How FIFA2K Can Beat EAFC

Football in Zambia is a universal language, it is our national sport. Boys and girls alike are all exposed or are forced to play a variant of the game growing up. Watching our national teams play in major tournaments feels like a national duty at times, especially when they lose, which is more often than not. It is no surprise then that the video game simulation equivalent of the sport is something so ubiquitous that even people who don’t consider themselves gamers play it.


Electronic Art’s franchise football simulation FIFA, now EA FC, but we will get to that later is without a doubt the most popular video game in Zambia. Its popularity exploded in the PlayStation 2 era in the mid 2000’s when the console became somewhat affordable and doubled as a DVD player which meant it was an easier purchase to justify to the parents.

During this time football simulation games were in their heyday with not only EA’s FIFA but Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer, which before 2007 was eclipsing FIFA’s sim game in sales. After the release of FIFA 07, Electronic Arts began to take a significant lead in sales and production values, surpassing the once insurmountable PES.

Pro Evolution Soccer introduced many systems and modes that EA copied and redefined in their own right. PES was much more down to earth and focused on simulation rather than outright arcade fun. The license agreements and production values also made it much easier for fans to immerse themselves in the matchday experience.

The final blow to Konami however was FIFA Ultimate Team, which is a card based random number generator based game mode which requires the player to buy player card packs and hope that they secure a player they need in said pack. The mode is so popular that it was reported to make $1.6 Billion in 2016. An amount so large it eclipses the revenue made from digital and physical copies of the games alone.

Ultimate Team was not only genre defining but industry shaking. The success of the game mode forced multiple publishers, including Konami to attempt to have a microtransaction cash cow of their own within their library of games. For better or worse, FIFA Ultimate Team can be pointed to as the catalyst for the boom in Live Service Microtransaction focused games on consoles.


In 2021 Electronic Arts and FIFA (the football governing body) failed to come to an agreement on the renewal of licensing fees. It was reported that FIFA was requesting double the sum that was initially agreed upon and EA decided to walk. This was a huge gamble on EA’s part as the FIFA brand name and games were worth more than $20 Billion.

EA and FIFA parted ways after this breakdown, which meant that EA had to rebrand their football simulation games to the millions of fans who have by instinct always clicked buy on FIFA products annually. They successfully rebranded to EA FC with Erling Haaland as their cover star. FIFA meanwhile could not manage to find a developer to make a football simulation game and to take on the name of FIFA, until now… its rumoured.

An unverified claim by retail store MohPlay on Twitter (X) stated that FIFA had agreed to a deal with TAKE TWO’s 2K games studios known for the NBA2K basketball games to produce the next iteration of FIFA, dubbed “FIFA 2K25.” The claim was largely ignored by most fans until reputable publications started to report on it.

This is exciting news for me personally because as a fan of football simulations and a fan of the Pro Evolution Soccer days of yore, EAFC has needed some competition and an alternative to keep them on their toes and to drive innovation. Competing with a trusted brand that killed its competition is not going to be an easy task though and I compiled a short list of features and scenarios that can help FIFA2K either be on par or surpass its competition.


2K has to ensure that its product does not feel like a cheap copy cat or bargain bin version of its competitor, the “we have FIFA at home” version of the game if you will. Luckily, 2K is known for its lavish productions and attention to detail. NBA 2K games are known to have halftime cutscenes and pre and post game versions of the popular Inside the NBA program featuring Kenny “the Jet” Smith, Shaq et al. If 2K are able to replicate something akin to a “Match of the Day” segments for their game then that would put them a step ahead of EAFC.


One of the biggest barriers to entry for PES for FIFA gamers in the past was the lack of licensed team names and jerseys. It is imperative that 2K gets all the licenses necessary in order to compete with EAFC.


FIFA2K has to set itself apart and appeal to an audience that EAFC has lost over the years and that audience includes players like myself who have spent thousands of hours in “Master League” and “Be A Pro” game modes.

The 2K games are known for having a detailed and robust single-player experience, an equivalent to a FIFA 2K MyPlayer mode complete with its signature cutscenes and celebrity cameo appearances would be the main way that 2K can differentiate itself and play a winning hand. Players and critics alike have been forced to look for a single player experience in modded games and intense tactical simulation games like Football Manager. Having FIFA2K be a one stop shop as THE ultimate single player experience for highly polished football simulation would be their ace in the hole.


This one might be a bit controversial and a bit of a risk for the new publisher but would work very well for the developers and the players wallets. I propose that FIFA 2K should have a once off purchase fee of $70 and subsequent entries in the upcoming years simply get an expansion update up until a significant engine change or leap in technology.

If the expansions would cost $30 or less, it would mean less annual revenue compared to the competition. However, it would also mean a high retention of players who are locked in and playing, getting updates daily or weekly. In order to offset this loss iit means that 2K will need their own version of Ultimate Team, which to be honest is a given inclusion. That said, I am willing to deal with that as long as we know we can simply upgrade to the latest package for a smaller fee and a small roster/jersey update.


Football in Africa and South America is equivalent to a religion, it’s baked into our culture, our lifestyle, it’s a part of our lives forever and so are the video games. The lack of local servers for most AAA online games in these regions is extremely frustrating and if 2K are keen on beating the competition, then focussing their efforts on giving Africa and South America as pristine an experience as our European gamers do then that would put them above the edge.


The main reason Pro Evolution Soccer was a genre leader in the 90’s and 2000’s was because it focussed on the gameplay first. 2K based off of the WWE and NBA games is known to have in depth simulation gameplay that is both fun and complex.


I am quite excited for a brand new competitor to enter the football simulation space. I hope that it means great development for us as football fans and video game players. Football is changing constantly and it would be great if the games evolved just as much as the real life counterpart is as well.

Dennis "TheKidd" Banda

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