Updated 5/31/2011: just like my predictions stated, strong rumors are flying about the inclusion of Arab soccer leagues in FIFA 2012 to compliment the Arabic commentary, including the infamous teams from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It makes sense to do this, really. What’s Arabic commentary without some Arab teams thrown into the mix? Additionally, EA has acquired infamous real-world Arabic commentators for FIFA 2012, not some unknown people. This is the final nail in the coffin to PES’s popularity in the Middle East…unless Konami follows EA’s footsteps.
Original Post: The title of this news post may sound overblown to some, but the fact of the matter is that it’s a significant move that other game developers will notice. Soccer is by far the most popular sport in the Middle East, and what better way to celebrate this fact than the Arabic language making its debut in a mainstream videogame? EA is taking an interesting plunge by providing Arabic commentary in FIFA 2012. The PES series have always been more popular than FIFA in the Middle East, but the tides may turn in favor of the latter due to Arabic commentary. Konami should follow EA and provide it with PES 2012, but I highly doubt they’ll mimic their competition this soon. Besides, EA is more of an international publisher compared to Konami, who basically focuses their soccer series in Japan and Europe. If Arabic in videogames catches on, though, we may see Konami and other developers join the fray. Arabic subtitles in games with English voice acting would be the next best step in my opinion. If we’re talking about soccer though, what will truly make Middle Eastern gamers go gaga is if FIFA or PES includes the local teams of each country in their upcoming iterations. I know a lot of fellow Saudi gamers who would definitely be flabbergasted if teams such as AL-ITTIHAD FC or AL-HILAL FC officially appear in soccer games.
Source: Middle East Gamers