Every year, millions of video game fans each year buy and play FIFA and spend even more money on in-game add-ons through Ultimate Team
FIFA is the biggest football game on the planet and is one of the most popular video games of any genre on all consoles as well as on PC.
As a result, it makes billions of dollars each year for publisher Electronic Arts (EA), with much of that income derived from the FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) game mode.
How much money does EA make each year from FIFA?
In its annual report, EA confirmed that it made $1.6 billion (£1.1bn) from game sales from April 2020 to March 2021.
That amount was dwarfed by their “Live Services and Other” income which amounted to $4bn over the same 12 months.
The Live Services and Other category includes income from additional in-game add-ons such as Ultimate Team, which is the most popular game mode in FIFA.
The annual report does not give exact figures for each video game, but confirms in the statement that “FIFA 21 has more than 25 million console/PC players” while “FIFA Ultimate Team players grew 16% year-over-year and FUT matches were up 180%.”
How much money does Ultimate Team make?
In its annual report for 2020, EA confirmed that Ultimate Team made more than $1.62bn (£1.15bn).
This is the total revenue for all Ultimate Team modes across EA’s catalogue, with Ultimate Team appearing in FIFA, Madden, NHL, NBA and UFC games.
Ultimate Team accounts for 29 per cent of EA’s total income and has risen considerably year-on-year, with the game mode taking in $775m (£550m) back in 2017.
In its annual report, EA confirmed the figures and stated that the majority of Ultimate Team revenue comes from FIFA:
“Our most popular live service is the extra content purchased for the Ultimate Team mode associated with our sports franchises.
“Ultimate Team allows players to collect current and former professional players in order to build and compete as a personalized team.
“Net revenue from extra content sales for Ultimate Team was $1,491 million, $1,369 million and $1,180 million during fiscal years 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, a substantial portion of which was derived from FIFA Ultimate Team.”
How much money does FIFA make from the FIFA video game?
For the first time in history, world football’s governing body FIFA made more money from video gaming than from football in 2020.
FIFA’s financial statements for 2020 indicate that over half of its revenue for the year came from licensing rights.
In 2020, FIFA made $158.9m (£114.4m) from licensing rights and had a total revenue of $266.5m (£191.9m).
Part of the reason for this large percentage for the year was a decline in other income due to the coronavirus pandemic, with FIFA confirming this in its official revenue statement:
“Due to the lack of tournaments played in 2020, the sale of licensing rights, amounting to USD 159 million, produced the lion’s share of the revenue generated, and was a significant 24% above budget.
“A key source of revenue in the licensing rights area was brand licensing for video games. In contrast to the many economic sectors that were drastically affected by Covid-19, the video game industry proved far more resilient to the pandemic.”