EA SPORTS FIFA '13: Join the club

Client: Electronic Arts
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
Category: Leisure & Entertainment
Country: Netherlands

This is the story of how FIFA 13 defied a market that was in free-fall to become the world's biggest club. It's the story of how EA SPORTS tore up the FIFA playbook, rewrote the franchise's tactics in search of new recruits, and delivered record-breaking sales and share in the process. It's the story of the biggest sports game launch in history. But it's a story that didn't begin well…

Back in November 2011, the mood in the dressing room was bleak. The video games market had been declining since 2008, and 2012 promised to be the worst year yet. Value sales were tumbling by up to 20% across Europe as the market struggled to cope with a perfect storm…

  • At a macro-economic level, the Eurozone crisis was strangling discretionary spending.
  • At a category level, video games publishers were being hounded by the simultaneous rise in cheap downloadable games and the ubiquity of practically free mobile and social games.
  • Past data indicated that gamers would begin to lapse out at this late stage in a console cycle.