New FIFA releases are an annual event in the video game calendar, and since 1993 each new game of the series has been extensively updated and refined. The graphics, controls and artificial intelligence have all been tweaked and modified over the years, and the latest FIFA titles are widely considered to represent the definitive football video game experience. Like all popular video game franchises, developers EA Sports were determined to ensure that their latest FIFA release was a huge, talked about event, and FIFA 13 had the biggest marketing campaign yet.
Pro Player Challenge
As the FIFA series has official licensing from football clubs, EA Sports is able to get the biggest names in football to promote the series. Many players are fans of the game, and they participate in the annual Pro Player Challenge. In the run-up to the release of FIFA 13 for the Xbox 360 and PS3, EA Sports visited several Premier League clubs and invited players to settle their differences off the pitch and in the game. Top players from Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Arsenal and Everton have participated in the event, and the latest challenge saw Manchester City team-mates go head to head. Joleon Lescott, a fan of the game, emerged as the victor this year as he beat Gareth Barry, James Milner and Joe Hart to become his club’s Pro Player Challenge champion. Lescott also won last year’s challenge, and he has said he hopes to make it a hat-trick when FIFA 14 is released. Fans can watch the Manchester City video, as well as the other clubs, on the EA Sports YouTube channel.
‘Join The Club’ campaign
Tim Cahill, Joe Hart, Lionel Messi and other top footballing personalities participated in FIFA’s ‘Join The Club’ advertising campaign. The popular TV advert created an inspired and energetic look at what a club would look like in the run-up to a big match. Of course, after the behind-the-scenes action, it is revealed that the big match involved two players sitting down to have a game of FIFA 13.
For its midnight launch, FIFA enlisted some of the Premier League’s top players to attend GAME stores up and down the country. Newcastle United’s Ryan Taylor and West Ham captain Kevin Nolan attended launch events and were on hand to sign limited edition copies of the game for eager fans. Competitions were also held at the stores, and many lucky attendees walked away with new PS3 and PlayStation Vita consoles to play FIFA 13 on.