FIFA President Gianni Infantino gave a presentation today about the future of FIFA, which is set to include esports in a big way.
FIFA are set to commission a group with goals to capture a share of the emerging esports market.
“FIFA will increase its role in the exploding esports market, which in 2015 generated revenues of almost USD 1 billion, and work to capture a greater share of that market by better leveraging the popularity of the FIFA video game and the FIFA Interactive World Cup," Infantino said in the report. "The administration will establish a dedicated team to explore opportunities and develop a business strategy that ensures FIFA is responsive to current trends and able to quickly adapt to developing trends in the esports industry.”
As FIFA has benefitted massively from the FIFA gaming license agreement, becoming ingrained in the conversation of gamers daily (if not in esports itself), FIFA is looking to treat the FIFA games as a sport all their own.
“This relationship produces revenue to support FIFA’s development programs and competitions," he continued. "The FIFA franchise has also contributed greatly to the organization’s ability to remain relevant and visible in between FIFA World Cups.”
While FIFA itself has been known to be in a scandal or two over the course of its lifespan, the fact that the organization is getting involved so heavily means that there is a bright future for the game's nascent esports scene - and with more support for the FIFA Interactive World Cup, perhaps we'll see more esports organizations take an interest in the sports title.