EA Sports to rename its football game as it ends licensing deal with FIFA after decades

EA Sports to rename its football game as it ends licensing deal with FIFA after decades
  • EA Sports and FIFA to end their two-decade partnership.
  • According to EA Sports, the FIFA franchise will be rebranded as EA Sports FC.
  • EA Sports is expected to release its final FIFA video game later this year.
Video game giant Electronic Arts announced on Tuesday that it will drop its iconic football game FIFA’s license after over two decades of being a leader in the genre. Executive Vice President & Group GM, EA Sports at Electronic Arts, Cam Weber announced in a blog post, that the change will be effective in July 2023.

EA will continue to make football video games under a new banner — EA Sports FC. According to EA, they will continue to offer real-world experiences with 19,000+ players, 700+ teams, 100+ stadiums and 30 leagues they have signed up. It also includes Premier League, La Liga, UEFA, and Bundesliga. There will be one final release before the licensing deal ends, expectedly called FIFA 23.

Cam Weber also said, “we’re incredibly excited to build the future of global football with all of you, and will be happy to share more info on EA SPORTS FC in Summer 2023. The future of the sport is very big and bright, and football fandom is reaching across every corner of the world. Global football has been part of EA SPORTS for nearly thirty years - and today, we’re ensuring that it will be for decades to come.”

Reasons behind this breakaway
After 30 years EA Sports and FIFA are parting ways. The lack of FIFA licensing means there could be some changes to the tried and true FIFA formula.

In an interview with BBC, EA Sports Vice President, David Jack said, ‘deal with FIFA wasn’t just for the name, but included a set of licensing restrictions that EA no longer has to abide by. This could free the company to explore more interactive and fan-focused gameplay content.’

Jackson also added, “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.”

Jackson revealed that the deal is over because of the hike in licensing fees. He told FIFA has increased the fee to over a billion dollars for four years. Currently, the only EA Sports competitor is PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) and it’s likely that it might strike a deal for the license next. However, there has been no chatter about any such development, but we might hear something related to this soon.

Since the launch of EA Sports FIFA in 1993, the videogame franchise has sold more than 350 million units and has more than 150 million registered players.

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