With the demo released this week, football fans and gaming enthusiasts alike are eagerly awaiting the official release of FIFA 13, the latest edition of the internationally popular videogame by developing giant Electronic Arts (EA) available on a range of platforms such as PlayStation, XBox, Wii, Mac and Windows.
While Argentinean Barcelona FC star player Leo Messi appears on the cover for the global version of the game, Saudi al-Hilal FC player, Abdul Aziz al-Dosari, will be featured on the cover of the Middle East version.
Saudi Arabia’s Premier League is the first in the Middle East to be featured in the FIFA-affiliated game. Players will have the chance to virtually play for a Saudi club, such as al-Shabab, al-Hilal, and al-Ahli. The King Fahd International stadium is among numerous venues gamers can play in.
“First of all, it is a great honor to be the only Arab league included in FIFA 13, nonetheless, I wish to see and play with other Arab league and clubs in the next addition of FIFA,” Dr. Hafez Medlej, head of marketing at the Asian football federation and member of the Organizing Committee for the FIFA Confederations Cup, told Al Arabiya.
“Second of all, having the Saudi League in FIFA 13 means that our league has a great fan base, and that Saudi football fans are very passionate about supporting Saudi clubs, in fact, they would go to a great lengths to show their allegiance and support.”
“Third of all, it shows that SPL has been making great developments and improvements to help jump the Saudi football league to the level of the elite leagues of the world through new systems and processes as well as innovative solutions to bring teams, players and fans together closer in a fun, safe and rewarding environment,” Medlej said.
“These changes and developments are being felt in Saudi Arabia and across Asia which helped raise the SPL’s profile globally. Finally, we at SPL enjoy the support of few private-sector companies specializing in sport marketing that are not afraid to invest in the league to help its development. One such company is RPM sport management based in Riyadh, which helped greatly to make FIFA 13 project a successful one for SPL, Saudi football fans and clubs.”
But this unprecedented gaming enhancement does not just have an impact in the gaming world but for the actual footballing world.
“This means a lot to the SPL on the international football world. If nothing else it puts us at the same level with the best leagues in the world in the eyes of the six million plus buyers of the FIFA game annually. And from marketing and gaming perspective, it is very important marketing step to help create even more exposure and fame for our players, clubs and league,” Medlej said.
FIFA 13 will be released in the United States on Sept. 25, followed by Australia on Sept. 27, and Europe on Sept. 28.