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FIFA 18: Players could be removed from FIFA 18 as EA Sports makes a major announcement

SENIOR ANALYST
5.28K   //    01 Jul 2017, 17:53 IST
FIFA 18 is almost upon us

What’s the story?

FIFA 18 will release sooner rather than later but with the excitement surrounding the arrival of the game, there come some serious doubts regarding the inclusion of some of the biggest names in football.

As things stand, it looks as though FIFA is unable to strike a deal with the Chinese Super League(CSL) in time for the release of the video game. By removing CSL the game could lose a large audience, and fans could miss out on the opportunity to play with some footballers. 

In case you didn’t know…

Having amassed a whopping 156,000 viewers in its entirety, CSL stands number one on the FIFA fan voting website. The vast majority of football fans from China bring massive amounts of revenue and viewership to the fastest growing league in the world today.

With CSL absent from the game, FIFA will have to deal with a huge blow in fan acceptance from the area and with the added danger of ISL facing a similar fate, the game’s sales could be in major jeopardy.

The heart of the matter

CSL faces an absence due to a licensing issue between the game developers and the Chinese league. Procurement of licenses is something that FIFA has to complete well in time so it is more or less obvious that Chinese fans would miss out on seeing their league in the game.

One of the biggest fallouts from this is the fact that over the past one year, in particular, a large number of big name footballers have left to pursue a career in China due to their lucrative contracts and opportunities. Among these are superstars such as Carlos Tevez, Oscar, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Hulk and as it seems, even Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Dortmund star is set for a big-money move to Chinese team Tianjin Quanjian in the summer and if that materialises, the current fastest player in FIFA would miss out on the game altogether. While other names would still be able to make an appearance with their national teams, Aubameyang is a Gabon International and the country hasn’t made the cut in FIFA games before which means fans would be devoid of this great young talent.

What’s next?

As things stand, the license issue is going to end up being a major blow to both FIFA and the public alike as some of the greatest names in world football will fail to make it to gaming’s elite. That being said, FIFA 18 promises to add more European Leagues to the mix in order to increase sales and allow more clubs to enter the fray. The CSL issue must be sorted out fast as it may have a cascading effect on upcoming leagues such as the ISL who are banking on mainstream attention from gaming developers such as EA sports to further the brand and receive worldwide acclaim. What happens further remains to be seen.

Author’s take

As a fan, it is highly unfortunate that such elite names in world football would miss out on FIFA 18 and it comes at a bad time for other smaller leagues as licensing is one of the major components of game developing and a country’s sanctions make it hard for developers to get what they need. We can only hope that come FIFA 19, everything is back in place, and fans can be treated to an unadulterated form of gaming paradise.

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