Nine Inch Nails, Vampire Weekend, Scottish electro-pop trio Chvrches, Australia’s Empire of the Sun, and Brazilian rapper Marcelo D2 are among the artists whose music is featured in the FIFA 14 soccer game, Electronic Arts has announced in advance of the game’s North American release on Sept. 24.
Music by EA Sports FIFA 14 promotional ambassador Drake, who is featured in a new game commercial with Lionel Messi and other players, is not on the soundtrack.
"But that doesn’t mean you are not going to see it in later," says Raphaella Lima, head of Global Music Partnerships & Marketing at EA. "Drake will be promoting the game through events, a new video, and at speaking engagements," Lima adds. “We’re going to be doing a lot more with him and you’re going to be seeing that develop over the next couple of months.” Watch the FIFA 14 commercial below.
For the first time, the FIFA game will have an integrated presence on some of the soundtrack artists’ tours, Lima says. Through socially driven promotions that will be announced this fall, fans will have the chance to spend time with bands in their tour bus, playing the FIFA 14 game.
Thirty-seven songs are included in the soundtrack of the 2014 edition of FIFA, the gaming company’s biggest selling franchise, which has generated more than $6 billion since 1993, according to EA. Last year’s FIFA 13, whose soundtrack artists included Band of Horses, Bastille, and Santigold, marked the biggest game launch in the history of sports videogames. EA has sold more than 14.5 million FIFA 13 games worldwide. Almost 7 million FIFA 13 online games are played daily, according to EA.
"How many times a song comes up in a typical game play should be taken into account with how many games sold,” EA Music Group president Steven Schnur told Billboard. “If it’s heard twice an hour and somebody plays that game two hundred hours, you can imagine, it’s like getting an “A” rotation on a global radio station.”
This year’s track list includes artists from Japan (Chinza Dopeness), Germany (OK KID), Argentina (Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas) and New Zealand (The Naked and the Famous), in addition to multiple representatives from the U.S. and U.K.
"The one thing that is important to know about the FIFA soundtrack is that it represents not just where music is at, but where music is on a global scale,” Schnur says. “The reasoning behind that is that soccer/fútbol is a sport that has no boundaries. Someone in the U.S. will discover some cool young hip band from Brazil and someone from Brazil will discover the next new band from Germany, and so on and so on.” The game will be available internationally on Sept. 27.
EA Music Supervisor Cybele Pettus describes the overall sound of the music featured in FIFA as “Celebratory and rhythmic. You want to get fired up like you get fired up if you’re at one of these games,” she says, adding that the EA music team considers songs by “hundreds and hundreds of bands.”
"We don’t have a type of artist or genre of artist,” adds Schnur. “That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a consistency to it. I probably would never end up putting a jazz song or a Barry Manilow song in a FIFA game,” he jokes. “But electronic music, rock music, hip hop, pop music, world music, has all been represented in this game.”
While the game includes “Copy of A,” the latest single by Nine Inch Nails, FIFA 14 is better known as a vehicle for strong emerging artists. Pettus points to British blues rocker Jamie N Commons and Billboard 2013 Artist to Watch Robert Delong as two who could gain a global fan following from the game. Lima mentions Brazilian hip hop artist Karol Conka. “This is a girl singer from Brazil who is just starting and doing her thing and still breaking out there who now has a chance to be in the hands of at least 50 million people,” Lima says. “That’s huge.”
The soundtrack includes several song premieres. Chvrches’ anticipated debut album “The Bones of What You Believe” releases the same day as FIFA14.
"We don’t attempt to do this alone,” Schnur says. “We want radio stations around the world, we want fans around the world, we want them to attach on. We just want to give the band a global platform, and there aren’t many current global platforms like this that can spark a fire.”
During World Cup years, EA habitually releases a FIFA World Cup soccer game, which focuses on the actual World Cup competition and teams, in addition to its annual FIFA Soccer game. In 2010, its FIFA World Cup South Africa game came out in early April. EA has not yet confirmed the release of its 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil game.
Last week, FIFA partner-level sponsor Coca-Cola announced its global theme for its 2014 World Cup campaign, featuring singer David Correy. He also appears on the EA FIFA 14 soundtrack, joining Wyclef John on the yet-to-be-released “I Am.” The song was written by Rock Mafia, who also wrote the Coke song, “The World is Ours.”
The full EA FIFA14 soundtrack:
American Authors, “Hit it”
Amplify Dot, “Get Down”
Bloc Party, “Ratchet”
Chinza Dopeness, “T.U.B.E.”
Chvrches, “We Sink”
Crystal Fighters, “Love Natural”
Dan Croll, “Compliment Your Soul”
David Dallas, “Runnin”
De Staat, “Down Town”
Disclosure, “F For You”
Empire of The Sun, “Alive”
Foals, “My Number (Trophy Wife Remix)”
Grouplove, “I'm With You”
Guards, “I Know It's You”
Illya Kuryaki & The Vaderramas, “Funky Futurista”
Jamie N Commons, “Marathon”
John Newman, “Love Me Again”
Karol Conka , “Boa Noite”
Los Rakas, “Hot”
Marcelo D2, “Voce Diz Que O Amor Nao Doi”
Miles Kane, “Do not Forget Who You Are”
Nine Inch Nails, “Copy of A”
OK Kid, “Am Ende”
Olympic Ayres, “Magic”
Portugal. The Man, “Purple Yellow Red and Blue”
Robert Delong, “Here”
Rock Mafia feat. Wyclef Jean & David Correy, “I Am”
The 1975, “The City”
The Chain Gang of 1974, “Miko”
The Colourist, “Little Games (St. Lucia Remix)”
The Naked and Famous, “Hearts Like Ours”
The Royal Concept, “On Our Way”
Vampire Weekend, “Worship You”
Wretch, “32-24 Hours”
You Me At Six, “Lived A Lie”