EA Sports’ popular football simulation title FIFA was released for the first time in 1993. Since then, the game has gradually evolved into one of the most popular sports titles in the world. FIFA 21, the latest entry into the longstanding series, was released on October 9. FIFA 21 career mode, FIFA tournaments are just a few available modes which players can find themselves engrossed in for hours on end.
FIFA survey highlights popularity in the UK
While the popularity of the FIFA series is undeniable, a recent survey reveals how the game has become an integral part of the lives of most youths in the UK. The survey conducted by GamePress reveals more than two-thirds, i.e. 71%, of gamers in Britain admit playing FIFA is the most common way they socialise with their friends. Playing FIFA comfortably tops the traditional ways of socialising in the country, a list which includes going to the pub (23%) or visiting the park with mates (22%).
The dark side of this alarming trend is players are spending an estimated up to 11.5 hours of their working week just tweaking and improving their teams. Thanks to the rising popularity of FIFA Ultimate Team (FIFA 21 FUT), players can collect cards and make their best teams in order to compete with other players online.
However, it is not all gloom for FIFA gaming as most players revealed they play the game to blow off some steam. A total of 56% of the players revealed the simulation title gives them a chance to have meaningful conversations with family and friends. The subsequent poll shows players enjoy talking about a wide range of topics while gaming, including discussions about family life, relationships and even mental health.
Speaking of mental health, 33% of FIFA gamers have admitted they are so invested in the game that losing a match would end up ruining their day. It comes as no surprise considering the time players invest to have the best side in FUT. The importance of tactics in building their team also plays a key role as more than 80% of players said they look to improve their virtual gameplay by applying tactics and strategies.
Of them, 38% take inspiration from real-life football managers and players while 43% resort to watching gameplays of popular YouTubers to improve their in-game performance.
While the aforementioned survey was conducted taking FIFA 21 into account, it is worth noting that gaming as a whole has become extremely popular in recent years. It is evident from the exponential rise of esports as a market in itself. According to MoneyInSport, the esports industry is estimated to reach of valuation of up to $1.65 billion by 2021.