A new free-to-play FIFA PC game based on the popular FIFA Ultimate Team mode will launch in Brazil and Russia - a move that will no doubt help curb piracy.
It's no surprise EA Sports is only launching downloadable title FIFA World in Brazil and Russia. Both territories are affected by video game piracy, with Nintendo specifically targeting Brazil earlier this year and reports such as this documenting game piracy in Russia.
EA says it's targeting football fans and gamers who "are not console gamers" - they only require a broadband connection and an "average spec laptop computer or desktop PC".
But by launching a title that is free, it will also tap into the demographic of players in those countries that currently play games for free illegally. It's a smart move and will help the publisher make money from microtransactions, rather than charging a higher one-off fee for a new boxed game.
FIFA World will feature HD console gameplay, FIFA Ultimate Team and Seasons, over 30 officially licensed leagues, including the Russian Football Premier League, more than 600 clubs (and 19 officially licensed ones from Brazil).
A closed beta has launched over at www.easportsfifaworld.com, while the full game is scheduled for November 2013.
“Brazil and Russia are priority markets for EA Sports and especially our FIFA brand. We are excited to bring to these markets a custom-built, free-to-play PC experience developed around FIFA Ultimate Team,” said Matt Bilbey, Senior Vice President and Group General Manager at EA Sports.
FIFA Online 3, another free-to-play FIFA football game, is already live in Korea. It is number two in the Korean PC cafe rankings, according to Gametrics, and is also in development for Southeast Asia and mainland China.