EA Sports is investing heavily in the mobile version of its FIFA Soccer franchise, reports GamesIndustry International.
According to Mike McCabe, senior director for the FIFA series in emerging markets, the FIFA Soccer titles on iOS have been tremendously successful even though EA doesn't pay as much attention to them as the console versions. But the data the company has been collecting on players' gaming habits is indicating to EA that mobile is a major part of the publisher's soccer business. EA has a specific division within FIFA, the Football Business Analytics Group, to aggregate and analyze data on how FIFA Soccer users are playing the various versions of the game.
"There are definitely people who use [FIFA Soccer on mobile] as their primary gaming platform," said McCabe. EA's data suggests that many FIFA fans are shifting to the mobile version of the title as their leisure time for console gaming decreases. During FIFA 13's launch weekend at the end of September, FIFA 13 users on iOS played an average of seven sessions per day of 30 to 40 minutes each.
McCabe also stressed the importance of ensuring that the mobile game can function as an extension of the console experience. EA has already put the FIFA series' persistent meta-game, EA Sports Football Club, in the iOS version of the franchise. "We can't do everything that we want at the moment," said McCabe, "but obviously next year we want to evolve that experience."
For EA, it's all about maintaining FIFA Soccer mindshare in the franchise's fan base. "We are now looking more and more every year with FIFA as a franchise as being something you can consume on any platform," McCabe explained.
You can check out our review of the console version of FIFA 13 here.