How Ted Lasso ended up in ‘FIFA 23’ — and then racked up over 1 million wins

Ted Lasso has won over 1 million football games.

Not the flesh-and-blood fictional football manager from the Apple TV+ sports comedy series Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis, but the AFC Richmond gaffer’s digital avatar that can be played as a pro in FIFA 23. which was launched in September.

Players have taken to using the character, who was first included in this year’s edition of the best-selling football video game as part of a partnership with the Emmy Award-winning show, enough to win more than a million games with him. , according to “FIFA 23” publisher Electronic Arts.

The company said those victories were due to some of the record 10.3 million users who bought and played the game in the first week after its public release on September 30.

The game also features fictional AFC Richmond Lasso and its Nelson Road Stadium (in the Rest of the World Clubs section), along with unlockable content from the show and other characters from the series, including players Roy Kent, Jimmy Tartt, Danny. Rojas, Sam Obisania, and Isaac McAdoo.

Of course, Ted Lasso himself is in the headliner. So how and why did Electronic Arts finally bring his character and team into the game?

Obviously, the soccer connection made immediate sense, but making this collaboration work required negotiations and technological efforts. This can often be a complicated and slow process, but thanks to both parties for doing it, it was at least sped up a bit.

Cam Webber, Executive Vice President and Group General Manager at EA Sports, in a recent call with Athletes. It turns out that the actors of this show are fans and play FIFA. “There was definitely a passion on both sides that made both groups want to work together.”

The idea of ​​incorporating characters and content from the series into a FIFA game began with the targeting of “FIFA 22”. Weber said it physically took longer to build because Electronic Arts has production and development cycles for how games are made and certain windows in pre-production for things like FIFA that are made every year. Therefore, Ted Lasso will have to wait until that content can be integrated into the game.

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Integrating a TV show into a video game wasn’t a difficult project when the timing was right.

“That’s the content we’re used to making — adding stadiums, teams, kits,” Weber said. “That’s what we do all the time.”

On the legal side, EA had to make deals with Apple TV, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and acting talent Ted Lasso. Nothing has been disclosed about the agreements.

FIFA producers and developers traveled to London to perform face scans on the Ted Lemmand set and work on the cast production schedule.

This actor’s voice is not included. So no swearing on Kent in an “E” rated game.

A message was left for Sudeikis, who rose to fame through his tenure on “Saturday Night Live” and subsequent roles in film and television.

“He’s a big fan of the game and it was a pleasure working with him,” Weber said.

When announcing the FIFA 23 deal, Sudeikis released a statement via Electronic Arts: “I am truly fortunate and deeply grateful to have had so many special moments in my career so far, and I consider this experience to be one of the best. As long-time fans of EA Sports “FIFA”, the inclusion of Ted Lasso and the entire AFC Richmond team in the latest version of the game is really a real treat for me and the rest of my friends.

Tactics like Ted Hammond’s partnership make sense for EA to keep the franchise fresh as it enters its fourth decade amid a major change: This year’s game will be the last to feature FIFA in the title before switching to EA Sports. FC” is used. Next year due to a difference in licensing.

EA has published FIFA games since 1993 and has reportedly generated over $20 billion in sales, making it one of the most successful video games of all time and the best-selling sports game. It is estimated that more than 150 million people in more than 200 countries play this game.

How has it performed so far? In addition to the game’s 10.3 million first-week users — the best for any FIFA game, the company said — its first 23 days on the market have seen 15.7 billion minutes played, with 1.7 billion plays and 4.3 billion goals so far, according to EA. .

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“We’ve had an amazing launch and incredibly strong engagement,” Weber said.

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Real Premier League players that look more like AFC Richmond in FIFA 23

Matt Piscatella, top video game industry analyst at The NPD Group, isn’t sure what kind of sales or impact the game will have on FIFA 23, as no detailed data or research is available.

“It certainly seems like a great link with a lot of relevance, but there’s really no way for me to make any kind of guess at what the overall meaning of the title is,” he said. It’s a great start, as are many other big games coming out right now (it doesn’t hurt that the competitive window for games this year is pretty light) – but it’s too early to say much else.

Will Ted Lasso and the rest of the characters return in future versions of EA’s football series?

The company said that decision has not yet been made.

Currently, the story content is generally well received by fans and critics alike.

In The Verge, Andrew Webster wrote positively about Ted Comand’s broadcast of content, to the point where AFC Richmond was promoted to Premier League football and dominated American top-flight clubs. His only complaint was the lack of dialogue limits, to what extent the spirit of the show enters the game.

“The game does a great job of accurately recreating the faces of actors like Phil Dunster, Tohib Djimo, Kola Buccini and Cristo Fernandez, so that they look very similar to the show. “I mean, just look at Jason Sudeikis’ virtual mustache game.”

While echoing this sentiment, others have been more critical.

“Just as superheroes are fun because of their powers, not their costumes,” wrote Luke Savard at Screenrant.com, “Ted Lasso is great because of his characters’ personalities, not their names.” Real stadiums are absent.

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 football in England (Barclays Women’s Super League) and France (Arkema Division 1).

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Upcoming Men’s and Women’s World Cup matches will be part of the game as future free downloadable content. The game runs on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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For the uninitiated, Ted Lasso (originally an NBC Sports commercial) is an American Division II college football coach who is hired on the show by the new owner of a fantasy major league football club to replace her ex-husband. The owner of the team, because Kamand has no knowledge of the game and he thinks that his incompetence will destroy the club. Instead, Lasso is lovable — and the show quickly became a hit and received critical acclaim.

It aired on Apple TV+ in 2020, with a second season last year. A third has been ordered and is in production.

The inclusion of the Ted Lasso characters in the game is part of Electronic Arts’ broader strategy to integrate pop culture and entertainment partnerships with its video game library as it seeks to grow users and generate $7.5 billion in fiscal 2022 revenue.

“We see EA Sports at the center of sports culture and fans,” Weber said. “We’ve been looking for more opportunities to expand our reach into pop culture, sports culture and entertainment.”

With Nickelodeon, EA’s “Madden” NFL football franchise will center on a Paramount+ comedy called “Fantasy Football,” in which a player’s daughter discovers she can control him on the field using “Madden NFL 23.” Was. It will be released on November 25.

With Marvel Entertainment, Electronic Arts puts star players in superhero costumes as part of the FIFA Ultimate Team mode in the new soccer game.

Electronic Arts plans to explore more sports-entertainment video game collaborations in the future, but has yet to reveal any details.

“You’re going to see more of this in the future,” Weber said.

(Ted Lasso’s presentation of “FIFA 23”: via EA Sports)



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