I’m a lapsed football fan, so I’m writing this not knowing a) where Euro 2012 is being held, b) if any of the British teams have made it to the finals, and c) if goalies are paying much attention to the ten-step rule. I have heard of Lionel Messi, though. But even as a missing link in the Mexican wave of foot-o-ball trivia, I knew that there would be an EA Euro 2012 game released this year, just like I knew the sun would be up this morning. What’s surprising is that EA Sports UEFA Euro 2012 (that’s a mad name) will be DLC for Fifa 12 game and not sold in the shops.
I can’t remember a time when shops weren’t crowded with cardboard cut-outs of footballers mid-scissor kick promoting EA’s Fifa games. And with the critical mass of Euro 2012 would amount to a wealth of free advertising for their kicky thing. The Fifa series is a consistently big seller, so what’s going on?
It’s a fairly massive thing for EA to skip an obvious retail opportunity, but they’re also seeing the power of digital over retail this year: cheaply adding the rosters and stadiums to the existing framework probably maximises the expenses over profit graph. It’s also really hard to photograph footballers in mid-air: the pulleys they use really nip at the crotch.
Maybe developing it as an expansion would make it a difficult sell on the shelves: we’re so used to yearly updates of those types of games that people would likely expect it to be a discreet product. Doing it online, I expect over Origin, gives EA the opportunity to ensure that people have the base game at least.
At least if it’s online only, they can change the ending. Imagine if they made country-specific endings to Euro 2012, where everyone’s a winner? Anyway, we all know why Fifa 12 did well: the Impact Engine.