After 30 years of collaboration, EA Sports has parted ways with FIFA and will rebrand its world famous football/soccer franchise as EA Sports FC.
When people say FIFA, they think of one of two things: the governing body of world football or the football video game. Both have become ubiquitous with the FIFA name. However, a seismic shift in the gaming world and cultural lexicon is about to occur as Electronic Arts ends its partnership with FIFA. The annual football matches will be renamed to EA Sports FC.
In a press release announcing the rebranding, Cam Weber, Executive Vice President of EA Sports, celebrated 30 years of the franchise’s history and spoke of a “new era that the developer wants” take global football experiences to new heights”. EA also assured fans that all of the franchise’s best-known game modes like Ultimate Team, Career Mode, VOLTA and more will remain with EA Sports FC in this new future, along with its partnerships with the biggest leagues in the game. world football such as the Premier League, Bundesliga, MLS, LaLiga and over 300 other licensed partners.
The possibility of EA and FIFA separating has been the subject of speculation for some time, with the two entities publicly at odds over the negotiation of new commercial agreements. There were earlier reports that Electronic Arts had trademarked the title “EA Sports FC” with possibilities ranging from a new game mode, a free-to-play mode or, as confirmed by today’s announcement, today, a change of franchise brand. Then, governing body FIFA reportedly demanded $1 billion every four years for EA to have permission to put FIFA’s name and logo on the box. FIFA is also reportedly looking to expand its direct reach into digital spaces such as esports and NFT.
Soccer video games are getting a bit of a shake-up as free-to-play games UFL is looking to enter the market and has secured trademark and likeness rights with players like Cristiano Ronaldo and clubs like Borussia Mönchengladbach and West Ham United. Konami has changed its name eFootball The series is also free-to-play, but encountered major issues when transitioning to the new model. EA Sports FC will still be the main game of the mix, but wade into uncharted territory in search of a new identity.
It will be interesting to see how many team licenses and player likenesses EA will be able to retain without direct input from FIFA, although it has been said that things of this nature are agreed through a different agreement and may be mixed somewhere with the 300 licensing partners that EA claimed to have in the future.
EA Sports FC arrives in July 2023.
MORE: FIFA 23 Should Focus On Improving Career Mode