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EA: Sports games "leading the industry" online

Andrew Wilson believes FIFA engages players more than first-person shooters

EA Sports' executive vice president Andrew Wilson believes that the label's games are leading the industry in persistent online experiences.

In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Wilson explained that an initiative like EA Sports Football Club, which launched with FIFA 12, puts the franchise ahead of the competition in terms of player engagement.

A key feature of Football Club is its use of real football matches as the basis for impromptu challenges that can then be re-enacted by players affiliated with the participating clubs. The results then feed back into an aggregated league table.

"The game you buy today is going to be very different to the game you buy six months from now, based on what's happened in the real world, based on the challenges we provide, based on who you play with, what your club is," Wilson said.

Most of us haven't been in Afghanistan with an M16. We want to relate to that, but for me, personally, the relationship to sports is much, much stronger

Andrew Wilson, EA Sports

"That has certainly added to the feeling that sports games are really innovating, and that's really what drives year-round purchases. Right now, I think sports is a leader in the industry in terms of delivering a live service that actually changes day-to-day."

Although Football Club has only just launched, Wilson believes the experience supersedes other online games due to the intense relationships sports fans already have with their teams.

"The relationship they have with their club, and the relationship they share with other fans of that club, are some of the strongest relationships in their lives... To re-enact that reality through interactive entertainment drives a level of engagement that most other genres can't deliver."

Wilson isn't bullish on what the future could hold for Football Club, suggesting that it could surpass the first-person shooters that currently dominate online multiplayer.

"Most of us haven't been in Afghanistan with an M16. We want to relate to that, but for me, personally, the relationship to sports is much, much stronger."

"First-person shooters are great games, they're great escapes, but the longevity behind the relationship with your team and other fans is exponentially stronger."

For the full interview with Wilson, click here .

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Matthew Handrahan

Editor-in-Chief

Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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