Gamereactor recently attended the first final for the FUT Championship Series in Paris, and while we were there we got the chance to speak with Peter Moore about the tournament, the event, and the future of FIFA as an esport, and the first thing we asked is why they're going so big with FIFA this year.
"Well, this is a year that we believe, when we think about what we need to do, to really build community in FIFA," he said. "The one challenge we have is we need to make FIFA game, which tens of millions of people play, a spectator sport, and I, in the last two hours here, for the first time, am really witnessing the best players of the world. I've seen enough FIFA played, I play a little bit, I'm not very good but being here and watching the great players play, the atmosphere and that kind of "esprit de corps" that you're seeing here among the players, yes it's very competitive but they realise they are a community together, it's exciting."
"It changes the way we make the game," he added later on. "It changes the way we market the game. This becomes part of our marketing plans going forward here, this didn't exist two years ago. I have been blessed to have been involved with the FIFA relationship since I was way back running Xbox and building the FIFA Interactive World Cup. And from that perspective we have change the way we think about engagement and as you can see here, this is not cheap to do, a marketing investment here is part of that."
Staying with the idea of FIFA moving forward, we asked about the strategy moving into the future as well. "Well it's pretty simple, we are investing in developing game modes that are more relevant and pertinent to esport," he said, "secondarily we need to build community. As exciting as this is, we still look at numbers at a League of Legends and a Dota 2 and say 'we got some work to do'. Thirdly, we need to invest in tournament such as this that are aspirational for the player, we want them to say : "man I want to come to Paris, I want to be on the big stage." And fourthly, we also need to build content around the tournament. So, we started to do that with programming profiles of the players, so even when the tournament's not on, the is content that fans can absorb. You need to care about the guys, you need to understand their lives, what it takes to get here, so from that perspective we're making big investments in content as well."
How well do you think this strategy can be executed this year?