In the late months of 2012 EA released the next installment in the FIFA line of video games, “FIFA ’13″. The 360 and PS3 versions were released to critical acclaim and huge success. Gameplay was improved and it retained the $60 price value without feeling like it was just a minor update. However, the Wii and Vita versions didn’t receive this type of attention. Instead we’ve got the same exact game as last year with the FIFA ’13 cover. It’s insane that as a company who was labeled as the worst company of the year wouldn’t try to improve their image.
Once the story broke out a lot of journalists and consumers were in an outrage. They wanted a new product, not a relabeled old one. But then something strange happened. Critics weren’t dropping zero bombs on review scores, consumers were still eating it up from not being completely aware of it, and there were no lawsuits about it.
It’s been over two months since that story and EA got away with it like bloody murder. Remember IGN? They gave the Vita version of FIFA ’13 a four out of ten stating that it’s a cynical cash-in. What happened to dropping the zero-bomb on games that are just rebranded? You don’t see that anymore. Hell every other score on Metacritic for both of these versions have been anything but zero. I thought releasing an old game as new a year later is a terrible move on all fronts? Apparently not.
Consumers have been eating it up too. Although the Metacritic user scores were largely negative it still sold for both the Wii and Vita versions based on brand recognition alone. It’s a new year, there’s a new FIFA to buy. Which is what most of the sports video game consumers think. It’s horrible because it promotes bad business practices. Where’s the lawsuits? There are none.
We’ve seen stuff like this before with other versions of sports games on older video game systems like the PS2 and PSP where they essentially release the same game with a new cover because the system is way past its twilight years. However, why not just create one sports video game and release a yearly roster update? In fact you can release it for a set price like ten to fifteen dollars and people can pay that way. Publishers get paid and consumers stay happy.
Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works. Remember guys, you can prevent stuff like this by voting with your wallet. If a product doesn’t sell well it’s not financially feasible to create another one, recycled or not.