It’s been a good few weeks for EA SPORTS—from record breaking launches of both Madden NFL 13 and NHL 13, and FIFA Soccer 13 is coming next week already hitting record number of demos. And today, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on a recent ESPN study that found that soccer is the nation’s second-favorite sport behind professional football among ages 18 to 24, surpassing basketball, baseball and college football and cited EA’s FIFA franchise as driving the transformation.
As quoted in the story, the study’s author Rich Luker said that, “for the longest time, I believed video games and fandom of sports were not connected” but that EA’s FIFA has done, “more to advance the popularity of soccer than I have seen with any other sport.”
There’s no denying the popularity of the game with an average of 5 million games played online every day. Our own Matt Bilbey, General Manager of Soccer at EA SPORTS has overseen its development for 18 years and notes that “young Americans are now developing emotional connections to teams like Real Madrid, F.C. Barcelona, and Manchester United (MANU) through our game.”
The Bloomberg Businessweek story will hit newsstands on September 24, and you can see the story online here.
What do you think—has playing the FIFA video game gotten you more interested in soccer?