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How NFL Madden and FIFA Dominate the Sports Gaming Market

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When sprouting the names of popular sports games, the two most recognizable titles amongst fans will usually come in the form of EA Sports’ football series ‘Madden’ and their long-running soccer franchise ‘FIFA’, with both games still bolstering a vast number of players actively partaking in some of the many unique features that both games provide.

Both the Madden and FIFA franchises have become staples of the gaming industry since their early renditions that were previously released during the late 1980s to early 1990s on various devices including the PS1, Sega Genesis, SNES and Game Boy among various other fan favorite consoles.

Originally named as ‘John Madden Football’, after the Hall of Fame head coach and announcer, the series would soon adopt the singular title of ‘Madden’ ahead of the release of the 1994 title, which of course the series is still being advertised as of today.

On the other hand, the FIFA series earns its name from the International Federation of Association Football, which is the sport’s international governing body for the various league and international based soccer events including the World Cup.

Whilst other sports gaming titles such as NBA 2K, EA Sports’ NHL and UFC titles still rank as firm fan favorites, Madden and FIFA are the quintessential defiant games focusing on the sporting genre.

When it comes to comparing both franchises, there are still plenty of reminiscing factors present for fans who remain regular players of both titles as well as their own unique features that help retain their major player base with each yearly release.

The main reasons why Madden and FIFA are so popular amongst sports fans:

A fairly simplistic opening reason as to why FIFA and Madden are widely viewed as being the most popular sporting video games will often be due to the fact that both titles are based off arguably the most globally popular sports on the planet today.

Whilst football is not a widely played or covered sport internationally, it remains the US’ most popular sport at almost any level of play ahead of the likes of basketball, baseball, hockey and even soccer.

In comparison, soccer is a sport that is played all across the world in various regions of continents including Europe, South America, Africa and Asia, as well as attracting a widespread number of viewers for the sports’ various league’s/competitions such as the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and of course the aforementioned FIFA World Cup.

Soccer and football both attract viewers from both the gaming and sporting sectors which includes regular sports bettors. Betting on the Super Bowl and the Champions League Final are two of the most popular markets of the year, they are undoubtedly benefit from EA Sports’ glamourization of the events.

Another reason for both franchises’ immense popularity will stem from their wider licensing of events for these such leagues and the overall blend of single player and multiplayer modes to select from, which will cater to any gamer’s needs.

EA Sports will also regularly release a unique set of advertisements for both titles which will include some of the sporting world’s most popular athletes as well as famous celebrities making sporadic cameo appearances, which also attracts players from a much larger demographic.

What comparisons can be drawn between FIFA and Madden?

It is arguable that both franchises were able to popularize the virtual Ultimate Team mode that has now become staples of all future online sporting games as various other titles have since incorporated their own unique spin of this feature in their own yearly release.

The premise surrounding the construction of FIFA and Madden’s Ultimate Team modes are very similar as it revolves around players earning packs containing players and various customization items to construct their own fantasy squad of real-life players as well as legendary names.

Players can earn packs through competitive modes and tournaments such as the FUT Champions Mode on FIFA Ultimate Team, as well as completing challenges in the effort of improving their overall roster when playing against rivalling online players.

Both franchises have also operated under the same graphical software for years including the Frostbite engine, a feature that was frequently advertised by EA numerous times, which is often a great way to clarify that both games are being produced by the same developer.

Single player modes are also very similar in terms of execution which includes the career modes present across both games such as FIFA’s manager and player mode and Madden’s Face of the Franchise which can also draw comparisons from NBA 2K’s MyCareer.

FIFA had also previously adopted its own story mode from FIFA 17 up until 19 called ‘The Journey’ which had drawn similar comparisons to Madden’s single player story modes thanks to its layout, storytelling and involvement of the game’s most popular names.

There are various other similarities to take from both titles which have become favorites amongst fans of both sports and contributed towards the series’ longevity as a popular facet of all sporting titles.

Madden and FIFA are now the front runners for all popular sporting games, and with new releases and updates coming out at a regular occurrence, they are likely to remain atop the podium for the foreseeable future.

Antoine Tardif is the CEO of, and has always had a love affair for games, and has a special fondness for anything Nintendo related.