in one display and a few frames to the right in the other without any adjustment to the camera angle in the second display to give the game a sense of depth.

Kirk

#22

Kirk said:

That is not cool EA.

There's probably a basis for a lawsuit in there somewhere.

Hyperstar96

#23

Hyperstar96 said:

There is no justification; EA has performed yet another unforgivable act of greed and laziness.

ajcismo

#24

ajcismo said:

Reason numero uno why these annual sports game releases should be digital downloads with roster updates happening in real time.

SuperKMx

#25

SuperKMx said:

The saddest thing about this is when parents buy the game for their kids. Was in my local supermarket a few days ago, and a young lad was clutching his copy of FIFA 13 for the Wii, clearly massively excited at playing it, getting more and more agitated as his mum took ages over her shopping. She's telling him: "it's just a game...calm down..." - but he obviously wasn't going to.

I can't even imagine how heartbroken he was when he booted it up.

Samholy

#26

Samholy said:

getting a fifa game on wii is simply ridiculous.
better buy a ps2 for fifa games, unless you have a ps3/xbox 360 already.

or better yet. sell the wii, get a ps3. or a wiiU. but for fifa, id'go for ps3.

thanos316

#27

thanos316 said:

man 3 years in a row screwed by EA. fifa hasn't been the same on the wii as on other consoles. ea shoving crap onto the wii is a bunch of b.s. them lazy barstewards over there at EA won't be seeing any of my money anytime soon. even madden this year kinda sucked with no online play. i hope everyone who picked up fifa 13 for the wii sends that crap back. or they should get a refund of some sort..

thanos316

#28

thanos316 said:

if u want a good soccer game on the wii stick with pro evolution soccer. ea can keep their crap soccer game to themselves

Burny

#34

Burny said:

@The_Other_M
Nope. That's nothing but cold calculation by EA. Vanity or desperation has nothing to do with it.

Sales on the Wii have most likely decreased notably and they don't want to invest in the development of a completely new game for a platform that's on its way out. On the other hand, they see still some sales potential from uninformed customers (see @KenB anecdote).
How do they get a game on the shelves for these customers without having to invest in a new development? Give the old game a new lick of paint here and there and sell it again.

It's very low of course, but the people at EA responsible for this are bound to know exactly what they're doing here.

KodaSmooss

#37

KodaSmooss said:

A French website has reviewed copies of the Wii, PSVita, 3DS and PS2 FIFA games and it seems like they are all a simple re-skin of the previous entry for all of these consoles... Pretty sad...

The_Fox

#40

The_Fox said:

Like I've said earlier you almost have to admire the balls it takes to do something like that. I guess EA was tired of Activision being considered the greediest publisher and decided to really ramp up their efforts.

TrueWiiMaster

#42

TrueWiiMaster said:

EA's such garbage. I'm not really interested in FIFA (or any sports games for that matter) but this is just wrong.

I wonder if that would be there answer for the Mass Effect Trilogy issue too (in case anyone didn't hear, they're making a Trilogy for $60, and releasing it on every platform but Wii U, while the Wii U is only getting ME3, also for $60). I could totally see them saying "We felt it was important to continue to offer fans the opportunity to play an authentic Mass Effect experience on Wii U.” Such garbage.

eviLaTtenDant

#43

eviLaTtenDant said:

As if i needed another reason not to buy these games. You're really spoiling us, EA.
I'd accept a Wii U version of Mass Effect Trilogy as an apology though.

cyrus_zuo

#44

cyrus_zuo said:

Interestingly, I think all Wii & WiiU games from EA are last year's games?

Madden & FIFA on Wii U, as EA stated, are built on the X360/PS3 version from last year, with new stuff added for the Wii U, but this year's new stuff for X360/PS3 is NOT in the WiiU version.

So on both Wii & WiiU, you are getting last year's version of Madden & FIFA.

More proof that EA knows how to treat Nintendo fans right.
...I'm sure EA will feign shock and blame Nintendo fans when their games don't sell well on the WiiU this year.
I'm really tired of EA treating Nintendo fans like 2nd class citizens!

LittleKing

#45

LittleKing said:

"We want people to experience the same great Fifa experience they know and love. That's why we're repackaging an old game as a new one, and selling it as a brand new addition to the series at full price."

Cause, you know, no one could've bought the old version if that's what they wanted.

RaylaxStaff

#46

Raylax said:

I'm totally cool with this. Actually, it's hilarious. EA ballsiness on a magnificent scale.

SwimyGreen

#48

SwimyGreen said:

Just another reason to hate EA... greedy barstewards.

If only they didn't own Need For Speed and BioWare, then I would NEVER have to buy anything from them again. :P

FonistofCruxis

#49

FonistofCruxis said:

This is just wrong and its unfair to customers. There could be a lot of uninformed customers getting ripped off by this like what like the customers @KenB mentioned. EA don't normally make games that interest me but there is one game of theirs I plan to get which is Dead space: Extraction. I'll make sure to buy that used along with any other EA games that may interest me in the future.

Sausimo

#52

Sausimo said:

Even the box art player seems to be laughing at those who purchased it, it would be even more offensive / awesome if EA did this intentionally.
Untitled

Mk_II

#53

Mk_II said:

that cover is just awful and could rank in the Top Ten list of worst photoshop jobs ever.

WaxxyOne

#54

WaxxyOne said:

Hold on, Electronic Arts is releasing last year's sports game with zero new features and branding it as a new game???!! No way!!!!

Seriously, how is this news? It's EA Sports' standard business model.

ouroborous

#55

ouroborous said:

seriously, it's a sports game = ITS ALWAYS THE SAME GAME, EVERY TIME, duh. how much can you really change it up and what's the difference. different players? big whoop. there's a new madden every single year and who cares? who is even buying that crap?

sinalefa

#56

sinalefa said:

I hope Activision does not feel like beating EA at that game.

Let's not forget that these games are still licensed games, so they are an obvious cash grab.

LittleKing

#57

LittleKing said:

@WaxxyOne It's news because it is literally the same game. Yes, we know the sports games all look alike to us, but they do usually have SOME differences.

andrea987

#61

andrea987 said:

"..clearly we don’t make games for it anymore". Clearly they shouldn't be selling them, then...
Pathetic, just pathetic.

Aspergicus

#62

Aspergicus said:

I predict the longer this scandal grows, the more likely the chance that EA will attempt to leverage LGBT people to their advantage to somehow justify this, or to silence detractors.

In the past, EA has already been absolutely shameless in exploiting them as a direct reaction to past controversies.

On another note, unconfirmed rumors about EA's Bioware suggest that Dragon Age 3 is going to be primarily built from recycled assets from the previous two games, not quite a direct clone like FIFA 13, but more like a remix of past games sold as new.

Henmii

#64

Henmii said:

Another low on the Wii! How they dare!

It's also nice for EA's image, especially since the Wii u is around the corner! And who said EA would back the Wii u big time? This very site!!

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