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Friday, October 5, 2018

FIFA 19 Releases; Box-Art Athlete Cristiano Ronaldo Accused of Rape

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Electronic Arts isn't in a good position, so they better hope it really is FAKE NEWS.

Last week, FIFA 19 released, to critical anticipation for people who enjoy playing Electronic Arts's sports games, which happens to be tens of millions of people. Personally, I don't care for soccer (or association football). In fact, I dislike it, as you'll find out if you click that hyperlink.

Anyway, a Portuguese guy named Cristiano Ronaldo is on the front cover of FIFA 19's box art, and he's a central focus of EA's marketing of the game (besides Alex Hunter — but for Nintendo Switch buyers, it's just Cristiano Ronaldo). He's among the top two soccer players in the world, next to Lionel Messi. As far as I can tell, Cristiano Ronaldo is the only reason why people around the world even know that Portugal exists.

FIFA 19 version comparison Ultimate Champions Standard Nintendo Switch Cristiano Ronaldo
Let's get my Nintendo Switch victimhood out of the way for this article:
Why is the “Nintendo Switch Edition” considered an alien?
Why isn't it on the Compare Products table?
Anyway, victimhood aside, the point is that Ronaldo is on the cover, and there's a “loan” benefit about him if you pay more money.

Unfortunately for Electronic Arts and their box art, Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of rape by an American woman named Kathryn Mayorga, reported in the German paper Der Spiegel one day after FIFA 19 released. Kind of bad timing. It turns out that the rape accusation, which depicts the act as occurring in 2009, existed to the public as of last year, but there wasn't a name of the accuser until now. Between 2017 and a week ago, it was just an anonymous rumour.

To make things unfortunate for Ronaldo's credibility, he reportedly doesn't deny the sex took place... but that it was consensual. Therefore, he denies the rape allegation and has called it “fake news.” Ronaldo and Mayorga already had an out-of-court settlement in 2010 for hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for her silence (thus no one knowing about a rape until 2017), but now she's breaking the terms of the settlement so she can ask for more money.

Electronic Arts is reportedly “concerned” and is “closely monitoring the situation.”

KoopaTV has been talking about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings in the United States, as Judge Kavanaugh attempts to become a Supreme Court Justice. As of writing, it appears that he will be confirmed this weekend if all the senators don't flake and stick to their word about who they plan to vote for. Judge Kavanaugh has been accused of rape and sexual assault without any evidence. But he has denied ever having sex with the accusers. That's a large difference between him and Ronaldo. Plus, Ronaldo's accuser actually called the police in 2009 and had that settlement occur between the two parties. Judge Kavanaugh's accuser didn't tell anyone and she didn't interact with Kavanaugh until 36 years later, thus leaving no trail that anything actually happened to her.

I'm not saying that Cristiano Ronaldo is a rapist. I'm just saying the circumstances are different, so KoopaTV isn't going to be very eager in defending the man. We still don't know what happened, of course, it's just... Taking sides here is precarious.

And it's based largely on the actions and testimony of the accuser and the accused. It has nothing to do with me agreeing with Judge Kavanaugh's judicial philosophy, or me disliking Cristiano Ronaldo's sport or me hating Electronic Arts.

In any case, you don't see Ronaldo's story getting all the mindshare that Kavanaugh's story did, because half the United States already hated Kavanaugh before the allegations, while Ronaldo is a popular and powerful athlete superstar, with fans more than happy to ignore the story. Apparently that included Electronic Arts, but to EA's credit, the accuser didn't have a name or face known to the public until the day after FIFA 19's release. Anonymous scandalous allegations shouldn't derail your career, so it's good that EA didn't let that happen. But what does the gaming company do now? This isn't worth doing a whole publicity stunt product recall over, right? Or sending new box-arts to customers (or non-customers like RawkHawk2010) like they're CAPCOM?

Ah, the perils of licensed games featuring real people with real flaws...

...Perhaps this'll be the start of the “FIFA Curse”! (Maybe that one will get a movie, unlike the “Madden Curse”?) Electronic Arts should've just put Alex Hunter on the cover. 

And on the Nintendo Switch.

Not only are EA's values in potential jeopardy here, but so are the hardware manufacturers’. How does Nintendo feel about an alleged rapist being right at the front of the Nintendo eShop right now? Why does EA hate Nintendo? Do you believe Ronaldo or do you believe his accuser? Do you recognise the difference between the two accusers presented in this article, or do you just believe all women automatically and think that Ludwig is a jerk for weighing each situation in a vacuum?

Ludwig has been upset about the lack of Alex Hunter on Nintendo Switch since last year.


  1. I would choose Super Mario Strikers every time over any of these yearly FIFA installments. The game was innovative for its genre unlike basically each of these games that is similar to its predecessor. Plus, with the Mario characters on the front, you would not have to worry about the cover since none of them have been accused of sexual assault as far as I am aware.

    1. Well... we'll certainly try to investigate that last bit.

      We've demonstrated the soccer-playing plumber is a genocidal murderer, but not a sexual assaulter. Not yet.


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