The fastest growing part of the EA's FIFA game business is its most lucrative… and most perplexing.
Ultimate Team is compelling for its committed players, and a cash cow for EA, but is a little impenetrable to outsiders. EA is changing that this year with a more proactive retail and media education and PR push.
It's easy for many to write the FIFA games off as mass-market fodder, but this digital element to the game has proven just how dedicated its players can be, and rams home the truth about football's inner nerdery: The Beautiful Game's detailed world of stats, historical detail and commerce is the lifeblood of Ultimate Team.
Of course it might sound strange that EA is turning to specialist stores to help widen the reach of an advanced digital product, beloved by an audience that isn't necessarily relying on shopfloor staff for guidance.
But if anything the need to grow the Ultimate Team business into those more established, and better-curated worlds only gives further purpose to games retail.