EA is banking on female athletes and new voices for its latest FIFA game

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EA relies on female athletes and new voices for its latest FIFA game

It will be possible to play with female soccer teams in the game “FIFA 2023”.

On the eve of being renamed EA Sports FC for the 2024 edition, the famous FIFA soccer simulation video game series releases its 2023 version on Friday, marked by the addition of teams women and the arrival of commentators Omar Da Fonseca and Benjamin Da Silva.

Undisputed leader of the genre, FIFA has been developed by the Vancouver subsidiary of the American publisher Electronic Arts (EA) since 1993. It stands out in particular for its licenses allowing it to use the real names of players, as well as than teams, among others.

The series is a booming success and has sold more than 325 million copies, according to figures published by EA in the start of 2021, making it the best-selling sports simulation in history.

But Electronic Arts and the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) announced last May that they had ended their partnership. Several media had reported that FIFA had requested that the envelope allocated by EA for the use of its name be increased from 150 to 250 million US dollars (from 205 to 342 million Canadian dollars).

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Already dissatisfied with the partnership before this new request, the heads of EA have decided to give up and change the name of the game for the next version scheduled for 2024.< /p>

Despite this change, EA has maintained its agreements with all other leagues and federations, which allows it to offer more than 19,000 athletes to soccer fans.

Symbol from the rise of women's soccer, the women's teams involved in the English and French championships are appearing in the game.

For the first time, a player is also highlighted on the box: the Australian Chelsea Sam Kerr, present alongside the star of Paris Saint-Germain FC Kylian Mbappé.

The increased visibility that a global brand like EA Sports will bring to our league, our teams and our players cannot be underestimated, said FA Commercial Director Navin Singh.

To replace journalist Hervé Mathoux, the historic French voice of the game, EA has bet on Omar Da Fonseca and Benjamin Da Silva, a duo of commentators known to the general public for their lyrical flights on Spanish soccer and certain expressions that have become cults.

Demanded by fans of the game through Internet petitions, the two new voices of FIFA have worked for nearly a year to record every athlete's name, every description of ;action or virtual goal.

Everything had to be redone, Benjamin Da Silva told Agence France Presse (AFP). It was two, three, four recording sessions a week, sometimes lasting six hours. There were solo and duet sessions, with an artistic director guiding us on the right intonation and tempo.

An exercise in both close to and very different from the commentary of live games, because you have to know how to put your voice without images in front of you.

During a live broadcast, you have the atmosphere , Stadium. There, that is not the case at all. They are phrase bits, action bits, sequence bits. But when you can imagine everything, it's easy to project yourself and reproduce what you do on television, explains Benjamin Da Silva.

Even if we can only imagine the goal of Mbappé, of Messi, we still want to shout!, adds Omar Da Fonseca. When we comment, we want to try to clear something. For us, it's natural, we didn't have to do excessive acting.

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