The world of sports and particularly football was taken by surprise when it was announced that Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo would not be a part of the latest edition of FIFA 22, the world’s most-played video game. This announcement triggered speculation and curiosity on the reason behind such an unexpected move from Electronic Arts (EA) Sports, the company responsible for developing these games.
It is now known that Ronaldo’s removal from this edition of FIFA is a result of an ongoing dispute between Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes and Juve Group Srl, which owns the rights to Juventus football club. The Juve Group Srl has decided to terminate its partnership with EA in order to create their own gaming experience, thus preventing EA from legally having access to use the images of teams or players under their control.
This conflict between Mendes’ agency Gestifute International Ltd, Juve Group Srl, and EA Sports has caused disruption for FIFA 22 players around the world as one of its star attractions has been removed from its roster. Due to strict licensing regulations governing real-world player images in many countries, EA had no other choice but to remove Cristiano Ronaldo. They have also been unable to reach an agreement with his agent or his former team over his image rights or likeness in this latest edition.
Why is Ronaldo Not in FIFA 22
Following a legal dispute between Electronic Arts (EA) and global football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, the soccer player was removed from the cover of FIFA 22 and is no longer available in the game. The dispute between the two parties has led to questions circling around Ronaldo’s removal from the game. To understand the reasons behind this decision, let’s look at the details of the conflict between EA and Ronaldo.
Contract Dispute Between Ronaldo And EA Sports
Announced on July 28, 2020, Cristiano Ronaldo was removed from EA Sports’ FIFA 22 game and replaced with Paris Saint-Germain’s football player Kylian Mbappé due to a contract dispute between Ronaldo and EA Games. The decision marks the first time since FIFA 04 that Ronaldo will not be featured on the popular soccer video game. The initial agreement between Ronaldo and EA Games expired in August 2019, thus leading to negotiations for a new deal. While many expected the two parties to reach an agreement, talks between them reportedly broke down due to different ideas on terms of deals. It is also reported that this dispute resulted in several amendments to their contracts which ultimately failed due to conflicting economic expectations from both parties. However, despite his removal from the game itself, EA Sports stated that Klyian Mbappé will be based on Cristiano’s iconic style of play and celebrations as well as incorporating stunning visuals of his likeness into FIFA 22 Ultimate Team. The news marks one of the biggest changes in FIFA 22’s Career Mode as gamers will no longer be able to play with or against Cristiano Ronaldo in any mode – except for matches with Classic XI or Clubs teams still featuring him.
EA Sports’ Decision to Move Away From Ronaldo
In partnership with global football star Cristiano Ronaldo, EA Sports has featured him as the face of the FIFA video game since 2018. However, the gaming company announced recently that it would be discontinuing its endorsement deal with Ronaldo and that his face will not appear on the new game, FIFA 22. The decision was difficult but ultimately this move away from Ronaldo was made by EA Sports in response to claims of sexual assault against him. Rumors have been circulating for years, but accusations from Kathryn Mayorga only truly shook things up when she brought her case to court in September 2018. While Ronaldo and his team have denied these charges, the public image of Ronaldo suffered significant damage and using his likeness for advertising purposes gradually became a bigger challenge for EA Sports. Ultimately it seems that taking action early on became too costly an option financially and otherwise thus leaving EA Sports with no alternative but to discontinue their partnership with Ronaldo leaving both parties to move in different directions. Although neither side has provided definitive details surrounding their split, the allegations against Cristiano are more likely than not at the center of this departure within FIFA’s promotional entourage.
Impact of Ronaldo’s Removal from FIFA 22
The removal of Cristiano Ronaldo from FIFA 22 came as a shock to many fans and gamers. This decision has caused a lot of controversy, raising questions as to why EA Sports decided to remove the biggest star from FIFA 22.
In this article, we will discuss the implications of Ronaldo’s removal and what this will mean for the future of the game.
Decrease in Sales
The decision to remove footballer Cristiano Ronaldo from the front cover of the football video game-FIFA 22 caused a decrease in online sales. The player featured on the cover every year was Ronaldo since 2016, but after his legal issues with an American model regarding rape allegations in 2019, FIFA 22 decided to substitute him for Paris Saint-Germain footballer Neymar Jr. In response to this incident, hundreds of gamers everywhere decided to boycott EA Sports and the FIFA game series altogether. This contributed to a dramatic drop in sales compared to previous years, as Ronaldo was beloved by gamers all over the globe. Moreover, some sections of social media termed it “remove from racism” and that too created negative sentiments among gaming enthusiasts regarding EA Sports. It had become more about human rights rather than football as more people started sympathizing with Ronaldo and condemned EA Sports for taking sides; this further added fuel to the fire. Also, several big names like Elon Musk tweeted regarding their opinion on this case due to which more people became aware of this issue and disliked EA Sports’ decision; subsequently sales plummeted even further into negative figures. Additionally, there have been many lawsuits against EA Sports due to them removing one of the most popular icons in football history as well as falsely limiting free speech amongst gamers regarding their opinions on this issue. All these legal issues added uncertainty and decreased gamers’ trust towards FIFA 22 who had already become indifferent following its lackluster gameplay improvements compared with other sports games that year. As a result, EA Sports suffered a huge blow in terms of its sales figures for FIFA 22, leading them into obscurity and prompting them to rethink their marketing strategies for future installments of their popular sports game series.
Negative Customer Reception
The news of Ronaldo being removed from FIFA 22 sparked negative reception among the customers and fans, who have often looked up to him as an inspirational figure and sporting role model. There were critical responses as well as outcries from supporters who feared that their favourite game was now going to suffer with the removal of one of its key characters. Many customers found this news concerning, with some arguing that the game has lost its credibility in terms of realism, given Ronaldo’s global popularity. Some argued that the game should have taken a better decision given the huge hype surrounding Ronaldo and his recruitment by Juventus in 2018. Complaints rose rapidly amongst users, driving down sales considerably in comparison to previous years when Ronaldo still featured in FIFA games. Criticism was made even harsher due to other high profile sports personalities remaining featured on FIFA 22 while a 7x FIFA Ballon d’Or winner had been dropped without any explanation by EA Sports (developers). Some consumers saw this move as unjustified and argued that it did not meet their expectations after all these years. Some speculated if this move was made due to contractual issues given the controversy surrounding Ronaldo’s career since 2018 amidst rape allegation claims. Regardless, many felt extremely disappointed about such a major change for years-long players.
After careful consideration of the information gathered about Ronaldo’s removal from FIFA 22, it is clear that his contract with Italian soccer giant Juventus was a contributing factor in this decision. Although EA Sports acknowledges that the nature of the settlement between Ronaldo and Juventus was not part of their initial agreement, they still decided to go ahead and remove him due to the controversy. As a result, this action strongly portrays their commitment to maintain an unbiased experience while integrating realistic content into the game. It is also worth mentioning that this move did not impact Ronaldo’s gameplay performance or cause any technical issues within FIFA 22 as he was immediately replaced by Jesús Corona in his absence. Ultimately, it can be concluded that EA Sports’ decision to remove Ronaldo from FIFA 22 was solely made to ensure a clean and fair gaming environment for all players regardless of any real-world controversies or legal affairs. This allowed the company to preserve their ongoing mission of creating an innovative gaming experience without compromising its integrity or ruining customers’ trust.