- 60% of Brits would rather play a football video game than watch a match live in a stadium
- 78% have never or will never play with the arch-rivals of the team they support in a football video game
- 57% closely follow or support another club as their second favourite team, as a direct result of consistently having a positive experience with them on a football video game
- 18% admit to changing who their favourite player is, after being repeatedly left unimpressed and frustrated by their performance in a football video game
- 54% of Brits think professional FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer tournaments/competitions should be considered as a real sport
Two of the biggest football video games are now out. Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 and FIFA 19 have generated a huge amount of excitement amongst the beautiful games enormous global fanbase. Football enthusiasts have undoubtedly bought either one title to fully immerse themselves in the life-like feel of the game and control the destiny of their favorites teams as well as players from the touch of a few buttons.
The continual rise in interest for each franchises (EA’s FIFA and Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer) annual offering has been nothing short of phenomenal. In fact, recent findings by market research organisation ‘Nielson’, discovered that 83% of football fans in the UK are aware of FIFA video games.
Interested in the impact gaming series like FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer are having on the general landscape of football, ticket broker TicketGum.com surveyed 1,284 British fans who have purchased either Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 or FIFA 19, to understand their views on the video games and to see how the video games are affecting the way in which they follow football in reality.
TicketGum.com found that Brits would rather play a football video game (82%) then go to a park or football pitch (18%) for a kick about. The majority would opt to do so because they believe they are better at a football video game compared to competing in a real-life match (34%). 27% choose to play a football video game instead, because they don’t want to go through the hassle of organising a physical match (e.g. finding a convenient location, getting enough players etc.).
Interestingly, 68% of Brits would prefer to play a football video game over watching a match on TV (32%). Most of those that would do so, cite a football video game being more fun than sitting through an entire 90-minute match (32%). Similarly, 60% of those surveyed would surprisingly favour playing FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer over attending a live match in a stadium (40%). With a lot of those that would do so, stating it would be cheaper for them to sit on their sofa and play on their console – then fork out money on tickets and transport to go to an actual match (36%).
Moving onto the main factors which persuaded respondents to buy either Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 or FIFA 19:
Due to friends buying it (30%), purchase new edition every year (22%), new gameplay features and other improvements (13%), eager to play with favourite team/players (10%) and encouraged by favorable reviews (6%). For 19%, it was due to a combination of all the mentioned factors.
Furthermore, focusing on their favourite team, an overwhelming 86% admit to not always selecting the club they support each time they play FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer. When it comes to rivalries, Brits are certainly more loyal – 78% have never or will never play with the arch-rivals of the team they support in a football video game. For instance, that is like a Manchester United F.C. fan never choosing Liverpool F.C. on FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer and vice versa.
The survey also revealed that 57% of respondents closely follow or support another club as their second favourite team, as a direct result of consistently having a positive experience (in terms of performance and results) with them on FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer. Additionally, 18% of Brits confess to changing who their favourite player is, after repeatedly being left unimpressed and frustrated by their performance in a football video game.
Moreover, with football video games increasingly contested at eSports gaming events, 54% of Brits think professional FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer tournaments/competitions should be considered as a real sport. Currently, 31% would happily watch a competitive FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer event over a proper football match on TV.
A spokesperson from TicketGum.com commented:
“The popularity of football video games cannot be disputed. They have become an integral part of the football culture. As videos games become more realistic than ever before, fans can now replicate the thrills, atmosphere and drama they would gain from physically playing or watching a live match at the palm of their hands. This research certainly shows that players appreciate the personnel enjoyment and value these video games provide to them. So much so, that it is influencing their real-life opinions on aspects of the wonderful game such as teams and players. Likewise, their preferences on how to consume and engage with the sports. Going forward, as the flagship video game titles get even better, they will steadily blur the footballing lines between virtual and reality for the fans”.