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FIFA video game correctly predicts its fourth — and likely last — World Cup winner in a row

Licensing deal ends after this year’s game

Argentina v France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Argentina celebrates their first World Cup since 1986, after prevailing on penalty kicks in a 3-3 final against France.
Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

In what could be the publisher’s final dance with FIFA’s World Cup, EA Sports correctly predicted Argentina as the world’s champion, and bullseyed its last four forecasts.

The simulation of the World Cup, run an unscientific one time through FIFA 23, called the winner but missed on a couple of lesser points. On Sunday in the real World Cup, Argentina defeated France on penalty kicks after a wild 3-3 stalemate in regulation and extra time. EA’s prediction had Brazil as the runner-up victim (although it did have France third). And Lionel Messi did not win the Golden Boot for most goals in the tournament, as FIFA predicted, though it took a for-the-ages hat trick in the final by France’s Kylian Mbappe to overtake Messi’s 11 goals in the tournament.

The 35-year-old Messi did land the World Cup’s Golden Ball (best player) as FIFA 23 forecast on Nov. 8, making history as the only two-time winner of that award. So we’ll say EA Sports got the result on aggregate here. Or some other term Yanks only use when discussing soccer, like they do with notional agreement.

EA Sports correctly picked Spain in 2010 (with 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa); Germany in 2014 (with 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil) and France in 2018 (with FIFA 18).

Electronic Arts and FIFA will part ways after the latest edition of the global best-seller, ending a 30-year partnership. The next version, expected in the early fall, will be called EA Sports FC and will not carry any of FIFA’s marks or symbols.

They wouldn’t be necessary for another four years, really, when the next World Cup tournament will be held in North America. FIFA in May announced that it was “engaging with publishers, studios, and investors on development of [a] major new simulation football title for 2024.”

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