Peter Moore, president of the EA Sports label, has told GamesIndustry.biz that he believes his company's games have been responsible for turning what was previously a largely invisible organisation into the globally-recognised brand it is today.
Talking at E3 Moore was looking back at how that brand perception has changed over the years: "I'll talk about FIFA, and I was in Zurich a couple of weeks ago," he said.
"They understand what we've done to build the FIFA brand - it's something that I noticed when I came into the industry. As a huge soccer fan, going back almost since I was born, the FIFA brand was never used.
"Then when EA Sports started building the brand, it's only then that FIFA made it the 'FIFA World Cup'. So what we've done is to help popularise FIFA, the world's biggest sports organisation - on a par with the IOC I guess - it's actually the videogame that's built that brand."
Moore's point underlines the power of videogames in today's society, and echoes comments made at last year's Games Convention Asia by Steve Schnur, worldwide executive for music and music marketing at EA, who estimated that a music track featured on a Need For Speed title would be heard 1 billion times.
The EA Sports boss also went on to talk about the difficulty of adding new features to annually iterated titles, and the arduous approval process required for realistic kits and equipment in games like FIFA.
"You've got to do something every year, and not just one thing, but as technology makes itself available and the teams now have time…because we march every twelve months," he said. "Nobody else in this industry does what EA Sports does, which is to deliver those franchises every twelve months. The NFL season doesn't wait for Madden to ship - it goes, and we have to be there.
"We need to be able to add things every year - it needs to be a game that people feel they need to buy every year, but at the same time it's still football, it's still basketball - they're not changing the rules for us. We're bound by the game in which we're developing for - it's not an RPG, it's not an MMO, it's not an action-adventure. We're not building character, plots or storylines...
"We honour the game, we don't change the rules, and people don't understand the approval levels we have to go through - the FIFA team is sweating it now because of the new kits, and we put something like 700 teams in there, and Nike and Adidas have given us the new kits because the teams have started playing…
"Imagine the art - if Liverpool isn't wearing the new Adidas kit, the community would go berserk. Adidas and Nike are particularly good at giving us the digital assets, but we've got to do all that, and do it every year. Every now and again we miss a kit, and you hear about it on the boards, but the teams I think do magnificent work," he added.
The first part of the GamesIndustry.biz interview with Peter Moore, in which he appraises his first nine months on the job and explains the importance of appealing to all kinds of gamers, is available now.