Roma will not be in the final edition of the FIFA video game

The latest edition of EA Sports’ giant video game, FIFA, will be released this fall and sadly AS Roma won’t be in it.

EA Sports is parting ways with football’s governing body after nearly three decades of partnership. They joined in 1993 to produce the influential FIFA International Soccer, which became the blueprint for all football matches that followed. The game helped the industry move away from the domain of youngsters in their bedrooms and into the mainstream, with top stars endorsing products on various consoles. Unfortunately, AS Roma will not feature in this historic final edition due to licensing issues.

Football video games are big business, and while FIFA has dominated the market, many others have thrived without official licenses. In the beginning, Sensible Soccer, described by Joe as the most iconic football game ever created, used false names for players to circumvent licensing issues, while other more modern games did not try to violate licensing agreements. For example, Top Eleven Football Manager and Soccer Stars are two games that have been hugely successful on iOS without the need for a license. Other games don’t have any basic match action and therefore don’t need licenses; the Gala Spins Online Slot 11 Champions uses football as its premise, but in a different kind of game. Other mobile games have official licenses, such as Football Manager Mobile, putting you in the shoes of Jose Mourinho.

However, the one game that has consistently won the licensing battle is FIFA. It used its power throughout the 2000s to outsell Pro Evolution Soccer, arguably a better game but lost without official teams. AS Roma fans who chose PES 2 played as Abruzzo, while in the original PES they were just Roma. This meant that fans often turned to FIFA just to be their favorite team, unaware that PES was the best game.

The circle is now complete for a handful of Italian clubs. The final FIFA version, due to be released in September, will not feature AS Roma; instead it will be Roma FC, although the players remain licensed. That’s been the case since FIFA 21, but this season Roma aren’t the only Italian club not to feature; Atalanta, Lazio and Napoli are out of the game, replaced by Bergamo Calcio (Atalanta) and Lazio (Lazio), while Napoli’s new name has yet to be revealed. Italian football fans will be able to place themselves as Juventus again after a few years of being forced to compete against Piemonte Calcio.

The omission is due to Roma’s long-term deal with Konami, creator of the online-only eFootball title. It was the spiritual successor to PES, but a horrific launch last year left it with some catching up to do. One weapon in his arsenal is the official license with Roma, although they will certainly have to work very hard if they are to take advantage of that in a tough market.

FIFA has been synonymous with football games for thirty years, but FIFA 23 will be the last time players will be their favorite teams under the famous brand. Unfortunately for AS Roma fans, FIFA 20 was the last chance and its Ultimate Team servers are no longer populated with players.

Let’s hope eFootball bounces back in 2022, huh Roma fans?

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