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Real Madrid signs multi-year renewal with EA Sports

(Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

LaLiga leaders Real Madrid have renewed their sponsorship and licensing agreement with video game maker Electronic Arts in a multi-year deal.

The partnership focuses on the FIFA video game series, which is in its 27th iteration. FIFA 20, the current version of the game, is the most played in the franchise’s history with an audience growth for its content of 260 per cent over the previous year.

The next version of the game, FIFA 21, will be released on October 9, 2020.

Nick Wlodyka, vice-president and general manager of EA Sports FIFA, said strategic partnerships like the one with Real Madrid were crucial to the brand’s vision. “Real Madrid is one of the most iconic and successful clubs in the world and we look forward to delivering the most authentic, innovative and interactive Real Madrid FIFA experience for fans in the years to come,” he said.

Emilio Butragueño, director of institutional relations at Real Madrid, said the renewal will also allow the club to extend the club’s reach around the world via the FIFA franchise.

Real Madrid is among the most popular clubs for gamers to play on the Fifa game. Several Real Madrid players have featured on FIFA’s  front covers, including the current coach Zinedine Zidane, Eden Hazard, Roberto Carlos and Karim Benzema.

This season’s FIFA 20 game featured Fifa Volta, which allows gamers to design a character and play in futsal-type matches. The game has been used as a platform for the club’s kit supplier adidas and EA Sports to launch Real Madrid’s fourth kit.

This kit, now in its third year, is the most popular among fans of the FIFA Ultimate Team game mode, which allows gamers to build teams using players from all the leagues to play offline and online.

Back in the non-virtual world, Real Madrid will clinch the LaLiga title with one match to spare should they beat Villareal at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight.