Ted Lasso has won more than a million dollars.
Not the flesh-and-blood soccer manager from the hit Apple TV+ sports comedy series “Ted Lasso,” played by Jason Sudeikis, but the digital avatar of the AFC Richmond gaffer who can be played in career mode in “FIFA XXIII.” which were launched in September.
Players opted to use the character, which was included in the first edition of the best-selling soccer video game as part of a collaboration with the Emmy-winning show, enough to have had more than a million games with it. , by FIFA 23 publisher Electronic Arts.
Those victories come from a record 10.3 million users who bought and played the game in the first week after its Sept. 30 launch. public debut, the company said.
Also in the game is Lasso’s fictional AFC Richmond club and its Nelson Road stadium (in the “World’s Rest” clubs section), with unlockable content and other characters from the series, including players Roy Kent, Jamie Tartt, Dani. Rojas, Sam Obisanya, and Isaac McAdoo.
Ted Lasso himself, of course, is the chocolate of life. So how and why did Electronic Arts end up putting a character and team in the game?
Obviously, the disease connection made immediate sense, but collaborative efforts were needed to make the treatment and technology work. That can often be a complex and difficult process, but at least it can be made a little easier thanks to both parties working hard to make it happen.
“We’re often fans of someone else’s work,” said Cam Weber, executive vice president and group general manager at EA Sports, in a recent call with Athletic. “The manifestation has been published in the show fans and the story of FIFA. Certainly there has been a passion on both sides that both parties want to work together.”
The idea of including the show’s character and content in the game FIFA started with the goal of sending it in “FIFA 22.” It’s physically longer because Electronic Arts has production and development cycles for how it builds games, and specific windows in pre-production of what titles like FIFA will be built each year, Weber said. So, Ted Lasso had to wait until that content could be integrated into the game.
When the timing was right, it wasn’t particularly difficult for the project to integrate the TV show into the film.
“It’s pretty much what we’re using for building — adding stadiums, teams, kits,” Weber said. “It’s work we do all the time.”
On the legal side, EA had to work with Apple TV, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, and “Ted Lasso” acting talent. Nothing has been disclosed about the deal.
FIFA producers and developers traveled to London to scan the face on the “Ted Lasso” set, working around the shooting production schedule.
Actor’s voices are not contained. So no Roy Kent blasphemy in the “E”-ratchet game.
The message was left for Sudeikis, who rose to fame during his “Saturday Night Live” tenure and subsequent film and TV appearances, by management.
“He’s a big fan of the game and he loves to work,” Weber said.
Sudeikis offered his opinion through electronic arts when “FIFA 23” was announced: “I am really happy and very grateful, I have had many unique moments in my life so far, and I consider this experience among the best. , For so long fans of EA Sports’ “FIFA “Ted Lasso and the entire AFC Richmond squad incorporated into the latest version of the game is really a dream come true for me and the rest of the fellas.”
A tactic like “Ted Lasso” collaboration makes sense for EA to keep the franchise fresh as it enters its fourth decade within a major change: The game this year will be the last to use the FIFA name in the title before switching to “EA Sports FC” next year due to licensing issues.
EA has been publishing FIFA games since 1993 and has reportedly generated more than $20 billion in sales, making it one of the most successful video games of all time, and the best-selling video game of all time. It is estimated that over 150 million people play the game across more than 200 countries.
How did he accomplish so much? In addition to the game’s 10.3 million first-week users — the best ever for any FIFA game, the company said — its first 23 days on the market saw 15.7 billion minutes spent playing 1.7 billion games with 4.3 billion goals so far, EA said. .
“We had amazing armor and super strong fighting,” Weber said.
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Real Premier League players very similar to the AFC Richmond squad in FIFA 23
Mat Piscatella, the top video game industry analyst at the NPD Group, is not sure what kind of sales or impact playing “Ted Lasso” has in “FIFA 23” because there is no granular data or research available.
“It certainly seems to have a great relationship with the amount of fitness, but there’s no way for me to estimate with any degree of certainty what that will mean in the overall title,” he said. “It’s off to a great start, like many other big games releasing right now (it doesn’t hurt that the competitive window for players this year is pretty light) — but it’s too early to say anything else.”
Will Ted Lasso and the rest of the characters return in future editions of the EA franchise?
That trial has not yet been completed, the company said.
For now, the commentary is generally well-received and met with criticism.
Andrew Webster at The Verge wrote positively about playing “Ted Lasso” content until AFC Richmond placed in the Major League and dominated the flight of American clubs. His only complaint was the lack of dialogue as much as the spirit of the show does.
“The game does a great job of accurately recreating the looks of actors like Phil Dunster, Toheeb Jimoh, Kola Bokinni, and Cristo Fernández to look exactly like they did on the show. I mean, look at that virtual recreation of Jason Sudeikis’ mustache.
Others were more arduous than the town echoes.
“Just as superheroes are played for their powers, not their costumes, Ted Lasso is great for their characters’ personalities, not their names,” Luke Saward wrote on Screenrant.com, noting that the inclusion of fictional characters meant some were missing the real deal.
The game includes 19,000 players, 700 teams, 100 stadiums and 30 leagues. This year’s edition also includes the top divisions of women’s soccer in England (Barclays Women’s Super League) and France (Division 1 Arkema).
The upcoming FIFA Men’s and Women’s World Cup tournaments will be part of the game, as well as free downloadable content. The game is available on Riot V, Xbox Series X|S, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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For the uninitiated, Ted Lasso (the first character in the NBC Sports promo) is a charming, folksy American Division II college football coach hired on the show by the new owner of a fictional Premier League soccer club at the request of a philandering ex-husband. The owner of the team, because Lasso has no knowledge of the game, and his incompetence takes the wrecking ball. Instead, Lasso proves flattering – and the show quickly became a streaming and critically acclaimed hit.
It premiered on Apple TV+ in 2020 and had a second year. A third has been ordered and is in production.
The inclusion of “Ted Lasso” characters within the game is part of Electronic Arts’ broader strategy of melding pop culture and entertainment partnerships with its library of career games as it seeks to increase users and build on revenue of $7.5 billion by fiscal 2022.
“We see EA Games very much at the center of gaming culture and fandom,” Weber said. “We looked forward to more opportunities to expand our capabilities into pop culture, sports culture and entertainment.”
Along with Nickelodeon, EA’s “Madden” NFL football franchise will be the centerpiece of the upcoming Paramount + comedy movie called “Fantasy Football” in which the player’s daughter discovers that she can control the field using the “Madden NFL 23” game. The act premieres on November 25.
With Marvel Entertainment, Electronic Arts stars players in superhero outfits as part of the ultimate FIFA Team in the new soccer game.
Electronic Arts plans to explore more sports-enjoyment video game collaborations in the future, but hasn’t revealed the details yet.
“You’re going to see a lot of this in the future,” Weber said.
(Screenshot of Ted Lasso from “FIFA 23”: Courtesy of EA Sports)