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EA becomes official partner of FC Barcelona, club featured in FIFA 14

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Electronic Arts has signed an exclusive three-year contract with FC Barcelona, one of the world's foremost soccer clubs, to become its official video game partner, the publisher announced today.

Under the deal, FC Barcelona will be featured in FIFA 14 this year with a particular degree of authenticity. Developer EA Canada is building the in-game models of 17 Barça stars — including Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fàbregas and Andrés Iniesta — based on 3D head scans. And Barcelona's home stadium, Camp Nou, will appear in the game.

In addition, EA will setup a trailer called the EA Sports Dugout at certain Barcelona home games, where attendees can stop by and play EA Sports games. And the publisher will provide FC Barcelona with data on how FIFA players are interacting with the club in the game.

This is not the first partnership of its kind; EA already has deals in place for teams such as Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City from the U.K.'s Barclays Premier League, AC Milan in Italy's Serie A and Paris Saint-Germain from France's Ligue 1.

"Joining a world-class soccer club like Barcelona as an official club partner is a fantastic opportunity for EA Sports and our fans," said Matt Bilbey, senior vice president and group general manager at EA Sports, in a press release announcing the deal.

FIFA 14 will be released Sept. 24 on Windows PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and at launch on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. You can watch a video featuring Barcelona players discussing what makes the club special above.

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