Electronic Arts and its subsidiary EA Sports will end their three-decade partnership with FIFA and party ways with the world soccer governing body. FIFA games are one of the most successful video game franchises in the world, having raked in billions of dollars in sold copies alone.
The end of an era for the FIFA franchise doesn’t come as a shock, since reports going back to late 2021 suggested that EA wanted to continue the exclusive partnership with a new 8-year deal, however, FIFA wanted significantly more than what was offered. Some resources also suggested that FIFA wanted to allow other companies to branch out the franchise, which is something EA isn’t too keen on.
Not too long ago, Cam Weber —executive president, and general manager of EA Sports— mentioned in a statement, that EA has hit the wall during negotiations with FIFA and added, “As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA Sports football games.”
EA Sports’ vice president David Jackson explained how the upcoming changes will allow them to make a better football game in the near future with these words:
“Under the licensing conventions that we had agreed with FIFA 10 years ago, there were some restrictions that weren’t going to allow us to be able to build those experiences for players.”David Jackson, EA Sports Vice President
EA Sports will continue developing and publishing yearly football/soccer titles, but the series is now rebranded as EA Sports FC. The game’s most popular mode FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) may also have to undergo rebranding, but rumors say EA will just replace FIFA with “Football” and continue using the acronym.
Will there be a FIFA 23?
The short answer is: Yes. Despite the fallout, FIFA has granted a new short-term extension to EA Sports to launch the newest title as FIFA 23, but that’s pretty much it. Unless a drastic change happens between now and the next title, EA will go with EA Sports FC.
Meanwhile, FIFA is keeping the name and is looking for a new developer for the series. Whichever video game company picks up the franchise, they’ll heavily benefit from the authenticity that comes with the license.
The very first FIFA game was made for Sega Mega Drive way back in 1993, with the short-term extension, one of the longest-running business partnerships in the video game industry is coming to an end.