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Soccer Stars Protest EA FIFA Games Using Their Likenesses


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Some soccer players are teaming up to protest EA’s use of their likenesses in FIFA games without their knowledge, and EA doesn’t seem worried.

Some soccer stars have discovered that FIFA 21 is using their likenesses, and aren’t happy about it. The game is yet to be released on current-gen consoles, for which EA has promised additional features and improved graphics – which includes more realistic character faces for its characters models.

FIFA 21 may be the most realistic-looking sports game yet, with updated face scans for some of the younger players. The game has seen some minor improvements over last year’s FIFA entry, excluding the Switch version which has stayed basically the same game for 4 years. On top of this, legendary soccer player David Beckham will be coming to FIFA 21 as the cover star for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions, but won’t be appearing at all on Switch owners’ screens.

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Related: The Most Underrated Players in FIFA 21

Now some other big names in soccer are protesting EA’s use of their likenesses in its game. AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic tweeted his concern over EA Sports putting him in FIFA games without his knowledge, saying “I’m not aware to be a member of Fifpro and if I am I was put there without any real knowledge through some weird maneuver.” According to Forbes, Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola stands behind Ibrahimovic in this fight with EA and has said that roughly 300 other players are considering legal action against EA for the use of their likenesses. Shortly after Ibrahimovic’s tweet, The Athletic reports that Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale joined his fellow footballer by asking what FIFPro is, and using the hashtag “#TimeToInvestigate“. EA responded to Mino Raiola’s accusation that EA’s system is flawed by saying that this is not a fight between EA and soccer players, but rather between those players’ agents and FIFPro, who has allowed EA to use its players’ likenesses for several games, including Ibrahimovic who has appeared in every FIFA game since 2002.

FIFA 21 Ibrahimovic game

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This is not the first fight about FIFA that EA has found itself in. Its loot box mechanic and FUT packs have been identified as gambling by many, including a court in the Netherlands that had ruled that EA’s use of FUT packs are an illegal form of gambling. A UK court was also in a battle with EA earlier this with the same concern, wanting to rule FIFA’s microtransactions illegal. Although these microtransactions could cost EA millions in fines, EA seems unconcerned with these rulings, even admitting that its FUT packs are a form of gambling.

EA is a monstrous company, both in the sense of its size and in its reputation. Unfortunately, it seems as though EA can get away with just about anything because of this, but hopefully, a big enough rebellion from soccer players that make up FIFA 21 will knock EA down a peg and force it to re-evaluate some of its strategies. Of course, it’s clear that the company does technically have the capability to use the likenesses of players through its licenses with various soccer leagues – so there’s not much of a case to be made.

Next: FIFA Ultimate Team: Every Change To FUT 21

Source: Forbes, The Athletic

FIFA 21 is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and will be available on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

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Updated: November 26, 2020 — 5:07 pm

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