FIFA – a name synonymous with Association Football (soccer) and the licensors of a gaming franchise that has stood the test of time since way back in 1995 back on the Sega MegaDrive and Super Nintendo – are parting ways with publisher EA, who have come to the decision to change up the name of arguably its most popular gaming franchise.
The FIFA video games series will from now on be known as EA Sports FC.
While not explicitly confirmed, it seems likely this is at least partly reaction to FIFA’s licensing price nearly doubling in recent years; the global Association Football peak body is reportedly asking more than USD$1bn per four-year World Cup cycle for the licensing rights for the game.
Fear not, dedicated fans – even with the FIFA name drop, EA Sports FC will not take the route of eFootball, which only licenced out small parts of the game, meaning some of the “real” player’s names were missing and there minor changes to club appearances.
EA Sports FC will continue to have more than 300 individual licensed partners as quoted and “access to 19,000 athletes across 700 teams, in 100 stadiums and over 30 leagues across the globe” – this meaning that it will only be a name change and have no impact on the game.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson said the company’s vision for EA Sports FC was to create the largest and most impactful football club in the world, at the epicentre of football fandom.
“For nearly 30 years, we’ve been building the world’s biggest football community – with hundreds of millions of players, thousands of athlete partners, and hundreds of leagues, federations, and teams. EA Sports FC will be the club for every one of them, and for football fans everywhere.”
“We’re thankful for our many years of great partnership with FIFA. The future of global football is very bright, and fandom around the world has never been stronger. We have an incredible opportunity to put EA Sports FC at the heart of the sport, and to bring even more innovative and authentic experiences to the growing football audience.”
While I don’t expect Konami to pick up the FIFA license for their eFootball title, EA’s departure will potentially be a huge hit in FIFA’s pockets – however it may be an opening for some of individual clubs, teams and other previously mentioned partners to make some money via their involvement with EA Sports FC more directly.
It will however be extremely interesting to see how EA and the new EA Sports FC titIe will however be extremely interesting to see how EA and the new EA Sports FC titles due in 2023 will innovate and change things up with all this extra cash. Will they come though with the innovation they spoke of? Will the Nintendo Switch versions get more love then just a roster update? Time will tell.