A by-product of FIFA’s growing commercial success has been a sustained and reasonably emphatic superiority over FIFA’s great rival franchise, PES – the one that used to be considered the connoisseurs’ choice.
Speaking exclusively to MCV, EA Sports boss Peter Moore rejects the idea that there is now clear green grass between the two, and obviously retains a healthy respect for the brand.
“Our FIFA dev team certainly never thinks of them as being in the rear view mirror,” he explained. “Seabass [PES exec producer Shingo Takatsuka] and the team in Japan are an excellent outfit and they were a really strong leader in this space just four or five years ago, so they’re not a team to be trifled with. We take the competition seriously, we enjoy it and they make our job a lot more fun.
“This year, the last time I looked, we were, I think maybe seven or eight Metacritic points ahead of them, which is pleasing, but no, there’s no question of relaxing or feeling comfortable – that’s just not in our nature.”
As well as the lead in quality and sales volumes, Moore highlights another factor on FIFA’s side – networked gaming and community momentum:
“The sticky factor of online being strong helps enormously. That’s the challenge PES faces right now, because if you and your mates are all buying FIFA and you all play online (and we’re at an 80 per cent connect rate now) it makes it more difficult for the second place guy to disrupt that. You want to play with your mates, you want to play online, and if your mates have got a different game you’re the odd man out.”
MCV’s full interview with Peter Moore will appear online later today, or can be read in this week’s MCV magazine.