EA Sports and FIFA Officially Split Up After 30 Years

EA Sports announced On Tuesday, the football title he published in 2023 would be part of the brand new EA Sports FC, eliminating the FIFA name that the series has used since the days of Sega Genesis and Super NES. The announcement is a major breakthrough for one of the oldest and most popular continuous franchises in video game history.

“We are grateful for our many years of great partnership with FIFA,” Andrew Wilson, EA’s director general, said in a statement. “The future of global football is very bright and the fandom around the world has never been so strong. We have an incredible opportunity to put EA Sports FC at the heart of the sport and offer even more innovative and authentic experiences to the public. growing football.

EA’s next non-FIFA football match will still feature “more than 300 licensed individual members, giving players access to more than 19,000 athletes from 700 teams, in 100 stadiums and more than 30 leagues around the world.” . These partners include major international leagues such as the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, UEFA, CONMEBOL and more.

Apart from the name of the cover, the brand new game will also lack any official reference to the World Cup, the four-year international tournament run by FIFA. EA has partnered with FIFA to launch a separate brand FIFA World Cup titles every four years from 1998 to 2014 and introduced a separate World Cup mode to its lucrative Ultimate Team digital card game for FIFA 14. This integration was expanded to include a larger update to the World Cup in FIFA 18.

Reports suggest FIFA 23—Which will be released at the end of the year as the last EA game with a FIFA license — will further expand the World Cup mode and include the Women’s World Cup for the first time in the franchise’s history. “It simply came to our notice then FIFA The product will also include more game modes, features, teams, leagues, players and competitions than any previous edition, “EA said in a statement.

A bitter divorce

The separation of EA from FIFA is not exactly a surprise. The video game mega-publisher publicly said it was “reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA” last October amid reports of clashes over exclusivity and licensing costs. And a February report suggested that Wilson told EA employees that the FIFA license “has hindered our ability to branch out into areas that players want” in terms of play.

Even EA Sports FC’s specific brand is no surprise; the term appeared at the trademark launch last year and VentureBeat journalist Jeff Grubb confirmed the name in a March chat with Giant Bomb.

Last year, The New York Times reported that FIFA was asking EA to double the $ 150 million the publisher already paid annually for its trademark rights. Meanwhile, EA was beginning to question the value that the FIFA name brought to its popular gaming franchise.

“Basically, what we get from FIFA in a year other than the World Cup is the four letters on the front of the box, in a world where most people no longer see the box because they buy the game digitally Wilson said. he told employees at a hands-on meeting in November.

Perhaps in anticipation of Tuesday’s announcement, FIFA announced yesterday that it is already working with new partners on “non-simulated” football games that will be released later this year. This wording is reminiscent of the 2020 announcement of Take-Two’s return NFL2K franchise, which will move EA’s exclusive license for NFL “simulation” games offering “football game experiences without simulation”.

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