Anita Sarkeesian doesn’t understand FIFA game licensing


Dear Anita Sarkeesian. As we have already established numerous times, you have huge problems separating fiction from reality as well as fictional games from simulations and games based on real world events or teams from fictional ones.

This here is a prime example of why we know you’re not a gamer (among many other things). Because when you’re a gamer, you learn things like this merely by existing in the gaming ecosystem.

I’m not a fan of sport games, have played NBA Inside Drive 2000 when I got it for birthday and I quite liked it, but this just isn’t my cup of tea. But I’ll defend games when you attack them, because I’m a gamer and I understand that everything is not about me and only me. There are people who play nothing but sports games and I respect their preference just like they respect my preference for racing, first person shooter and RPG games…

The particular reason why FIFA doesn’t include mixed gender teams is because you know Anita, certain games are based on things we call “licenses”. These licenses are given to the licensees by the owners. In this case, license owner is Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and licensee is Electronic Arts (EA). With license also come strict rules on how you can use it. That’s why only one FIFA named game exists, because EA holds exclusive rights for its usage through the license. License also dictates what kind of team arrangement can be used for players in teams for that particular year. And guess what, that same license also dictates that you can’t have mixed gender teams.

Just because it’s a game (and not even a simulation), that doesn’t mean you can just make shit up as you please. If you can’t see female players running alongside Ronaldo or Messi, then you also won’t see that in a game. Deal with it. It’s not because EA is incompetent or sexist, it’s because of licensing terms demanded by the FIFA organization and because EA and FIFA want certain level of realism that reflects real world football.

Now I’ll give you an example from my favorite game genre that co-related with the issue EA has with FIFA and your demand to have mixed gender teams. Racing games, particularly my favorite older game, Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit. It’s a racing game with police chases and realistic cars that were licensed from real manufacturers. Mind you, the game is not a simulation (just like FIFA), but because it has real world cars in it, they had to be licensed from famous sports car makers. And out of all car makers, only Ferrari and Mercedes have forbidden the usage of their cars in the Hot Pursuit police chase mode. You could drive them in normal race modes and you could drive all the other cars against cops, but you were unable to select Ferrari and Mercedes cars against cops, because the licensing terms forbid it. I as a gamer of course felt offended why I was unable to take Mercedes CLK-GTR against cops, but such were licensing terms demanded by these two manufacturers. It’s how licenses work. If you want to use one, you have to follow the demands made by the issuer. If you break them you most likely won’t be able to ever again get the license.

Now, you can wiggle around with your arms and scream how sexist this is for FIFA game all you want, but that’s just how it is. Go and harass FIFA organization and not EA. It’s FIFA that issues the license to EA. And lets don’t forget that EA exists there to make money. They have stockholders that demand profit. Making a game that doesn’t have real players and teams will most likely result in gamers dropping interest in the game and sales will plummet. You know, the same way how Tales of Tales Sunset game failed, because it wasn’t targeted at consumers properly…

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