EThe first signs of the end of the partnership, which has now lasted 23 years, had already appeared in October. Now it’s official: By far the most popular video football game will no longer be called “FIFA” from 2023, but “EA Sports FC”, as the American video game provider Electronic Arts (EA) announced on Tuesday night. The partnership with the world football association FIFA will not be extended. “FIFA 2023” scheduled for the fall will be the last game from EA with the association’s name so far.
Therefore, players will no longer be able to play in World Cups and other tournaments for which FIFA has the rights. Otherwise, nothing will change according to EA. The exclusive partnerships with national leagues such as the Bundesliga, the British Premier League, “La Liga” from Spain or the Italian Serie A would also be continued. Users can therefore continue to play with the corresponding teams at the respective stadiums.
FIFA wants to offer its own game
As the New York Times reports, FIFA must have demanded at least a doubling of the license fee, which had previously amounted to $ 150 million. Economic problems were obviously not the only reason for the separation. In addition, FIFA must have insisted on being able to present its brand on other digital platforms and games at the same time.
The association spoke on Wednesday about a “diversification” of rights. From 2024, FIFA now wants to market its own video game in competition with EA. For this you talk to investors and game providers. With a view to the World Cup in Qatar, betting offers are coming on the market already this year. The game with the FIFA name will be “the best for players and football fans,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement.
The FIFA name is the only global and original title and therefore the “constant”. In fact, “FIFA” has long been used as a synonym for the video game by many. Another offer with the association’s blessing could initially create confusion, noted Karol Severin from the analysis company Midia Research. However, EA not only has many years of expertise on the technical side, but also has another negotiation card up its sleeve through the licensing agreements with the national leagues.
It is no coincidence that the EA statement quotes representatives of the European Football Association UEFA and various top leagues to say that they will also remain on board for “EA Sports FC”. How long these contracts run was not disclosed. It would undoubtedly be a significant drawback to the new, ‘own’ FIFA game if it were to start without similarities with players and jerseys or logos from major clubs. Without the exclusive contract with EA, FIFA would obviously have more opportunities to play on the big playing field, according to Severin on Twitter. A game based on the current “FIFA” is only one variant.